Structural geology and mineralogy at Calico

March 16th, 2011

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–It was surprisingly cool this morning in Zzyzx as we left for our day of fieldwork, but we were not surprised by the wind at our first stop, Calico Ghost Town outside Barstow. Every time we’ve been there it has been blustery. Calico is an old silver mining site with a complex geological structure complimented by hydrothermal mineralization driven by dacite intrusions roughly 17 million years ago. Shelley Judge showed us how strike-slip faulting (ultimately a result of movement on the San Andreas Fault to the west) produced compressional folds in the Barstow Formation. Meagen Pollock talked about how the silver rich veins were formed by thermal alterations of the sedimentary rocks on the flanks of the Calico Mountains. We then spent a little time in the town itself eating our packed lunches and enjoying cold sarsparilla!

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