Igneous delights at Amboy Crater and in the Granite Mountains

March 16th, 2011

Greg Wiles on the rim of Amboy Crater.

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–This afternoon the Wooster geologists studied two very different magma products in the southern part of our field area. After lunch we drove to Amboy on historic Route 66 and then hiked up to the rim of Amboy Crater. Here we saw the extrusive, mafic rock basalt at its finest in the cinder cone itself and the lava flows across the valley.

Desert iguana on the basalt near Amboy Crater.

After Amboy, we traveled north to the Granite Mountains and examined wonderful alkali granites weathering into rounded boulders. The feldspar crystals in these intrusive felsic rocks were extraordinarily large and numerous, and there were many xenoliths scattered throughout. The countryside here was lush with desert vegetation that made our all-too-brief stop most enjoyable.

An exposure in the Granite Mountains, California.

The feldspar-rich alkali granite in closer view.

2 Responses to “Igneous delights at Amboy Crater and in the Granite Mountains”

  1. Heather Fitz Gibbonon 17 Mar 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Beautiful pictures! What a wonderful experience for you and our students!

  2. Mark Wilsonon 18 Mar 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks, Heather! We are having a great time.

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