Archive | April 2011

Lecture by Sean Long – Monday May 2

Date/Time: 2 May 2011 (3 PM)
Location: DMS 104 (Davidson Mathematics & Science Center, UNR)

Title: Spatial patterns of internal strain and deformation temperature in the Himalayan fold-thrust belt, Bhutan: Implications for the evolution of strain in thrust sheets

Quartz microstructural analysis together with quantification of 3-D crystal-plastic strain of quartz clasts constrains deformation temperature ranges and internal strain magnitude/orientation within Himalayan thrust sheets in Bhutan. Frontal thrust sheets exhibit low-magnitude (~7%), layer-parallel shortening (LPS) strain. Further to the hinterland, thrust sheets exhibit higher-magnitude, layer-normal flattening (LNF) strain, with median strain ellipsoids of ~2.0:2.0:1.0. We propose that LPS strain developed foreland-ward of the thrust deformation front, and that LNF strain resulted from later tectonic loading by thick hinterland thrust sheets. The LPS to LNF transition occurs at minimum temperatures for quartz plasticity (ca. 250-270ºC), illustrating the first-order control of rheology on strain patterns. LNF ellipsoids are folded to the same degree as strata within thrust sheets, indicating that internal strain preceded thrust imbrication and translation. At the scale of 10’s of meters structural distance, strain magnitude of hanging wall rocks does not increase as basal thrusts are approached, which supports the existence of discrete faults with large translations, as generally depicted in balanced cross-sections, even in thrust sheets that involve low- to moderate-grade metasedimentary rocks.

Sean Long’s staff page –


Ralph J. Roberts Lecture Series – Friday April 29

The Ralph J. Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology presents the 17th Annual Ralph J. Roberts Lecture Series event at UNR. The lecture and reception are Friday, April 29, 2011, 3 PM, in the Joe Crowley Student Union, Great Room, No. 402. This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, and The Ralph J. Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology.

Speaker: Glenton J. Masterman

Lecture title: The Rosario porphyry Cu-Mo deposit, northern Chile: Hypogene upgrading during gravitational collapse of the Domeyko Cordillera

This year parking is complimentary if you park at the designated meters at the Virginia Street/Lawlor Events Center entrance. The meters are directly across from the Joe Crowley Student Union building. Signage and an attendant will be present to direct traffic to the appropriate "CREG Event" parking area beginning at 2 PM.

Lake Tahoe Basin LiDAR data released

“I’m pleased to announce that you can now download the 2010 Tahoe LiDAR data from  at your convenience.  Access to the data from the website is pretty straight forward – once you access the homepage, click on the “data” tab or “find data” button and you will be introduced to a map.  Zoom into the Tahoe Basin polygon or the area of interest.  Select the “Select a Region” button on the left hand side of the screen then select the area within the basin that you want data.  The larger the area you select, the more time it will take to process. Alternatively, at the bottom of the map, is a link to “list all datasets”, clicking this link will bring you to a list of all datasets hosted by opentopography.  You can select the Tahoe LiDAR dataset from there as well.   Follow the steps to specify what information and format you want downloaded.  I encourage you to register for an account with opentopography to gain greater access to data.  Please share this website with your colleagues.  P.S. I’d like to extend a special thank you to Graham Kent, Ramon Arrowsmith, David Saah, Chris Crosby, Toby Welborne and Watershed Sciences for making this happen.” (from  J. Shane Romsos, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Department Manager, Measurement Department)

NBMG: Nevada’s Public Safety and Economic Development Threatened by Proposed Budget Cuts


NBMG released a factsheet detailing how the proposed budget cuts to the agency will affect the state’s public safety and economic development. The factsheet is available on the NBMG website in pdf format:

Report 53 now available on DVD

R53d – Geologic assessment of piedmont and playa flood hazards in the Ivanpah Valley area, Clark County, Nevada
by P. Kyle House, Brenda J. Buck, and Alan R. Ramelli

 A comprehensive surficial geologic mapping effort was undertaken to support the development of a series of relative flood hazard maps of the Ivanpah Valley area, Clark County, Nevada. The study area spans approximately 1030 km2 (398 mi2) and is defined by all of three and part of one internally drained basins between Las Vegas and Primm, Nevada. The proximity of the study area to Las Vegas makes it a likely site of urban and suburban development in the near future, and it is currently being considered for the construction of a major airport facility. The geologic study focused on the delineation of surficial deposits of alluvial, aeolian, and playa sediments ranging in age from recent to late Miocene (approximately 5.6 million years old). Mapping emphasized the discrimination of active alluvial and playa surfaces from relict, inactive surfaces for the purpose of developing a relative flood hazard characterization to provide a baseline physical data set to guide floodplain management and more detailed studies related to hazard mitigation efforts in the area. Ideally, the maps will help planners understand the distribution of flood hazard conditions in the valley and direct mitigation efforts and engineering studies to areas with the highest potential for flooding. Study results indicate that 60% of the total study area (236 mi2) is composed of surficial geologic deposits. Within that subset, nearly 75% (175 mi2) is subject to a relative flood hazard level deemed greater than “none”, and nearly 53% of that area (125 mi2) is classified as having a hazard status high enough to represent a significant concern for floodplain management. A series of 9 maps and a complete digital GIS dataset accompany this report.

Report 53 (online version) – available free on the Web

Project DVD
A project DVD is available that contains all of the digital data used in developing the maps described in this report, including: geologic data geodatabase; field point and photo geodatabase; *.mxd files used in ArcMap to display and print the maps; layer files (*.lyr) that ensure the data are displayed the appropriate way; and *.pdf files of each map (plates 1–9).

Report 53d, DVD version, $20.00
You may place an order for other publications or check for shipping charges through our shopping cart at

Mackay awards for three NBMG faculty/staff members

The following awards will be presented at the Mackay Student Awards Banquet on Friday, April 29:

Jennifer Mauldin: Alice Kellames Award for Outstanding Classified Service
Corné Kreemer: Mackay Faculty Achievement Award
DD LaPointe: Mackay Award for Excellence

Congratulations to Jennifer, Corné, and DD!

John Mackay Annual Student Awards Banquet
Joe Crowley Student Union Ballrooms B & C – Apr 29, 2011
Tickets are $10 for students and $25 for all others.

To reserve, please make out checks to UNR Foundation/Banquet and mail to Melodie Gander, MSESE Director’s Office, University of Nevada, Reno, MS 0168, Reno, NV 89557-0168, or call 775.784.6987 to reserve by credit card. Please RSVP by April 22nd!

Mackay Rockhounds mineral sale – this Saturday

The Mackay Rockhounds will be holding a mineral sale this Saturday, April 9, from noon to 3 p.m. in front of the John Mackay statue on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The museum will also be open during that time, so it’s a great opportunity to visit with your family and/or friends while supporting the Rockhounds.