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29 September 2014

Cross-country recap, and a brief hiatus

So I’ve made it across the country, and I’m now happily settled in California and getting used to my new job as a postdoc with the USGS! However, being a federal employee means I have different regulations to follow while using social media, so I’m going to be taking a break from blogging while I sort those out. To tide you over, here are some of my favorite photos from the cross-country drive, which was a great (though long) experience.


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27 January 2013

Benchmarking Time: Mount Terrill, Fish Lake Plateau, Utah

The next benchmark in my collection is another from Fish Lake in Utah. This is one of my favorite places to do field work, despite the fact that quite a bit of it is vertical and I was cursed with a malfunctioning set of knees. Occasionally I do make it to the top of things, and as we know, geologists like to put benchmarks in high places. Mount Terrill, on the northern part of the Fish Lake Plateau, is one of them. It’s an interesting mountain – long and lean instead of round and bulky – and it’s one of the best places on the Plateau to get a look at the Osiris Tuff, which is the volcanic unit I studied as an undergrad.


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30 October 2012

Benchmarking Time: Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake, UT

The latest benchmark comes to you courtesy of Rick Le Mon, who’s an undergraduate tackling a challenging schedule and a senior thesis! He offers up a National Geodetic Survey gravity control marker on Antelope Island in Utah:


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16 October 2012

Benchmarking Time: Fish Lake Hightop, Utah

For this week’s benchmark, I thought I’d share one of my favorites: the USGS marker on the highest point in my undergraduate field area, the Fish Lake Plateau in Utah. Fish Lake itself, which sits in a graben, is bounded by Mytoge Mountain on its southeast side and the Fish Lake Hightop on the northwest. The Hightop is accessible from the Pelican Canyon Trail, which leads you over a moraine and up a lovely glacial valley.


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30 June 2012

Accretionary Wedge #47: Nostalgia for notetaking

Jennifer at Fuzzy Science is hosting this month’s Accretionary Wedge, and this time we’re talking about field notes. For me, this is a pretty nostalgic discussion, since I haven’t been out do to field work for my own research since 2010. I’ve been on field trips since then, certainly, but notetaking sometimes gets sidelined in favor of other trip activities when you’re not doing it for work or research. Also, my research right now involves a lot of time dealing with computer simulations, so I still take lab notes, but they’re not like recording a field experience.


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20 September 2011

The EPA, fireworks and volcanoes

So in my newsfeed today, an article popped up about Utah petitioning the EPA not to have smoke from July 4th fireworks included in their monitored air pollution (i.e., the amounts that will get you fined if they spike). The article went on to mention that the EPA grants exemptions for spikes in air pollution that result from “exceptional” events, which are defined as follows:

(i) Affects air quality; (ii) Is not reasonably controllable or preventable; (iii) Is an event caused by human activity that is unlikely to recur at a particular location or a natural event; and (iv) Is determined by EPA through the process established in these regulations to be an exceptional event.

These include natural disasters like storms, seismic activity, floods, wildfires and volcanic eruptions, as well as some allowances for air pollution blown in from elsewhere or resulting from terrorism or war.


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5 March 2011

Pink and blue: Accretionary Wedge #32

Ann’s Musings on Geology is hosting this month’s Accretionary wedge, and she’s looking for a little color for Carnivale:

The theme will be “Throw me your ‘favorite geologic picture’ mister”Lets have the floats (submissions) ready on March 4th so it can roll on March 8. Carnival time is all about having a good time and having some fun so lets get some colorful, fun pictures submitted. Laissez les bons temp rouler!! (Let the good times roll!)


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16 January 2011

Flow banding and rheomorphic deformation

In my first quick Google search about flow banding, I came up with Cole Kingsbury’s fairly new blog, Chaotically Flow-Banded. He gives a good basic description of what flow banding is: visually distinguishable “bands” or layers in volcanic rock that differ based on composition, texture, or geochemical characteristics. Cole focuses on flow banding in lava, which is a familiar feature to him because of his work on the Obsidian Dome near Long Valley in California. I’m also working on domes now (although slightly less felsic ones), but my first experience with flow banding came from mapping Miocene ash flow tuffs in Utah.


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1 April 2010

Amazing natural resources in south-central Utah

Some neat news has come out of the Marysvale Volcanic Field in southwestern Utah (one of my stomping grounds!) about a very recently reactivated hydrothermal system in the Marysvale Canyon. According to an interview with specialist H. McClintock, prospecting in the vicinity of Belknap (five miles north of Marysvale, Utah) has revealed some pretty interesting features that certainly weren’t there when I visited last summer. “We’ve come across some darn …


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