Monday, May 21, 2012

Busy Days!

I haven't been blogging much, and there is a reason — well, there are several reasons, a major one being the move I've been involved in since at least late April, another major one being my new job with it's longer drive time that results in essentially 11.5 to 12 hour days: leave our new place at 5:30 in the morning, arrive back sometime between 5:00 and 5:30 in the early evening, depending.

Here we are on our first U-Haul van trip, driving past some Ely Limestone on the left and right side of Highway 50 near the turnoff to Ruth, NV, with a reddish hill of Rib Hill Sandstone (??) in the sunlight straight ahead:
And we're not done with the move yet, although we're getting closer to our goal of being out of the old place and entirely ensconsed in the new place, which will entail unpacking, reorganizing, and making preparations for a related new adventure that is more MOH's than mine, but which will involve completely cleaning out and refurbishing my old truck.
The caravan on our first trip, in Jakes Valley.

Our caravan this trip will not be quite as complicated, nor will it involve my old truck or the Prius.

And here's a shot of the van with Prius in tow heading north on S.R. 278 toward what *might* be a ridge of eastward-dipping Eureka Quartzite.
Maybe we'll have time to stop and take a look at the supposed quartzite today or tomorrow or whenever we get out of town — or maybe not.

For now, back to packing, cleaning, packing, more cleaning, calling utilities et al, loading, last minute packing and more loading, driving and driving, arriving, unpacking at storage and new apt, reorganizing, trips from apt to storage and back, and whatever else I've forgotten.

Location shown below is the approximate location of the last photo.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wedge #45: Geological Pilgrimage

Having been provoked by a recent online coversation, I've decided to take a quick moment to post a (late) addition to this month's Accretionary Wedge topic, a geological pilgrimage to "a single place, which is 'geologically' unique, relatively remote, and requires some difficulty to get to.'" I had thought I wouldn't post anything, because I'm not sure of making it anywhere besides, possibly, Midas, Tuscarora, and the Galápagos Islands, all of which I've put off for years, but which are all still on my list. But, taking a page from Ron Schott, I'll post briefly about a place I'd really like to see, though I have no particular plans or prospects of getting there: the South China Karst, also here and here. I don't really know why I find the area fascinating, but here is one video showing some of the lure, with some alluring music:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Early Morning View of the Midas Trough and Jake Creek Mountain

Just a quick post showing a photo I took about two weeks ago at 5:50 am, on my early morning ride to work. We're looking easterly at a broad, generally flat-topped sloping part of the southern Snowstorm Mountains. The entire mesa-like, gently north-dipping hill may be called Jake Creek Mountain, or perhaps only its highest peak, barely visible from this angle, is called Jake Creek Mountain. Part of the abrupt slope to the south is called the Owyhee Bluffs.

The low area immediately south (right) of the central flat-topped mesa or mountain is at least locally called the Midas Trough. Tectonically, the trough is a somewhat complex graben, sharp edged on its north and south sides, bounded by ENE-trending faults (MSRMaps topography showing the Midas Trough; also see this Google Maps image). References to the Midas Trough are mostly found in the gold exploration literature and on related company websites, but was referenced in the tectonic literature at least as early as 1980. I also found a Santa Fe Pacific Mining Company reference to the fault along the north edge of the Midas Trough, which was called the "Midas road fault," presumably because it more or less follows the graveled road to the tiny berg of Midas (the date on the map says 2005, but mapping was done in 1988-1991, and Santa Fe Pacific Gold was bought by the "Evil Empire," Newmont Mining, in 1997). I'll visit Midas (the town) someday, and report back about whether Kirby's Midas Bar is still in business, the way it was during the boom days of the 1980s.

North (left) of the mesa-like Jake Creek Mountain, the next low spot is referred to as the Jake Creek graben, at least in the report accompanying Santa Fe's map. Farther north, the next hill -- also part of the Snowstorm Mountains, which trend NNW parallel to the Northern Nevada Rift, even though its southern sub-parts trend ENE parallel to the Midas Trough -- is called Kelly Creek Mountain (or at least its high point is called that; I can't get on MSRMaps at the moment to check the old topos for names).

A couple references:
Laravie, J.A., 2005, Geologic Map of the Kelly Creek Area, Humboldt, Elko, and Lander Counties, Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 05-1 -- Text, Plate 1 with the Midas road fault, Plate 2, with a more readable map explanation.

Zoback, Mary Lou, and Zoback, Mark D., 1980, Faulting Patterns in North-Central Nevada and Strength of the Crust: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 85, p. 275-284.

Location shown below is the west end of the Midas Trough.