Arizona Geological Society


Upcoming events

    • 22 Oct 2016
    • 12:00 PM
    • 23 Oct 2016
    • 2:00 PM
    • Kingman, Arizona - See Maps for Times and Locations

    The Peach Spring Tuff, its Source, the Silver Creek Caldera, and Structural Geology across the Transition Zone, Basin and Range Boundary from Kingman, Arizona to Needles, California

    Leader - Charles Ferguson, AZGS

    Dates/Time:  Saturday, October 22 through Sunday, October 23, 2016, (Optional Monday October 24th)

    General Information - This fall’s AGS field trip is an overnight excursion to northwestern Arizona including a stay at one of the many motels in Kingman in Mohave County. 

    The “formal” trip will start at noon on Saturday, October 22nd in Kingman and end at ~2pm on Sunday October 23rd in the Black Mountains a few miles west of Oatman. 

    Bracketing the formal trip will be additional stops starting early (7am) on Saturday, October 22nd and ending on Monday afternoon, October 24th.  This part of the trip will require 4WD vehicles, and for those who want to continue through Monday, a campsite in the Sacramento Mountains, California about 15 miles southwest of Needles will be used.  For Monday night, participants will be asked to provide their own camping equipment, or stay at a motel in Needles that will require them to make a 45-minute drive in the early morning in order to link up with the camping crew.

    Where and When -  Early bird portion of the field trip begins at 7AM Saturday,  October 22, 2016.  The exact coordinates for the early bird meeting place are 35 degrees 8' 45" North, 114 degrees 6' 45" West.  This portion of the field trip will require 4-wheel drive vehicles

    The first stop of the formal portion of the field trip will begin at noon on Saturday, October 22, 2016.  The exact coordinates for the first stop for the formal portion of the field trip are 35 degrees 12' North, 114 degrees 11' West.

    Maps showing starting points of the Fall Field can be downloaded here.

    Accommodations -  Sandwiches, cookies, bottled water and sodas will be provided for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. 

    Overnight accommodations and all other meals, including dinner on Saturday night and breakfast on Sunday morning in Kingman will be the responsibility of each participant.

    Contact info for motels and restaurants in the Kingman area.

    Limit of Vehicles -
    All stops are places where we can easily accommodate 24 vehicles. 

    Level of Difficulty
    -The level of difficulty for the formal trip, starting at noon on Saturday, will be quite easy.  

    All of the stops except for the last one on Sunday will be essentially road cuts or places where people only have to walk 50 yards on easy trails.  The last stop on Sunday can involve some scrambling for more intrepid souls, but also is designed for those who only want to walk a few dozen yards or so.  It will be a series of old mines right on the road with two examples of depositional contacts that are a bit harder (200-500m distance <50m climbing) to get to that I don't think everyone will want to do - at the same time there are plenty of things to look at right on the road. This will be a fairly long stop for those who want to do a little scrambling, and less so for those who are more challenged meaning that after 30 minutes to 40 minutes some people might just want to hit the road.

    Photo Caption:  View to the west from Sitgreaves Pass on old Route 66 a few miles east of Oatman, Arizona of the Silver Creek Caldera.  Gold Road Mine in the middle ground and main components of the caldera-fill depicted in solid colors in the upper view: intracaldera Peach Spring Tuff, Times Granite, and Moss Monzonite Porphyries.

    Field Trip Highlights - The main focus of the field trip is tracking the Peach Spring Tuff’s outflow sheet starting at its surrogate type locality in Kingman, through its source caldera near Oatman, Arizona, and across the Colorado River into a highly extended fragment of the caldera connected to well-known exposures of its outflow sheet in the Sacramento Mountains, California. The trip’s route will, in effect, mimic the strongly south-southwesterly extension vector Ferguson et al. (2013) and Ferguson and Howard (2014) have documented across the Colorado River Extensional Corridor.  This direction differs significantly from the west-northwesterly direction proposed and supported by many others (eg. McQuarrie and Wernicke, 2005).  The low-sulfidation quartz-calcite-adularia epithermal Gold Road vein along old Route 66 near Oatman will be the only stop on the main field trip that will involve mineralization and economic geology.

    See Map of Planned Fall Field Trip Stops.

    The purpose of the morning phase of the trip on Saturday, October 22nd is to examine new and old aspects of the Laramide McConnico mineral district southwest of Kingman, and an important outcrop of Peach Spring Tuff that is part of a controversy regarding how the Peach Spring Tuff was erupted; a recent paper that has received a great deal of global attention (Roche et al., 2016) suggests that the pyroclastic flow was slow-moving and that it may have been possible to “outrun it on a fast bicycle”.  The presence of lithic blocks not from the caldera in the outcrop we will visit on Saturday morning challenges this interpretation.

    Stops on Sunday night near the campsite in the Sacramento Mountains and on Monday will focus on the geometry of the extended caldera fragment and the nature (unconformity versus detachment) of at least two gently dipping contacts near Eagle Peak and Flattop Mountain that have long been interpreted as detachment faults.  An additional contact that had been interpreted as a detachment and then re-interpreted as an unconformity (Simpson et al., 1991) will be discussed and looked at from Eagle Wash Sunday evening on the way to the campsite, but is too hazardous to visit.

    Contact Info - If you have additional questions about the Fall Field Trip contact Charles Ferguson at (520) 444-8905 or at


    Ferguson C. A., McIntosh, W. C., and Miller, C. F., 2013, Silver Creek caldera - The tectonically dismembered source of the Peach Spring Tuff: Geology, v. 41, p. 3-6.

    Ferguson, C. A., and Howard, K. A., 2014, Early Miocene Silver Creek caldera as a strain marker in the Colorado River extensional corridor, USA: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 45, p. 608.

    McQuarrie, N., and Wernicke, B. P., 2005, An animated tectonic reconstruction of southwestern North America since 36 Ma: Geosphere, v. 1, p. 147-172: DOI: 10.1130/GES00016.1.

    Roche, O., Buesch, D. C., and Valentine, G. A., 2016, Slow-moving and dense pyroclastic flows during the Peach Spring super-eruption: Nature Comm., DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10890.

    Simpson, C., Schweitzer, J., and Howard, K. A., 1991, A reinterpretation of the timing, position, and significance of part of the Sacramento Mountains detachment fault, southeastern California: GSA Bulletin, v. 103, p. 751-761.

    • 01 Nov 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

    Sponsored by:  Independent Mining Consultants

    Minerals, Trace Elements and Human Health

    by Alexander G. Schauss

    Abstract:  Only until recently have the elements found in the periodic table received more that passing attention in human nutrition and medical textbooks. Why?

    Other than iron, which was recognized in the 18th century as a constituent of the human body, it took over 100 years before inorganic elements gained a modicum of acceptance in playing a role in human physiology, health and behavior.

    In 1789, the French chemist, Antoine Lavoisier, discussed 23 elements in his book, Traite elementaire de chimie (Elementary Treatise of Chemistry), which many consider the first textbook of modern chemistry. The book included a list of elements or substances that could not be broken down further, forming the foundation for which elements would eventually be organized into the periodic table. He was the first to predict the existence of silicon and established that sulfur was an element rather than a compound.

    In the 19th century the list of elements grew to 61, owing to a sequence of discoveries made by such eminent chemists as the Swede, Jons Jacob Berzelius, who is credited with identifying the elements cerium, selenium, and thorium, along with the work of his students who identified lithium, vanadium, and several rare earth elements. Unfortunately, Berzelius erroneously believed that inorganic substances did not play a role in human health, as he persisted in arguing that only organic substances performed such functions.

    This belief persisted for some years until the German chemist, Baron von Liebig, demonstrated that both inorganic and organic substances had the ability to nourish animals. Ultimately, this led to the conclusion that this might likely hold true for humans. Unfortunately, his research focused too narrowly on the chemistry of proteins to the point that any metals in foods were seen as little more than a residue left over after being incinerated - found in the “ash”.

    But it wasn’t just chemists who delayed the recent golden age of research on minerals, trace elements and human health that emerged in the 20th century. One must also point a finger at many prominent biologists, the medical community, and dieticians, most of whom disregarded, by arguing strongly against any role for inorganic elements in human health, with the exception of a few “toxic” elements such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

    Finally, encouraged by the work of Linus Pauling (Pauling’s rules) and others in the early 20th century, the race was on to started to understand how numerous elements influenced our health and well being.  As one element after another was experimentally demonstrated to be essential or semi-essential to health, research eventually moved on to purportedly non-essential elements sometimes referred to as “trace” and “ultra-trace” elements found in our food and water. In time, it became evident that many of these seemingly “non-essential” elements did play a vital role in the prevention, mitigation, and/or treatment of a wide range of diseases. For example, it is now becoming accepted that to build bone density, more than just calcium and hydroxyapatite is needed to maintain strong bones and prevent the development of osteoporosis.

    Today, as never before, multi-disciplinary fields have enriched our understanding of the importance of the elements listed in the periodic table and the effect they have on us. Most intriguing is emerging evidence that the sufficiency or deficiency of the element in our diet may have a multi-generational effect on the health that could affect our offspring for several generations.

    What is so puzzling is why it took so long to gain an appreciation for the role elements play on our health. We now know that metal ions regulate a vast array of physiological mechanisms important to our health.

    Today, no one disputes that without minerals and trace elements, we would not exist. A major paradigm shift in attitude, Alex has personally witnessed, during over 40 years of research on the role that minerals play in human health and behavior.

    Bio:  Dr. Schauss is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), and a Certified Food Scientist (CFS), who earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the “soft sciences” at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and his PhD in psychology at California Coast University in Santa Ana, California, where he studied the effect of zinc status on perceptual disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, as well as Parkinson’s disease.  A former Clinical Professor, and Associate Professor of Research, and lecturer in nutrition, biostatics and epidemiology, he has been a member of several committees at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), served as an advisor to foreign ministries of health, and appointed to represent the United States at the World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group on Health Promotion.

    An Emeritus Member of the New York Academy of Sciences, Founding Honorary Member of the British Society of Nutritional Medicine, and a member of the American College of Toxicology, American Society for Nutrition, American Chemical Society, International Society of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Society of Toxicology, and Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, he has been recognized for his research and work over several decades starting in 1983 as the recipient of McCarrison Lecture Award given by the Society for Nutrition and Health at Oxford, and more recently, the Linus Pauling Lecture Award for “contributions in the medical sciences” by the American College for the Advancement of Medicine.

    Currently, he is a Research Associate in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Arizona, a member of the UA Mineral Museum Advisory Board, and the Science and Conservation Advisory Council of the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum.  Among 23 books, 37 chapters, and over 175 peer review papers authored in the fields of nutrition and botanical medicine, is the book, Minerals, Trace Elements and Human Health, which will be the subject of his presentation.

    • 06 Dec 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

    Sponsored by:  Clear Creek Associates

      How the U.S.G.S. Responds to Volcanic Crises in the U.S. and Abroad with some Case Study Examples

    by John W. Ewert, U.S.G.S Cascades Volcano Observatory



Past events

04 Oct 2016 Hamish Martin Presents Geology of the Resolution Cu-Mo Deposit, Superior Arizona
06 Sep 2016 Keith R. Long Presents No Bonanza from Cheap Oil
02 Aug 2016 Lee Allison Presents The Future of State Geological Surveys: the Arizona Case Study
05 Jul 2016 Don Applebee Presents Genesis of the Chilito Porphyry Copper Deposit
07 Jun 2016 Robert Hildebrand Presents Collisions, Slab Failure Magmatism and the Development of Cordilleran Batholiths
03 May 2016 Peter Modreski will present "Pegmatites: Mineralogy, Gemstones, Economic Geology, and maybe not quite the same Giant-Crystal Rocks you always thought they were"
30 Apr 2016 Spring Field Trip - An Introduction to the Pinal Schist in Southeastern Arizona
05 Apr 2016 Jordon Bright Presents Looking for an Ocean in the Desert, the Enigmatic Bouse Formation
01 Mar 2016 Peter R. Johnson Presents Tectonics and Mineral Deposits of the Arabian-Nubian Shield
02 Feb 2016 Dr. Karen Wenrich Presents The Ga-Ge Rich Apex Mine, Utah - A Tsumeb, Namibia Analogue
05 Jan 2016 Sarah Baxter Presents Calc-silicate Alteration and Ore Characterization, ASARCO Mission Complex, Pima County, Arizona
01 Dec 2015 Peter Smith Presents The Latest News from Mars
14 Nov 2015 Fall Field Trip - Northern Plomosa Mountains and Bouse Formation in Blythe Basin
03 Nov 2015 Karen Kelley presents The Giant Concealed Pebble Cu-Au-Mo Porphyry Deposit, Southwest Alaska
06 Oct 2015 Caleb King presents Eocene Hydrothermal Systems and Contrasting Hydrothermal Alteration in the Battle Mountain District, Nevada
01 Sep 2015 Carl Bowser presents The Genesis of the Kramer Borax Deposit, Rogers Lake, Mojave Desert, CA:
04 Aug 2015 Dan Lynch presents Volcanoes in the Back Yard
07 Jul 2015 Erik Melchiorre presents The Complex Geological History Recorded by Arizona Placer Deposits:
02 Jun 2015 Jan C. Rasmussen Presents - Arizona Mineralization through Geologic Time
05 May 2015 Gordon Haxel Presents - Alpine peridotite in the desert - Arizona's Laramide subduction complex
02 May 2015 Spring Field Trip - Oak Creek - Mormon Lake Graben
18 Apr 2015 Third Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event
03 Mar 2015 Apollo 17 Astronaut and Former Senator Harrison H. Schmitt presents A Geological Visit to a Valley on the Moon
03 Feb 2015 Don Yurewicz Presents Assessing Unconventional (Continuous) Hydrocarbon Resource Plays
06 Jan 2015 Arend Meijer presents: Sulfide-rich Proterozoic Mafic Rocks and Arizona Porphyry Copper Deposits - A Connection?
02 Dec 2014 Victor R. Baker: Megafloods on Earth, Mars, and Beyond
15 Nov 2014 Fall Field Trip - Debris Flows Shape the Sabino Canyon Landscape - look out below!
04 Nov 2014 Isabel F. Barton: Historical Development & Current State of Geological Research in the Central African Copperbelt
07 Oct 2014 Apollo 17 Astronaut and Former Senator Harrison H. Schmitt presents A Geological Visit to a Valley on the Moon
02 Sep 2014 Lewis Land presents Evaluation of Groundwater Residence Time in a Karstic Aquifer System
05 Aug 2014 Jamie Molaro presents Thermal Stress Weathering in the Inner Solar System
01 Jul 2014 Jim Leenhouts presents Surface-water/groundwater Interactions in Arizona
03 Jun 2014 Arend Meijer presents Pinal Schist of So. Arizona--A Paleoproterozoic Fore-Arc Complex
06 May 2014 John C. Lacy presents The Genesis of Mining Law
26 Apr 2014 Spring Field Trip - Geology of the Christmas Porphyry Copper Deposit
24 Apr 2014 Second Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event
01 Apr 2014 Eric Seedorff presents, Structural Dismemberment of a Porphyry Molybdenum System, Spruce Mountain District, Northeastern Nevada
04 Mar 2014 John Dreier presents, Copper Deposits of the Coast Ranges of Chile; A trip through time, space, and ore deposit nomenclature
04 Feb 2014 Ralph Stegen presents The Morenci Porphyry Cu-Mo Deposit, Greenlee County, Arizona: A Geologic Summary with Emphasis on Hypogene and Supergene Mineralization
07 Jan 2014 Steve Castor presents, Mountain Pass and other North American Rare Earth Element Deposits
03 Dec 2013 Stephen Jackson, USGS, Looking forward from the past: Ecological impacts of climate change through the lens of history
05 Nov 2013 Malcolm Siegel, PhD, MPH, LJS Consulting, Inc and School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. 87047: Uranium Mining in the American Southwest: Can Medical Geologists Ask the Right Questions?
04 Oct 2013 Field Trip - H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station
01 Oct 2013 Mark Logsdon, Principal Geochemist, Geochimica, Inc.: What Does “Perpetual” Management and Treatment Mean? Toward a Framework for Determining an Appropriate Period-of-Performance for Management of Reactive, Sulfide-Bearing Mine Wastes
01 Oct 2013 Mark J. Logsdon, Geochimica, Inc., Does acid-rock drainage lead to waste-rock instability? Geological, hydrological, and geochemical framework for the Questa Mine
03 Sep 2013 Pete Reiners, UA, Geosciences Dept., Geochronology of secondary Fe & Mn oxides in bedrock
30 Aug 2013 Field Trip - University of Arizona Tree-Ring Research Laboratory
06 Aug 2013 Bill Stavast, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, The Safford Mine: What we have learned since production began
02 Jul 2013 Lukas Zurcher, USGS, presents: "Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Central Tethys Region"
04 Jun 2013 Steve Van Nort presents, "Gold Fever! The BRE-X/Busang Story
07 May 2013 Federal lands and mineral resources: Colorado Plateau uranium deposits and the Sonoran Desert Heritage
18 Apr 2013 First Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event

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