|Field Trip Chairs|
|Trips During the Meeting|
- 418. Historic Dinosaur Quarries within a Newly Interpreted Paleoenvironmental Context
Thurs., 4 Nov., US$118 (L, R).
Cosponsors: Colorado Scientific Society, Morrison Natural History Museum, Colorado Geological Survey, GSA History of Geology Division, GSA Sedimentary Geology Division, Escalante Mines, Inc.
Leaders: Thomas R. Fisher & Lisa R. Fisher, Escalante Mines, Inc., ; Matt Mossbrucker; Libby Prueher; Erin Fair.
This trip also runs before the meeting (see trip 413), and is presented in conjunction with Topical Session T94.
- Participants will examine the geology and paleontology of the area around Morrison, Colorado, where we will focus on past and present paleontological discoveries in the Jurassic Morrison, and explore historic 1870s dinosaur quarries of Arthur Lakes. New interpretations of the paleoecology and environments of the Morrison will be applied to understanding the evolution of the landscape through time. The trip will be lead by researchers from the Morrison Natural History Museum (MNHM), an active research and education facility staffed by experts in paleontology, geology, ecology, and education, and will include a museum tour. We will also explore some of the colorful history of Lakes’ quarries, and how they helped fuel the famous “Bone Wars” between Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh. The Paleozoic-Mesozoic section of the area will be examined, and we will visit and explore some of Lake’s quarries and dig sites, including Yale Quarries 5, 10, and “XYZ” where holotypes of Stegosaurus armatus and Apatosaurus ajax were excavated in 1877. The MNHM relocated and reopened Lakes’ 1877 Yale Quarry 10 beginning in 2002. This quarry yielded the world’s first specimen of Stegosaurus, Yale No. 1850, which is now in residence at MNHM. MNHM researchers are conducting a reexamination of previously excavated fossils and examining the significance of exciting new finds, such as recently discovered lungfish fragments associated with Stegosaurus No. 1850. These discoveries are providing new insights into the paleoecology of the type section of the Morrison, and forcing re-evaluation of certain well-known dinosaur species.
- 419. Old and New Geologic Studies along the Front Range between Golden and Morrison, Including Structural, Volcanic, and Economic Geology and Paleontology
Thurs., 4 Nov., US$114 (L, R).
Cosponsor: GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Leaders: Tim Connors, Geologic Resources Division, National Park Service, ; Norm Cygan; Harald Drewes; Chris Carroll.
This field trip also runs as a family trip during the meeting (see trip 415).
- We will travel 20 miles west on 6th Avenue to Golden, Colorado, where we will hike along the Golden Fault to see Laramide-uplifted late Paleozoic to early Cenozoic rocks exposed near the Colorado School of Mines campus. We’ll also view the dinosaur footprints and fossil impressions of the Denver, Arapahoe, and Laramie Formations, along with trace fossil assemblages in the Fox Hills Sandstone. At the Triceratops Trail, we’ll take a short hike to view the hadrosaur pit as well as a controversial T-rex footprint impression. Next, we’ll head to North Table Mountain in Golden to see and discuss two-stage volcanism associated with the Laramide Orogeny. Time permitting, we will venture to South Table Mountain to view the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Lunch will be at the Visitor’s Center for the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge near Morrison. After lunch, we’ll head up to Dinosaur Ridge to view Mesozoic dinosaur tracks and bones of the Dakota Sandstone and Morrison Formation and then head down-section to the nearby Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park to view the 1.4-billion-year hiatus contact between the Precambrian and the Penn-Perm Fountain Formation. Our final destination is Turkey Creek Canyon south of Morrison, where we will observe economic deposits, past and present, including a uranium roll front, oil seeps, and operating gravel quarries near Morrison. We’ll head back to Denver via C-470 and 6th Ave., arriving in Denver by 5 p.m.
- 420. A Two-Hour Walking Tour of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Laboratory
Thurs., 4 Nov.
- Sorry, this trip has been canceled.
- 421. Rapid Environmental/Climate Change in the Cretaceous Greenhouse World
Thurs.–Fri., 4–5 Nov. US$235 (B, L, D, R, 1ON).
Cosponsor: GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Leaders: Bradley B. Sageman, Northwestern University, ; Robert Scott; Kirk Johnson.
- Cretaceous deposits of the Western Interior region of North America preserve some of the best exposed and most extensively studied examples of rapid environmental and climate change in the deep time geological record. At a series of localities along the Colorado Front Range one can visit outcrops displaying the full range of depositional environments that characterized the Western Interior seaway, from coastal plain fluvial and deltaic facies to rhythmically bedded hemipelagic carbonates. The extensive epeiric sea that flooded the North American continent from Texas to Arctic Canada, and from Kansas to western Utah, is characterized by one of the richest stratigraphic, paleontologic, and biogeochemical data sets in the geologic record. Upon a foundation of detailed macro- and microfossil biostratigraphy, the correlation and radioisotope dating of widespread altered volcanic ash beds, and the quantitative analysis of rhythmically bedded hemipelagic strata interpreted to reflect Milankovitch cycles, has produced a chronostratigraphic framework that is among the best in the world. The Western Interior provides an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast stratigraphic, paleontologic, and geochemical records with those of the Songliao Basin, where an unprecedented record of terrestrial Cretaceous sedimentation is preserved.
- 422. Geologic History of the Gold Belt Byway and Western Pikes Peak Country
Thurs.–Fri., 4–5 Nov. US$264 (L, R, 1ON).
Cosponsor: Paleontological Society.
Leaders: Herb Meyer, National Park Service–Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, ; R.A. Wobus; T.W. (Woody) Henry.
- This field trip will provide an overview of the geology and regional stratigraphy of central Colorado by examining Proterozoic through Cenozoic plutonic, volcanic, and sedimentary rocks and fossils. Featured sites will include Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, the Garden Park dinosaur quarries, volcanic rocks of the Thirtynine Mile volcanic field, the Cripple Creek mining district, Proterozoic crystalline rocks of the Pikes Peak region, Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and fossils along the Shelf Road and Skyline Drive, and the Royal Gorge. Topics of emphasis will include (1) the stratigraphy, fossil flora and fauna, and paleoclimate of the Eocene Florissant Formation; (2) the impact of Eocene volcanism on the region; (3) Proterozoic plutons of three generations that record the change from plate accretion to continental extension over 700 Ma; and (4) the stratigraphy and depositional environments of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks. The geologic values underlying the possible proposal to designate this area as one of the first UNESCO GeoParks in the U.S. will be highlighted. Overnight lodging will be in Cripple Creek.
- 423. Chalk Creek Valley: Colorado’s Natural Debris Flow Laboratory
Thurs.–Fri., 4–5 Nov. US$255 (B, L, D, R, 1ON).
Cosponsor: GSA Engineering Geology Division.
Leaders: Jeffrey A. Coe, USGS, ; Jason W. Kean; Scott W. McCoy; Dennis Staley; Thad Wasklewicz.
- This field trip will visit the Chalk Creek valley, a formerly glaciated valley in the Sawatch Range in central Colorado. Debris flows along the flanks of the valley originate from surface water runoff in small, steep basins within a highly fractured and hydrothermally altered quartz monzonite that is part of the Eocene-Oligocene Mount Princeton batholith. The trip will make stops within the valley to examine recent debris-flow initiation areas, transport zones, deposits, and the impact of large pulses of debris-flow sediment on the morphology of Chalk Creek. Participants will hike ~1 km into a particularly active basin at Chalk Cliffs near the mouth of the valley. Debris flows within this basin are being monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Colorado, and East Carolina University. Monitoring instrumentation is designed to capture flow stage, pore-fluid pressure, bed-normal stress, soil moisture, rainfall, and video and still photography during debris-flow events. Terrestrial laser scanning is used to monitor topographic changes caused by debris flows. Monitoring during the summers of 2008 and 2009 captured data from five debris-flow events in the basin. Field trip participants will spend a night at a lodge or in cabins within the valley and visit the Mount Princeton Hot Springs.
GSA’s Engineering Geology Division (EGD) is sponsoring this trip. Student members of EGD who sign up for this trip will be reimbursed $100; regular EGD members will be reimbursed $30. To join EGD, contact GSA Sales and Service at +1-888-443-4472 or +1-303-357-1000.
- 424. Estimating Natural Background Groundwater Chemistry, Questa Molybdenum Mine, New Mexico
Thurs.–Sat., 4–6 Nov. US$307 (L, R, 2ON).
Cosponsors: U.S. Geological Survey; Chevron Mining.
Leaders: Philip L. Verplanck, USGS, ; Geoffrey S. Plumlee; D. Kirk Nordstrom; Bruce M. Walker.
- This two-and-a-half day field trip is an overview of a USGS project that estimated pre-mining groundwater chemistry at the Questa Molybdenum mine. The deposit is one of a series of Climax-type porphyry molybdenum systems occurring along the Red River, New Mexico. Natural acid weathering of the sulfide-mineralized rocks produced a series of erosional scars and associated debris fans feeding these mineralized rocks, their weathering products, and acidic waters into the Red River. New Mexico State regulations require that groundwater-quality standards be met at mine closure unless it can be shown that pre-mining contaminant concentrations exceeded them. Because of intense debate among stakeholders regarding pre-mining standards, the New Mexico Environment Department and Chevron Mining Inc. agreed that the USGS should determine pre-mining groundwater quality at the Questa mine. The USGS investigation utilized detailed knowledge of a proximal natural analog site and applied an interdisciplinary approach to infer pre-mining conditions. Characterization included environmental geology, AVIRIS remote sensing, mineralogy, groundwater–surface water interactions with mass balances, and chemical evolution in a debris-fan aquifer. This trip will include a surface tour of the Questa mine and key locations in the erosion scar areas and along the Red River. The trip will provide participants with a detailed understanding of processes that influence pre-mining environmental baselines in mineralized areas and estimation techniques for determining pre-mining baseline conditions using an interdisciplinary approach linking geology, geophysics, geochemistry, remote sensing, geomorphology, and hydrology. The trip will include several slightly to moderately strenuous hikes. Overnight lodging will be in Taos.
- 425. Alternative Sequence Stratigraphic Model for Channel-Shallow Marine Sandstones, Desert Member to Castlegate Sandstone Interval, Book Cliffs, Eastern Utah
Thurs.–Sat., 4–6 Nov. US$307 (L, R, 2ON). Begins and ends in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Cosponsors: GSA Sedimentary Geology Division; Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM).
Leader: Simon A.J. Pattison, Brandon University, .
- The 300-km-long Book Cliffs of eastern Utah and western Colorado are dissected by numerous side canyons and reentrants providing exceptional three-dimensional outcrop control of Campanian strata, both along depositional-dip and depositional-strike. This, combined with the near-horizontal structural configuration, makes the Book Cliffs a world-class field laboratory for studying clastic sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy. It is truly one of the few areas in the world where you can walk and drive-out time equivalent depositional units from their proximal fluvial-coastal plain environments through to the shallow marine shoreface-deltaic and shelf environments. These famous rocks have been used to develop, test, and refine sedimentological and stratigraphic ideas and models over the years, including the principles and concepts of sequence stratigraphy, and are regularly used as outcrop analogs for fluvial, deltaic, and shoreface-to-shelf hydrocarbon reservoirs worldwide. This field trip will focus on the following themes: (a) sedimentology and three-dimensional sedimentary architecture of fluvio-deltaic and shallow marine depositional systems; (b) relationship between relative sea level, shoreline position, and stratigraphic architecture in a low accommodation setting; and (c) an alternative sequence stratigraphic model for channel-shallow marine sandstones. The field trip should be of wide interest to sedimentologists, stratigraphers, oceanographers and paleontologists in a variety of academic, government, and industry positions. The Books Cliffs arguably represent the best exposed deltaic rocks in the world.
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