Monday, September 21, 2009

Utah Geological Association 2009 field trip

The title of this year's Utah Geological Association (UGA) annual publication is Geology and Geologic Resources and Issues of Western Utah. Can you guess why I was asked to be a co-editor on this publication? Ground water is a geologic resource, and western Utah sure has an issue, as readers of this blog or any newspaper in the Intermountain West will know!

Anyhoo, each year UGA sponsors a field trip for geologists to learn about the topics covered in the publication. Friday and Saturday I participated in said field trip.

(Photo by Ken K. Thanks Ken.)

Here I am with Hugh H. and Matt A., my compatriots in implementing the Utah Geological Survey's network of ground-water monitoring wells and surface-flow gaging stations in Snake Valley and other areas of the West Desert.

Gavin K. from the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) describes the monitoring SNWA is doing in the region. SNWA is applying to pump 50,000 acre-feet per year from Snake Valley. This concerns the existing Utah water right holders and others because there may not be enough water. That is why the Utah legislature appropriated $3 million to Utah Geological Survey to install this monitoring network I have been working on and posting about.

(Photo by Ken K. Thanks Ken.)

Following the SNWA presentation, Matt and I told the good folks about the UGS's monitoring program. Although the field trip was heavy on the water issues, we also made some economic and classic geologic stops. Here is Ken Puchlik telling us about the Crypto Zinc property where he hopes to mining zinc soon.

Geologist love to look at drill core.

Geologist like to talk about rocks, especially on a beautiful day.

We also like to look at fossils. These are crinoid stem pieces in the Pennsylvanian Ely Limestone formation.

OK, so it may not look like much to the untrained eye (that would be mine two seconds before the trip leader told me what these were), but the curvy lines in this rock are the oldest and most southerly Paleoaplysina (a type of algae mound) in the world!!! Please don't stop reading this blog because of this photo and caption.

We checked out King Canyon disseminated gold deposit.

The last stop was the Ash Grove Cement plant. They mine limestone and shale from the quarry behind the plant, add quartz from a nearby sandstone quarry, and burn it at 2500 degrees F using various fuel sources, including coal, tires, and diapers, or rather the extra plastic from the diapers produced at the Kimberly Clark factory in Ogden, and out comes Portland cement.
And that is how geology is a part of our everyday lives.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the cool geology pics Lucy! I'm sending a link to my son Tim :)