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Andrew Alden

My 2010 Year of Traveling, a Geoblog Meme

By December 21, 2010

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A "geoblog meme" means that one of my fellow geology bloggers has started something and challenges the rest of us to follow suit. This meme is a fun one: tell about your travels this year. Because it looks like I won't get out in the field for the rest of the year, I'm ready.

In January I visited Wyoming for a funeral, but had time to see some ancient countryside and pick up a rock or two.

blueschistIn March I did some poking around my city's rocks for a talk I gave to a local group, Friends of Sausal Creek. That's when I discovered some excellent blueschist right in Oakland. (That project later turned into an interpretive sign at a big city park.) Later that month I went to Pebble Beach, site of many marvelously exposed sedimentary structures.
Oakland blueschist — Geology Guide photo

In April I went on a field trip to coastal Sonoma County, California, where some wonderful seaside rocks appear to have signs that ancient mammoths used them as scratching posts. And of course there was the world's first geophooning expedition, an ophiolite hunt I conducted for some friends.

vernal poolIn May I took a nice long drive to a science meeting in Anaheim, seeing things like vernal pools, the 100-year-old oil gusher at Maricopa, the San Andreas fault, the tar piles of Carpinteria Beach, the Morros of San Luis Obispo, the spectacular lava pillows of Avila Beach and much more.
Vernal pool, San Emigdio Mtns — Geology Guide photo

Mid-July took me from Oakland to Seattle and back, northbound through central Oregon (including Abert Rim, Wright's Point and Glass Buttes) and southbound along the Oregon and California coast.

owens lakeIn August I had an unexpected opportunity to take a week's jaunt through eastern California. That trip included a revisit to some favorite southern Sierra Nevada roadcuts, a glimpse of high desert Earth art, mighty Owens Dry Lake, the bristlecone forest of the White Mountains, Long Valley caldera, remarkable Benton, Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy valley and more.
Owens Lake bed from Cerro Gordo Rd — Geology Guide photo

September featured a splendid day trip through the Smartville Ophiolite under the guidance of Eldridge Moores. That led me to compile my gallery of ophiolite rocks.

In October I paid a visit to Manhattan and upstate New York. One highlight of that trip was a jaunt to the out-of-the-way fossil forest of Gilboa, a landmark in the history of paleontology. In the lovely town of Cazenovia, I spotted the sign that sparked my gallery of geological road signs.

mount soprisAnd in November after the annual GSA meeting in Denver, I was invited to spend a few days in Glenwood Springs, a classic hot-spring resort deep in the Rockies. Beautiful Mount Sopris south of Carbondale was just one attraction; Glenwood Caves, high above the town, and Colorado River gorge were just two more.
Mount Sopris — Geology Guide photo

I can see that for the rest of the year I'll be processing, annotating and posting photos. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.

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Comments

December 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm
(1) Thomas Kavenaugh says:

Speaking of signage:
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A few years ago I traveled through the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming where the road department had acutally posted signs identifying the periods of time the sedimentary formations had actually been laid down.
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A similar project in Utah between Flaming Gorge and Vernal identifies the formations as well as the time period. I wish more states would do that.

December 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm
(2) Jim Miller says:

of greenschist/blueschist

Reading your geologue of 2010, and in particular your trip through the ophiolites of California, reminded me of a graphic showing the volcanic arc rock distribution. The graphic is from Lynn S. Fichter’s geology site (Wilson Cycle) at James Madison University and shows where greenschist and blueschist are formed. A picture is worth more than all those helpful words I have read:

http://csmres.jmu.edu/geollab/Fichter/Wilson/volcrock.html

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