Monday, September 8, 2014

Genoa Fault Field Trip

Been too long since my last blog...this summer I thought it would be "fun" to knock out my last Calculus and Chemistry classes, and take on a third for my core humanities. Boy was that dumb! Taking Chemistry122 in 4 weeks was crazy, and at least I had 6 weeks for Calculus, but passed it all so thankfully that was three classes eliminated from my Fall and Spring semesters.

This semester is Geological Engineering Data Analysis, Geological Structures, Optical Mineralogy I, and American Experience/Constitution Change...all the GEOL classes with labs. I am loving Optical Mineralogy as it plays into much of what I did this summer in my undergraduate research project. I am looking forward to learning a lot in GEDA using MatLab, which is supposedly an intuitive computer program we can write our own code far NOT so intuitive, but it is just the beginning of the Fall semester, so I cannot judge too hastily the goals of this particular class.

Structures landed us our first field study class to the Genoa Fault outcrop located just south of the little (and quite lovely) town of Genoa, NV.  NOT to be confused or pronounced like the coastal jewel of Genoa in Italy.

Anyways, back to the field trip. Our measurements were taken from the footwall which is where all the students are standing on top of the talus debris. The students are a mixture of mining engineers, geological engineers, geophysicists, and geologists. Guess who was done first with their measurements? Right, the geologists! It was fun though to watch the engineers figure out how to use a Brunton compass to measure strike, dip, trend and plunge.

UNR students taking measurements on the exposed footwall of the Genoa Fault. Note the hanging wall is far right in picture

The exposed section of the Genoa Fault above, is not the only place where it has been exposed for geologists to admire. There are other places, all which I would love to check out sometime in the near future. However, if you ever find yourself driving your car down Highway 395 in Nevada, just between Carson City and Minden, take the short side trip west towards the town of Genoa and the Historical Mormon Station, and turn left at the stop sign in town. Drive is fairly quick and you cannot miss this gigantic structure on your right as you drive. Take brunton and water as you will want to play...

Students working at deciphering grain size, lithification, and other data for their report at the handing wall of the Genoa Fault.