New Geologic Maps in Northern Nevada: Mount Rose NW and Herder Creek Quadrangles

 

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Preliminary Geologic Map of the South Half of the Mount Rose NW Quadrangle, Washoe County, Nevada

 Authors: Nicholas H. Hinz and Alan R. Ramelli
Year: 2016
Series: Open-File Report 16-6
Format: plate: 35 x 29 inches, color; text: 3 pages, b/w
Scale: 1:24,000
View/Download/Buy: http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Geol-south-half-Mount-Rose-NW-p/of2016-06.htm

This quadrangle straddles the north end of the Carson Range directly west-southwest of Reno and abuts the Nevada-California border. The Truckee River and Interstate 80 transect the northwest quarter of this quadrangle. This quadrangle also encompasses part of the rural community along Thomas Creek in the southeast quarter, and segments of the Steamboat irrigation ditch and part of the City of Reno urban area fall within the northeast corner.

The bedrock exposures in the quadrangle consist of Mesozoic granitic basement and Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The Tertiary section includes a complex section of lavas, intrusions, and volcanic sedimentary rocks. Many of these volcanic and sedimentary rocks were derived from a ~6-7 Ma ancestral Cascades volcanic center in the Mount Rose quadrangle, directly south of this quadrangle. Plio-Pleistocene basaltic andesite lavas and rhyolite domes locally rest on the late Miocene volcanic rocks in the middle part of the quadrangle. Principal surficial deposits include late Pliocene to modern alluvial fan and fluvial deposits, Quaternary glacial deposits, and late Quaternary mass wasting deposits. Notable deep-seated landslide complexes reside in all major drainages—including Thomas Creek, Hunter Creek, Bronco Creek, and the smaller catchments along the west edge of the quadrangle. Most of the Carson Range is west-tilted with west-dipping Cenozoic strata. However, within the Mount Rose NW quadrangle, the dip domain flips and most all the Cenozoic strata dips east with numerous west-dipping normal faults. These west-dipping normal faults are cut by younger east-dipping normal faults of the Mount Rose fault zone on the east side of the range.  East-facing Quaternary fault scarps were observed on the east side of the range and west-facing Quaternary fault scarps were observed on the west side of the range.

This geologic map was funded in part by the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program under STATEMAP award number G15AC00240, 2016.

 herdercreek

Preliminary Geologic Map of the Herder Creek Quadrangle, Elko County, Nevada
Author: Seth Dee and Michael W. Ressel
Year: 2016
Series: Open-File Report 16-5
Format: plate: 33 x 29 inches, color; text: 5 pages, b/w
Scale: 1:24,000
View/Download/Buy: http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Prel-geol-Herder-Creek-quad-p/of2016-05.htm

The map area covers part of Starr Valley, the upper reaches of the Humboldt River, and the northwest part of the East Humboldt Range.

The Ruby Mountains–East Humboldt Range metamorphic core complex is exposed in the high-relief range front in the southeast part of the quadrangle. In this area, the core complex is comprised of intensely metamorphosed and highly attenuated Neoarchean through Mississippian(?) strata, thought to be part of the platform facies of the Proterozoic through Paleozoic passive margin. Contractional structures exposed in the map area are complex and difficult to discern due to overprinted extensional deformation but are likely part of the Winchell Lake nappe (WLN), a kilometer scale, southward-closing recumbent fold-nappe mapped in adjacent quadrangles to the east. Overturned Devonian to Neoproterozoic(?) meta-sedimentary strata exposed at the highest structural levels are interpreted to be in thrust contact with an underlying, upright sequence of Cambrian to Neoproterozoic(?) paragneiss and Paleoproterozoic to Neoarchean(?) orthogneiss in the core of the fold. This structural interpretation matches those from the adjacent Welcome quadrangle (McGrew and Snoke, 2015; NBMG Map 184). Rocks in the upper part of the metamorphic core complex are pervasively overprinted by a WNW-directed mylonitic shear fabric, which records middle to late Cenozoic extensional exhumation from mid-crustal depths. Abundant sills and lenses of less deformed Oligocene to Cretaceous garnet-muscovite leucogranite and biotite monzogranite intrude all metamorphic rocks in the quadrangle.

The west side of the East Humboldt Range is bound by the active, W-dipping Ruby Mountains frontal fault zone, which extends for more than 60 km to the southwest. A west step-over in the Ruby Mountains fault south of the Herder Creek drainage results in a broad, hanging wall uplift underlain by middle-Miocene to Pliocene strata comprised of NE-dipping to flat-lying tuffaceous sandstone, shale, and conglomerate of the Humboldt Formation and younger units. A tephra in the uppermost exposed section yielded a 40Ar/39Ar age on feldspar of 5.15 ± 1.82 Ma.

Repeated late Quaternary surface-rupturing earthquakes along active traces of the frontal fault are recorded by increased uplift and dissection of Quaternary surfaces as a function of relative age. Fault scarps in Holocene deposits have up to 2.5 m of vertical separation while glacial outwash deposits from the two most recent Pleistocene glacial advances have scarp heights ranging from 6 to 32 m. The upper reaches of several drainages have well-preserved glacial moraine deposits that record the Angel Lake and Lamoille glacial advances. Adjacent to the Humboldt River, in the northwest corner of the quadrangle, 3 sets of abandoned terrace surfaces are preserved, including a broad surface comprised of gravel-rich alluvium that was likely deposited during a period of increased discharge during the latest Pleistocene.

This geologic map was funded in part by the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program under STATEMAP award number G15AC00240, 2016.

Meet the Geothermal Energy Center’s new director: Bridget Ayling took over the director position at the GBCGE last spring

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News from Nevada Today
Article by Michael Olinger, Nevada Today, 1/3/2017

http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2017/bridgetaylinggbcge?utm_source=newsletter010517
http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2017/bridgetaylinggbcge

“The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy got a new director last spring, and she travelled a long road to get to her new post.

Bridget Ayling was born in New Zealand. She has worked in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Antarctica.

“I think I’ve been really lucky to travel to some amazing places just through my job, you know, and get to some pretty rugged places to do science,” Ayling said. “Everywhere you go, every country you go to, it’s a new landscape.”Bridget Ayling

The high desert of the Great Basin is the latest landscape to welcome Ayling, who has been interested in geology from a young age. Early fascination with limestone rocks and the fossils contained therein was met with encouragement by her parents, who fostered it with the gift of numerous books.

Ayling has spent over a decade working in the geothermal energy sector, most of that time for the Australian government. After dabbling briefly in the oil and gas industries, she saw the post at the GBCGE as a unique chance to get back into the geothermal work that she loves.

“Nevada is a state that has many geothermal resources,” Ayling said. “We’re really richly endowed with geothermal.”

Since her arrival at the University, Ayling has been hard at work on a number of projects, such as reviving the National Geothermal Academy, which operated on campus from 2011 to 2014 before going dormant for the last two years. The academy is a summer program where students spend time studying drilling and reservoir engineering for geothermal energy. She is also a member of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.

Additionally, Ayling has been working on the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (or FORGE) project, a Department of Energy initiative seeking to develop a field test site for geothermal system technology development and testing. A site in Fallon was one of five potential test sites initially chosen by the DOE, who narrowed their options to two in September, with Fallon being one of those sites. Ayling and the GBCGE are currently waiting to see if their site is the one ultimately chosen by the DOE.

As of the fall semester, Ayling has not taught any classes, but that is set to change in the spring. Ayling’s class, Geology 407/607, will focus on Earth’s energy resources. She describes it as “a pretty ‘big picture’ course.”

She is also working to set up her own independent research that will shape the center.

“It takes time to build a team and have visions for what it can be in the future,” Ayling said. “It’s going to take time to realize that and actually get the funding to support it. It’s fairly small, and my key areas so far have been doing a fair bit of outreach, so doing talks at public forums, like the Geological Society of Nevada. I’ve talked up at the Desert Research Institute. Conference talks, that kind of thing. So, a bit of outreach to raise awareness that we have a center. It exists, and I’m here, and hopefully going to take it to some pretty cool places.”

University research professor Jim Faulds, a colleague of Ayling, is very happy about the work that she has done so far, and the work that lays ahead.

“She has hit the ground running at the University and is already pursuing many new opportunities in geothermal research that will earn enormous rewards for the state and Great Basin region,” Faulds said.

Ayling shares Faulds’ enthusiasm.

“The Great Basin Center is an exciting place to be,” she said. “I think to be here in Reno and to be director of the center is great.”

1997 New Year’s Floods—20th Anniversary

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The start of the new year marked the 20th anniversary of the devastating 1997 New Year’s floods of western Nevada, which caused over 450 million dollars in damage and closed downtown businesses in Reno for weeks. This event was caused by a phenomena known as the “Pineapple Express” (more generally known as an “atmospheric river”) in which several warm storms tapped into moisture plumes sourced near the Hawaiian Islands. These storms produced heavy rainfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, saturating the soil and melting existing snow pack resulting in flows around 18,000 cfs in the Truckee River. Footage from that event is shared below from the KTVN Channel 2 News Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nevada-Bureau-of-Mines-and-Geology/106397989390636
https://www.facebook.com/KTVN2/videos/10150832012069966/?pnref=story

You can also see the 1997 flood extents for the Carson River, Reno area, and Walker River in NBMG’s MyHazards-Nevada interactive web map:

https://gisweb.unr.edu/myhazards/

Click the “Floods and Drought” group (wave icon) then checkmark on the “Historical Floods – NBMG” layer to turn on the 1997 flood layers. Several sublayers available for each flood area, which can be viewed by clicking the gray triangle next to the layer names to expand the layers.

Given that western Nevada has a flood watch in effect for this weekend, it’s worth noting that there are other useful layers available in MyHazards-Nevada, such as live feeds for weather watches and advisories, radar, and current flooding, in addition to layers for other geologic hazards including a live feed for recent earthquakes.

For those interested in learning more about the 1997 New Year’s floods, NBMG Special Publication 23 is a detailed report on that event:
http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/1997-New-Year-s-floods-w-NV-p/sp023.htm
Links to other flood- and weather-related publications are available on this landing page.

AEG Monthly Dinner Meeting—January 19: “Truckee River Flood Project” talk by Jay Aldean

 

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WHAT: ASSOCIATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENGINEERING GEOLOGISTS GREAT BASIN SECTION
MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
WHEN: Thursday January 19, 2017
SPEAKER: Jay Aldean, Executive Director, Truckee River Flood Management Authority
TOPIC: “Truckee River Flood Project”
LOCATION: BEST WESTERN AIRPORT PLAZA COURT RESTAURANT
1981 TERMINAL WAY
RENO, NEVADA 89502

SOCIAL HOUR: 5:30 PM
DINNER: 6:30 PM
PRESENTATION: 7:00PM

RSVP NO LATER THAN 5PM, TUESDAY JANUARY 17TH to 775-303-8271 or ATHIBEDEAU@NEWFIELDS.COM

COST: Members: $25.00; non-members: $29.00; Student dinners sponsored by Merrily Graham and Gary Luce

ABSTRACT:
THE FLOOD PROJECT PLAN: The Flood Project Plan represents many years of planning and stakeholder coordination. The Plan is designed to provide a variety of public safety, economic, recreational and environmental benefits to the Truckee Meadows region. Its primary goal is to create a more resilient community by reducing flood damages and deaths resulting from a 1997¬type flood event (117-year event). Additionally, the Plan incorporates certain recreational and ecosystem restoration features within the footprint of the flood protection infrastructure.

THE LIVING RIVER PLAN: The Flood Project Plan is based on the “Living River Plan,” originally conceived by the Flood Project Community Coalition. Over a period of six years, our agency organized hundreds of meetings with community stakeholders in order to develop and build consensus for a regional flood management plan. The Living River Plan emphasized the community’s vision of incorporating environmentally-friendly elements into the flood protection infrastructure (“green” infrastructure) in order to reconnect the river to its floodplain, restore habitat for native species, and enhance recreational opportunities along the river. The Living River Plan was eventually presented to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) as the Locally Preferred Plan (LPP) alternative for flood risk management.

DEVELOPING A COST-EFFECTIVE PLAN: Truckee River Flood Management Authority (TRFMA) is committed to building a cost-effective flood project to benefit our community. In response to local concerns regarding the overall cost and scope of the Living River Plan (which was estimated to cost $1.6 billion), TRFMA worked with its consultants and numerous stakeholders to revise the plan, significantly reducing the cost while still providing a 100-year level of flood protection for the Truckee Meadows (thereby maintaining compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program). Through a series of meetings—including an in-depth Value Engineering exercise, the overall cost was reduced to just $446 million. This represents roughly 72% in cost savings to the communities of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County. The current Flood Project Plan retains some of the elements from the original Living River Plan and incorporates results from our updated hydraulic models.

BIOGRAPHY: Jay Aldean, PE, formerly of HDR Engineering, joined the Flood Project as Deputy Director in October 2008. Jay was appointed Executive Director in May 2012. Jay’s career spans numerous and varied assignments in the area water management. In his former position with HDR he led the Water Resources Business Class for Nevada to oversee employees, deliverables on projects dealing with flood control and drainage systems treating both water conveyance, and quality. Prior experience included a mixture of both public and private assignments. He managed the Wastewater Treatment Facilities for the City of San Antonio, Texas and initiated the Stormwater Department for the San Antonio Water System. For Carson City, Nevada he served as the Public Works Department Director. While in private practice he served as the Chief Program Engineer for Coyote Program under the Santa Clara Valley Water District in San Jose, CA. This program consisted of a number of major flood protection projects sponsored by the District and Federal and State Agencies.

New Geologic Maps in Clark County: Boulder City and Apex Quadrangles

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Preliminary Geologic Map of the Boulder City Quadrangle, Clark County, Nevada

Authors: Seth Dee, Nicholas H. Hinz, R. Ernie Anderson, and Racheal Johnsen
Year: 2016
Series: Open-File Report 16-4
Format: plate: 39 x 29 inches, color; text: 6 pages, some color
Scale: 1:24,000
View/Download/Buy: http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Prel-geol-Boulder-City-quad-p/of2016-04.htm

 A 1:24,000 scale preliminary geologic map of the Boulder City 7.5-minute quadrangle in Clark County, Nevada. This quadrangle covers portions of the southeastern River Mountains, the northern Eldorado Mountains and straddles a segment of the drainage divide between the hydrologically closed Eldorado Valley and the through-flowing Colorado River Basin. Boulder City is located in the northern part of the quadrangle, as is the in-progress Interstate 11, Boulder City Bypass. This publication includes a combination of new mapping and integration with existing mapping by Ernie Anderson.

The bedrock exposures in the quadrangle are dominated by Tertiary plutonic, volcanic, and sedimentary rocks with lesser Proterozoic metamorphic rocks and Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. In the northern Eldorado Mountains the basal volcanic section includes the early to middle Miocene, intermediate to felsic composition Patsy Mine volcanics. The Patsy Mine volcanics are locally intruded by the composite, middle Miocene Boulder City pluton. This pluton is variably hydrothermally altered with actinolite present in altered groundmass and fracture-fill veins. Both the Boulder City pluton and the Patsy Mine volcanics are locally overlain by the middle Miocene Mount Davis volcanics which consist of a syn-extensional, bimodal sequence of lavas and tuffaceous sediments. In the southeastern River Mountains, the Tertiary strata are dominated by the middle Miocene, intermediate to felsic composition Red Mountain volcanics. These rocks are intruded by a middle Miocene granitic stock, which is probably related to widespread hydrothermal alteration of the Red Mountain volcanics. Locally overlying the Red Mountain volcanics are the less altered, intermediate to silicic, volcanics of Bootleg Wash, and unaltered Mount Davis volcanics.

The bedrock in the northern Eldorado Mountains is faulted by numerous north-striking, down-to-east and down-to-west normal faults. The northeast-striking, sinistral Hemenway Wash fault transects the northwest quarter of the quadrangle, separating the Eldorado Mountains from the River Mountains. The Hemenway Wash fault is one of the faults that makes up the >100 km-long, Lake Mead Fault System. In the northernmost Eldorado Mountains, fault strikes curve from N-S to NW and to E-W as they approach the Hemenway Wash fault zone, possibly due to oroclinal flexure. Provisional analysis of new geochronologic and geochemical data acquired in this study indicate that the plutonic and volcanic strata exposed in the southeastern River Mountains may correlate directly to strata in the northern Eldorado Mountain, providing a means to evaluate a range of possible displacements across the Hemenway Wash fault.

Surficial sediments in the quadrangle are largely alluvial fan and pediment deposits ranging from historic to Pliocene in age. Early Pleistocene to late Pliocene surficial deposits are characterized by 2+ m thick pedogenic carbonate horizons, which form resistant geomorphic surfaces on the east side of the Eldorado basin and cap many of the bedrock highlands in the Eldorado range. Fan deposits eroded from altered Boulder City plutonic rocks or from Miocene basin sediments may contain redistributed actinolite-bearing clasts. One possible fault scarp was observed in a late to middle Pleistocene aged fan. No other evidence for Quaternary faulting was recognized in the quadrangle.

This geologic map was funded in part by the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program under STATEMAP award number G15AC00240, 2016.

apexPreliminary Geologic Map of the Apex Quadrangle, Clark County, Nevada

Author: Robert G. Bohannon
Year: 2016
Series: Open-File Report 16-3
Format: plate: 31 x 32 inches, color; text: 5 pages, color
Scale: 1:24,000
View/Download/Buy: http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Prelim-geol-Apex-quad-p/of2016-03.htm

The Apex quadrangle (1:24,000 scale) is centered approximately 22.5 km northeast of downtown Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada. Rocks in the quadrangle are exclusively sedimentary and include a mostly conformable sequence of Paleozoic continental shelf and platform rocks in its north half. The south half of the quadrangle is mostly Miocene interior-continental-basin deposits. Dissected alluvial deposits of Quaternary and latest Tertiary age, only the oldest of which are consolidated, discontinuously cover large lowland parts of the quadrangle. The Paleozoic rocks are deformed and in some places overturned by Mesozoic thrust faults associated with the Late Cretaceous Sevier Orogenic disturbance. A large east-vergent thrust fault with a northeast orientation, the Dry Lake Thrust, cuts the eastern half of the quadrangle, where it is mostly concealed by post-Cretaceous deposits. The thrust juxtaposes lower Paleozoic shelf rocks in the hanging wall above upper Paleozoic continental platform rocks in the footwall. Tertiary normal faults are also common and are mostly oriented northeast where they cut Paleozoic rocks. The Miocene beds, most of which post-date the northeast normal faults, are deformed by a few east-west or east-northeast-oriented faults and numerous small folds that are associated with them. The younger faults might be associated with very late-stage movement on the Las Vegas Valley shear zone which projects into the quadrangle from beneath Las Vegas Valley to the east, but the shear zone is otherwise concealed by the Miocene deposits.

News from Nevada Today

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Photo: UNR

Hawthorne, Nev. hit by three magnitude 5.5 to 5.7 earthquakes
by Mike Wolterbeek, Nevada Today, 12/28/16

“Three magnitude 5.5 to 5.7 earthquakes struck about 18 miles southwest of Hawthorne, Nevada just after midnight Wednesday December 28, 2016, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno reported. Reports so far indicate minimal damage due to the remote nature of the earthquake sequence.”

Read more:
http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2016/hawthorne-earthquakes?utm_source=newsletter122716

 

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Photo: UNR


Learn how to reduce the radon health risk
by Tiffany Kozsan, Nevada Today, 12/27/16

“January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering free radon test kits and educational presentations at various locations across the state. Free test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide from Jan. 1 through Feb 28, and will also be available at the presentations.”

 Read more:
http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2016/2017-radon-presentations-and-test-kits?utm_source=newsletter122716

Job Announcements from BLM

blm-logo

Message from BLM:  We are pleased to announce new, exciting positions available at BLM – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT.   It is our hope that qualified, career oriented individuals at your organization or other professionals known to you will actively consider this position and apply accordingly.  Efforts on your part to disseminate this information are greatly appreciated.

Job Description:  Rangeland Management Specialist;
Announcement Number:  MT-DEU-2017-0033;
Location(s) of position:  Billings, MT, US;
Salary:  $40,033 – $63,654;
Applications will be accepted until:  01/05/2017.
For additional information on this job posting, please go to:
https://jobs.mgsapps.monster.com/blm/vacancy/viewVacancyDetail!execute.hms?orgId=3&jnum=117134[jobs.mgsapps.monster.com]

Job Description:  Park Manager (Trail Center Manager);
Announcement Number:  NV Merit-2017-0135;
Location(s) of position:  Elko, NV, US;
Salary:  $71,012 – $92,316;
Applications will be accepted until:  01/04/2017.
For additional information on this job posting, please go to:
https://jobs.mgsapps.monster.com/blm/vacancy/viewVacancyDetail!execute.hms?orgId=3&jnum=117178[jobs.mgsapps.monster.com]

Job Description:  Park Manager (Trail Center Manager);
Announcement Number:  NV-DEU-2017-0058;
Location(s) of position:  Elko, NV, US;
Salary:  $71,012 – $92,316;
Applications will be accepted until:  01/04/2017.
For additional information on this job posting, please go to:
https://jobs.mgsapps.monster.com/blm/vacancy/viewVacancyDetail!execute.hms?orgId=3&jnum=117182[jobs.mgsapps.monster.com]

Job Description:  Rangeland Management Specialist;
Announcement Number:  OR-DEU-2017-0033;
Location(s) of position:  Hines, OR, US;
Salary:  $48,968 – $77,019;
Applications will be accepted until:  01/03/2017.
For additional information on this job posting, please go to:
https://jobs.mgsapps.monster.com/blm/vacancy/viewVacancyDetail!execute.hms?orgId=3&jnum=117217[jobs.mgsapps.monster.com]