Monday, December 14, 2009

Geologists Travel...Part II

Continuing one geologist's travels in 2009...

Three weeks were spent on the Hawaiian Islands, an absolutely glorious journey with enough sights (and pictures) to last a lifetime. Here, Halemaumau crater on Kilauea is belching out tremendous amounts of sulfur dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. The eruption began only a year or so earlier, with a vent 300 feet across and 600 feet deep. Lava is bubbling inside.

A July trip to Balboa Beach in Southern California saw the arrival of unusually large waves from a tropical storm off Baja. A couple of people were actually killed by them.

July also saw a trip to Lake Tahoe, the giant subalpine lake (1,700 feet deep) formed as a huge fault valley (graben) was dammed by lava flows. Mount Tallac, on the skyline, is composed of metamorphic rocks intruded by Mesozoic granitic rocks.

September included a field studies journey to the Cascades of Northern California and southern Oregon. We toured Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake (above), Lava Beds, and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

October was a field studies trip to the central Mother Lode, including an exploration of Black Chasm cave.

November included a tour of Pinnacles National Monument (above), and a Geology Club tour of Natural Bridges near Columbia in the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode.

And for December, a lot of family, and a quick look at the Grand Canyon!