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Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Coaldale, Black Rock, Lone Mountain, and the Boss Mine

Onward! Onward! How far will we get this time? Coaldale, as seen in August, 2010. With Boundary Peak still in view, MOH and I rounded the corner at Coaldale Junction, and pulled in briefly at Coaldale. This particular ghost town, which...Show More Summary

What's Your Favorite Stereotype of a Desert? The 2% Answer? The Dunes at Death Valley

Think of the word "desert". What''s the first picture that pops into your mind? Is it Saguaro Cacti, like an old western? Is it cliffs and spires like other old westerns? Is it a painted desert, like an old Disney movie or a Roadrunner cartoon? Or is it an endless sea of sand? At different times, I've had all those stereotypes established in my head. Show More Summary

A circumambulation of Claremont Canyon

A few weeks ago I took a strenuous ramble to accomplish a small thing — returning a stone to its home. The journey took me through some beautiful and interesting country, and the whole thing was the point. The blue line of my route started from its farthest western point, where the 49 bus dropped […]

Quake swarm continues in northwest Arizona

The earthquake swarm continues in northwest Arizona near the Nevada border. There were more than a dozen events during the past week, with the largest being a magnitude 2.7 yesterday (Sunday) just after noon. A magnitude 1.9 event just one minute later. Show More Summary

Traversing Dark Canyons Where the Mountains are Upside-down: Titus Canyon Road, Death Valley

This is lonely country. There are no outposts of civilization, no phone service, and a single thin gravel road winds through the complex of canyon narrows. This is the kind of country where canyons and peaks get named for the people who disappeared there, rather than for their discoveries. Show More Summary

Earthquake swarm in NW Arizona up to 42 events, largest is magnitude 3.7

AZGS put out a news release today on the earthquake swarm in northwest Arizona that reported 42 earthquakes have been detected since March 28. That was out of date very quickly. There was another event just before midnight on the 18th (ML=1.3) and a ML=2.3 just after noon today. Show More Summary

The River Lives Again...Flows Increased on the Lower Tuolumne

I took a stroll on the Tuolumne River Parkway trail for the first time in several weeks, and something was strange. I heard the river. One needs to understand just how strange that really is. For the last four years, we've been in a grips of a horrific drought (and still are for that matter). Show More Summary

Earthquake mitigation at Oakland City Center

Today is San Francisco Earthquake Day. Just before dawn on this day in 1906, at 5:13 local time (meaning 6:13 daylight time), a rip in the crust off Ocean Beach started tearing its way north and south along the San Andreas fault, setting in motion one of California’s greatest defining events. At the Oakland City […]

The Rim of Fire and the "Impending" Mega-Earthquakes: Look past the inflammatory headlines

Every few years (or months) there is a flurry of activity, and everyone gets hot and bothered and worried that the world is about to come apart. There's concern, even panic, and then things settle down a bit and the subject gets forgotten...Show More Summary

Magnitude 3.7 earthquake is largest one yet in Arizona swarm

There was only one earthquake greater than magnitude 1.0 in the past week in the area of the quake swarm in northwest Arizona until Saturday night when a magnitude 3.7 event struck just after 9 p.m. local time, followed by three apparent aftershocks in less than an hour. Show More Summary

Small quake in Intermountain Seismic Belt south of Utah

A small earthquake, magnitude 2.0 hit in the midst of the active faults of the Intermountain Seismic Belt at 4:28 a.m. Friday morning, just south of the Utah border. This does not appear to be related to the earthquake swarm of the past couple of weeks going on about 50 km to the southwest. Show More Summary

A Treasure in my Back Yard: Grand Opening Celebration for the Tuolumne River Parkway, May 21st

It's been a long time coming, but it looks like the Tuolumne River Parkway trail in Waterford will be completed soon. There will be a Grand Opening celebration on May 21 at 10 AM at the parking area at the end of S. Reinway Avenue. I hate to say it, but I can't be there, but I hope that many of you will stop by, or give the trail a look soon. Show More Summary

The Richest Mineral Resources in Death Valley: Isolation and Gullibility

A great many dreams lie broken in the rock and gravel expanses of Death Valley National Park. The California Gold Rush had brought hundreds of thousands of people to the state in the 1850s, and though few of them ever actually became...Show More Summary

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Highway 95, Redlich, Columbus Salt Marsh, and Another View of Boundary Peak

After lunch, MOH and I drove back into Mina and turned south on Highway 95, continuing our journey toward our next stop (shown above and way down below), and our more distant destinations of Beatty and Death Valley,. As a rule, I don't write much about U.S. Show More Summary

Hunt for helium ramps up in Arizona

Three companies now have active exploration programs underway in Arizona to develop underground helium resources.Ranger Development, a Texas-based joint venture, made a presentation last Friday to the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission...Show More Summary

Earthquake activity ramps up in southeastern Arizona

There have been at least 22 small earthquakes in the last 24 hours south of Duncan in southeastern Arizona, near the New Mexico border, according to Dr. Jeri Young, who manages the state seismic monitoring network here at AZGS. A magnitude 3.0 earthquake at 8:22 a.m. Show More Summary

A Single "Moment" in Geologic Time: A Finder of Lost Worlds in Death Valley

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Red Pass in the Grapevine Mountains, Titus Canyon Road Death Valley is one of the premier paleontology parks in the entire National Park system. There is a stunningly complete record of fossil-bearing strata extending over nearly a billion years, including rocks from every period of the Paleozoic era (543-251 million years ago). Show More Summary

Vollmer Peak and the Bald Peak Basalt

At 1905 feet above sea level, Vollmer Peak is the highest point on San Pablo Ridge and in the Berkeley/Oakland Hills. It doesn’t stand out from below — you know it by the two widely separated towers on it, to the right of Grizzly Peak — but it sure stands out when you’re on it. […]

Flowers, Folds, and Floods on the Way to Yosemite

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

So this thing happened yesterday. California, despite near-normal amounts of precipitation this year, is still in the grip of a long-term drought. The first part of March was wet, but for the last three weeks the rain ceased entirely, like someone turned off the tap. Show More Summary

Earthquake in northwest Arizona - magnitude 3.4

There was a magnitude 3.4 earthquake in northwest Arizona at 2:23 a.m. local time this morning. The preliminary USGS location puts it about 30-40 km east of the ongoing earthquake swarm west of the Grand Wash Cliffs. We are examining the records to see if adding data from the Arizona seismic network will change the location. Show More Summary

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