Geology of the Northern Margin of the Yellowstone Hot Spot, Southwest Montana (Dillon, MT)
June 19-24, 2004
Robert C. Thomas and Sheila M. Roberts,
The University of Montana - Western
Rob Thomas is a professor of geology in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western, where he teaches his courses in the natural lab of southwest Montana. Western is the experiential learning campus of the University of Montana and is the first public university in the U.S. to offer semester courses one at a time. Thomas utilizes these field-based courses to incorporate undergraduate students as partners in his research. For example, he and his students have worked on sedimentary basins along the northern margin of the Yellowstone hot spot for the past ten years.
Sheila Roberts has been a professor of geology and chemistry in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western for nine years. By utilizing the department's field-based program, Roberts has incorporated all levels of undergraduate students in her research. Her master's thesis was on Permian rocks in southwest Montana (The University of Montana - Missoula). She teaches regional geology at Western and has edited many publications about western Montana, including the 2000 Rocky Mountain Regional GSA guidebook. Roberts' current research is extremely diverse, and includes aspects of Pleistocene climate change in southwestern Montana, the geology of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Montana, weathering rates of marble tombstones regionally, and the chemistry of natural waters in Beaverhead County.
Extensional tectonism along the northern margin of the Yellowstone hot spot has exposed some of the most diverse and interesting geology in North America. The pre-hot spot geology includes Precambrian metamorphic rocks, Proterozoic sedimentary rocks of the Belt Supergroup, Paleozoic epeiric sea deposits, Mesozoic foreland basin deposits and associated compressional structures and igneous rocks. The early Tertiary records the beginning of a complex history of regional uplift and basin subsidence as a result of extensional tectonism. By mid-Miocene time, regional extension and sedimentation were influenced by the Yellowstone hot spot. Our trip will focus primarily on the geology influenced by the hot spot, including Tertiary extensional tectonism, sedimentation and volcanism, mountain-front geomorphology, Quaternary glaciation, recent seismicity and hot springs activity. We will base our geological exploration from the small (pop. 5,000) intermountain town of Dillon, Montana. This college town provides the ideal blend of old-west charm and modern conveniences, making it an ideal location for the GeoVenture of a lifetime!
$1,250 for GSA members
$1,300 for spouse
$1,350 for nonmembers
A $200 deposit is due with your reservation and is refundable through May 1, less a $20 processing fee. Total balance is due May 1. Minimum (firm): 25; maximum: 36.
Included: Classroom programs and materials; field trip transportation; lodging for six nights (single occupancy or double for couples); breakfast and lunch daily; and welcoming and farewell events.
Not included: Transportation to and from Dillon, Montana, transportation during hours outside field trips; alcoholic beverages; and other expenses not specifically included. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment must be reported in writing when reservations are made. We'll do our best to accommodate special needs, including dietary requirements and physical disabilities.
To register for this GeoHostel, please fill out and return the GeoVentures Registration Form (PDF format - requires Acrobat Reader).