Archive for July 15th, 2010

Hey Icelandic Researchers, We’ve Got Some Basalt, Too!!

July 15th, 2010

After many successful field days in sedimentary strata, yesterday we had a day of exploration. We traveled with the Ohio State field camp to Fillmore, Utah, to investigate the Black Rock Desert. Specifically, we spent our time in the Ice Springs Volcanic Field, which provides the youngest volcanic activity in the Black Rock Desert (~600 years old).

We thought that the Icelandic Team would be especially interested in some of our photos, since basalt seems to be near and dear to their hearts.

Jesse Davenport, studious as ever, is listening intently to a lecture on the Ice Springs Volcanic Field.  The rough, brecciated aa of the field is behind him.

Jesse Davenport, studious as ever, is listening intently to a lecture on the Ice Springs Volcanic Field. The rough, brecciated aa of the field is behind him.

Elyssa Krivicich (left, '09) and Elizabeth Deering (right) proudly display the Utah basalt.  The Red Dome cinder cone is in the background.  Hey Dr. Pollock and Becky Alcorn (our Icelandic Team)...do you like it?

Elyssa Krivicich (left, '09) and Elizabeth Deering (right) proudly display the Utah basalt. The Red Dome cinder cone is in the background. Hey Dr. Pollock and Becky Alcorn (our Icelandic Team)...do you like it?

This is a photo of a cross-section through the Red Dome cinder cone, which is quarried for landscaping purposes.  Take a look at the pronounced bedding that is due to successive pulses of air-fall deposits.  We collected volcanic blocks and bombs both at the base of the cinder cone and then at the very top.

This is a photo of a cross-section through the Red Dome cinder cone, which is quarried for landscaping purposes. Take a look at the pronounced bedding that is due to successive pulses of air-fall deposits. We collected volcanic blocks and bombs both at the base of the cinder cone and then at the very top.

The view from the top of the Red Dome cinder cone is amazing.  You can see a smaller cinder cone nearby.  In the distance, you can see Pahvant Butte.  If you look close enough, the ancient shorelines of Lake Bonneville are exposed at the base of Pahvant Butte.

The view from the top of the Red Dome cinder cone is amazing. You can see a smaller cinder cone nearby. In the distance, you can see Pahvant Butte. If you look close enough, the ancient shorelines of Lake Bonneville are exposed at the base of Pahvant Butte.

Cutting through the Paleozoic in northern Utah

July 15th, 2010

LOGAN, UTAH–Logan Canyon cuts perpendicularly through the Bear River Range in Cache County, northern Utah. It neatly dissects a complex section of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Logan-Huntsville Allochthon noted in my last post. Conveniently, US Highway 89 runs through the length of the canyon providing spectacular views of the quartzites, dolomites and limestones.

The mouth of Logan Canyon as viewed from Logan, Utah.

After exiting the canyon in the east, Highway 89 meets a most unusual body of water with a prosaic name: Bear Lake. Running north-south across the Utah-Idaho border, Bear Lake is one of the oldest existing lakes in North America. Studies of its sediments show the lake has existed for at least 220,000 years, and maybe more. Its water is strangely blue because it contains lots of dissolved calcium carbonate from the surrounding limestone mountains in its watershed. The lake was formed by tectonic processes, sitting now in a half-graben which is still active. Its human history is interesting too — in the early 19th Century it was a gathering point for mountain men, including Jim Bridger and my hero Jedediah Smith.

Bear Lake viewed from the west in the Bear River Range.

Let the Work Begin

July 15th, 2010

Guest blogger: Becky Alcorn

Today was our first day of field work in Undirlithar quarry. Although a lot of the quarry has been filled in in the last year, we had a very successful day and found three dikes that can be used in my IS. We began mapping the south wall that will be the focus of my IS and collected several samples for future analysis when we return to Wooster. We’re even returning to the quarry later tonight to continue our work since the sun never sets and we never sleep.

The smallest of the three dikes I will be working with

A close up on some wonderful plagioclase (about 1cm) and olivine crystals in the same dike as above

Trying to see the "sparkly" vesicles in a sample

Breaking in my new rock hammer on my first sample