Monthly Archives: March 2011

Back to granite on Cima Dome

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–Our last stop of the rapidly-cooling day was on the huge Cima Dome east of Zzyzx in the Mojave National Preserve. The dome is so large (about 70 square miles) that it is impossible to detect when you are … Continue reading

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A tuff afternoon

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–After lunch we took a long drive south and east to the Hole-In-The-Wall visitor center and trail. Exposed here are diverse and colorful rocks called tuffs that were formed by pyroclastic eruptions from volcanoes roughly 18.5 million years ago. … Continue reading

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A massive pile of sand: the Kelso Dunes

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–Later in the morning the Wooster Geologists visited a favorite location: the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve. We arrived before noon so we could work up a hearty appetite for lunch by climbing the dunes first. The … Continue reading

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Deep in the heart of a lava flow

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–This morning the Wooster Geologists enjoyed an ancient lava flow from the inside. We found our way to a lava tube near the center of the Mojave National Preserve and explored the interior with flashlights and flash cameras. It … Continue reading

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Igneous delights at Amboy Crater and in the Granite Mountains

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. … Continue reading

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Structural geology and mineralogy at Calico

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 … Continue reading

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Plunging into Lake Manix

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–East of Barstow and west of Afton Canyon was a very large pluvial lake during the Pleistocene. This Lake Manix was hundreds of feet deep, and its catastrophic drainage through Afton Canyon about 185,000 years ago must have been … Continue reading

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A morning with the Barstow Formation

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–It is hard to believe that the Mojave region once had vast lakes, erupting volcanoes and a diverse mammalian fauna including camels and horses. The most important record of this time is the Barstow Formation (Miocene — about 15 … Continue reading

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Death Valley Day

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–Our Wooster geological crew awoke to a spectacular sunrise over the Soda Lake playa this morning. We drove north from Zzyzx through Baker and Shoshone into Death Valley by way of Jubilee Pass. The weather could not be better … Continue reading

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Wooster Geologists return to the Mojave Desert

ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–All four geology faculty members, our administrative coordinator Patrice Reeder, Jesse Wiles and eight students have safely arrived at the Desert Studies Center in the delightful Zzyzx.  We spent a few hours exploring the Jurassic sandstones exposed in the … Continue reading

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