Geological Excursion to Central and Northern Mongolia
July 24 - August 11, 2004
The Govi at Mushagai.
Photo by Lisa Rae Lytle.
- View photos and post-meeting comments from this trip -
Gregory S. Holden, Colorado School of Mines, Golden
Ch. Minjin, Mongolian Technical University
B. Tumenbayar, Mongolian Academy of Sciences and BEMM Consulting
J. Byamba, Mongolian State University
Greg has 26 years of teaching experience in petrology and field geology and has led five previous GSA GeoHostels. He will provide general geological background to complement the local expertise of the Mongolian trip leaders. Greg led a student field trip to Mongolia with B. Tumenbayar and Ch. Minjin in 2001. If you would like to discuss the trip further, please contact Greg Holden, (303) 273-3855.
Ch. Minjin is well published and an internationally recognized expert on the stratigraphy and paleontology of Mongolia. B. Tumenbayar is a mineralogist and active consulting exploration geologist. Tumenbayar's firm, BEMM Consulting, which has provided logistical support for numerous international geological field trips and for exploration efforts by international minerals companies, will be responsible for all logistical support in Mongolia. His company has an experienced staff of coordinators, cooks and drivers, many of whom speak English well.
- Daily Itinerary -
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at right to view Tour Routes >>
Central Mongolia is a high, dissected plateau with numerous peaks over 3000 meters, well above timberline. Thick birch and larch forests cover the high slopes above valleys carpeted with grass and flowers of the Central Asian steppe. Big, fish-filled rivers flow north, ultimately into Siberia's famous Lake Baikal and thence on to the Arctic Ocean.
The steppe supports horses, camels and yaks, herded by nomads living in gers, their traditional round tents. Wolves and snow leopards still roam the more remote areas.
This GeoTrip provides a unique opportunity to explore the geology, flora, fauna and culture of this amazing country in the company of two expert guides from the Mongolian Technical University and the Mongolian State University. The 19 day trip, including two travel days, begins in Ulaan Baator, the capital and only major city in Mongolia, then proceeds west across the north slopes of the Khangai Mountains, with opportunities to examine the often highly deformed Paleozoic metamorphic and sedimentary basement and Mesozoic intrusive rocks that underly the mountains. We will visit a Cenozoic volcanic area and the famous Kuvsugul Lake, which is similar in style, size and origin to Lake Baikal. We will visit phosphorite, placer gold and porphyry copper deposits. Several nights we will camp near monasteries and there will be ample occasions to meet and get to know local people. There will be time to hike, climb peaks and fish on an individual or group basis.
Travel will be via Russian 4WD minivans and jeeps and, since hotels are rare, we will camp most nights. Participants will bring their own tents and sleeping bags. Meals will be traditional Mongolian fare, cooked by an experienced, local expedition staff. This will not be an easy trip and participants need to be ready for some rough rides and rough weather in a very remote area. For those who love geology and have always wanted to see central Asia, this will be a lifetime adventure, a chance to see the magnificent unfenced landscape, and an opportunity to meet the wonderful people of Mongolia.
$2,700 for GSA members
$2,800 for spouses
$2,950 for nonmembers.
$200 deposit is due with your reservation and is refundable (less $100) through May 15. Balance is due May 15. Minimum number of participants: 12; maximum: 20. Most nights will be spent camping. Participants must supply their own mountain tent, good quality sleeping bag, and foam pad.
Included: Four nights in ger hotels, all meals, field trip transportation, local guides, and guidebook and program materials.
Not included: Roundtrip airfare to Ulaan Baator from San Francisco, airfare to and from San Francisco, alcoholic beverages, and other expenses not specifically included.
Please fill out the GeoVentures Registration Form (PDF format - requires Acrobat Reader) and return to GSA.