Archive | October 2012

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society meeting-November 1

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Dinner Meeting: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Speakers: Lisa Shevenell, PhD; President, ATLAS Geosciences, Inc.; Research   Hydrogeologist, NBMG
Rick Zehner, Geothermal Development Associates 

Topic: Geothermal Activity in Nevada, A Summary


“Nevada has experienced a boom in geothermal exploration and development within the past six years. There have consistently been more projects under various stages of development in Nevada than in any other state in the U.S.—nearly as many as in all of the other states combined in some years. In late 2011 and early 2012, there were approximately 60 geothermal exploration projects in Nevada, in various stages of development and work activity, and others that have plans but no current activity. Trends and changes in geothermal exploration, development and company involvement over the past six years will be discussed.  The information has been compiled from various company websites, press releases, personal discussions, BLM lease data, NV Division of Minerals data, and Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) reports. The GEA reports were used to note the estimated resource size when that information was not available elsewhere (Jennejohn et al., 2011; GEA 2012). The presentation will provide a brief description of currently active geothermal exploration and development projects in Nevada and changes in activity and development over the past six years. The projects were selected on the basis of having had a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease or known land position, together with information gleaned from other non-confidential sources. Several changes in ownership, holdings, and companies involved occurred over this period of time, with the current activity exhibiting a significant downturn in comparison to that in 2008 through 2010.”

Ramada Reno Hotel; 6:30 PM
1000 East 6th Street, Reno, NV 89512

Cocktail Reception 6:30, Skyline Bar, 14th Floor
Redeem your dinner ticket for a drink at the Skyline Bar
Hosted by Barbour Well, Inc.

Dinner Served at 7:00 PM
NPS Members $20; Non-Members $23; Students $10

New logo for NPGS: “NPGS members in attendance at the November 1st meeting will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite logo.”

**RSVP to Judy Kareck (775) 827-6111 or 

Geoffrey Blewitt-new President-Elect of the American Geophysical Union Geodesy Section

Congratulations to NBMG research professor, Geoff Blewitt! As President of the AGU Geodesy Section, Professor Blewitt will serve a two-year term as President-Elect starting January 1, 2013, then continue two more years as President. The AGU has over 61,000 members from over 146 countries. Geoff is currently teaching a new geodesy course "The Physics and Engineering of GPS" in UNR’s Physics Department. Geoff’s candidate statement can be viewed here

This story on Nevada Geodetic Laboratory website,

American Geophysical Union website:

Two new earthquake publications

Map 179—Earthquakes in Nevada: 1840s to 2010
by Diane M. dePolo and Craig M. dePolo


one 40×44-inch color map, scale 1:1,000,000; folded or rolled, $18.00 or free on the Web:

Nevada is earthquake country; earthquakes occur every day in the state and a large damaging quake shakes some part of Nevada almost every decade. In fact, according to a 2006 report by the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, Nevada ranks third in the list of states with the most magnitude ≥5 earthquakes, trailing only Alaska and California.

This 1:1,000,000-scale map shows over 188,000 earthquakes that have occurred in or adjacent to Nevada over the last 170 years (1840s–2010). This map also features a series of small maps showing earthquake epicenters over four time periods.

The map was prepared by the Nevada Seismological Laboratory and the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno in cooperation with the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council, the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Special Publication 37—Damaging Earthquakes in Nevada: 1840s to 2008
by Craig M. dePolo


one 35×45-inch color poster; 4-page text, b/w; folded or rolled, $19.00 or free on the Web:

Prepared by the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology with assistance from the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, the Seismological Society of America, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency

The damaging earthquakes briefly described on this map occurred during the period from the mid-1800s to 2008. They are the largest historical examples, but do not include all significant and damaging earthquake events in the state. These events and their descriptions remind us that Nevada is earthquake country and that earthquakes will produce strong shaking within our communities in the future.

New geologic map-Jean quadrangle

Map 176—Geologic map of the Jean quadrangle, Clark County, Nevada
by Larry J. Garside, P. Kyle House, B. Clark Burchfiel, Stephen M. Rowland, and Brenda J. Buck


one 39×27.5-inch color plate
scale 1:24,000
1-page text, b/w
folded or rolled
$19.00 or free on the Web:

A 1:24,000-scale, color geologic map of the Jean 7.5-minute quadrangle in Clark County, Nevada with descriptions of 46 geologic units and 2 cross sections. Accompanying text includes full unit descriptions and references.

National Geologic Map Day-October 19, 2012

 “Celebrate the first-annual Geologic Map Day! On October 19, as a part of the Earth Science Week 2012 activities, join the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in promoting the importance of geologic mapping to society.” 


Check out the new features of the USGS National Geologic Map Database—coming October 19:

New Lake Tahoe map – from California Geological Survey

Geologic Map of the North Lake Tahoe – Donner Pass Region, Northern Sierra Nevada, California

by Arthur Gibbs Sylvester, William S. Wise, Jordan T. Hastings, and Lorre A. Moyer


“This new map of the Lake Tahoe-Donner Pass region covers the north part of the Tahoe-Truckee graben. The map represents the work of the authors with contributions from 136 students and graduate teaching assistants at the University of California, Santa Barbara over a number of years. The basement rocks in the Donner Pass region, on the west side of the graben, consist of late Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks and Mesozoic metavolcanic rocks intruded by Cretaceous granite, in contrast to the eastern side in Nevada where basement is Cretaceous granite. Tertiary and Quaternary andesitic and basaltic lava flows and andesitic volcaniclastic rocks erupted in four main periods covering the basement rocks. Seven Oligocene rhyolitic ignimbrite flow units and abundant Miocene and Pliocene andesitic flows and volcaniclastic rocks fill an Eocene paleovalley in the basement near the summit of Donner Pass. Quaternary valley glaciers and streams carved the west shoulder of the graben and deposited till, drift, and alluvium in the graben. Several major fault zones are in the graben including the Brockway Fault, the West Tahoe-Dollar Point Fault, the Carnelian and Agate Bay faults, and the Polaris Fault. The faults are right-oblique normal faults, with local strike-separations from ¼ to ½ kilometer, and all are considered to be active. The Tahoe-Sierra Frontal Fault Zone bounds the west side of the graben and vertically separates the Pliocene debris avalanche of Mt. Disney about 500 m, thus yielding a maximum age of fault displacement of about 4 Ma. Evidence for younger displacement across any of the zone’s discrete faults is scanty and not compelling.” (California Geological Survey)

MS60–California Geological Survey Map Sheet Series 60, printed map at 1:48,000 scale with an accompanying 45-page pamphlet, $30.00

Click here to order:

Jim Faulds receives DOE award


Congratulations to NBMG Director and State Geologist, Jim Faulds, for receiving the 2012 Peer Review Excellence Award from the Department of Energy last week at the annual Geothermal Resources Council Meeting in Reno, Nevada. Jim’s project, "Characterizing Structural Controls of EGS and Conventional Geothermal Reservoirs," was evaluated with hundreds of other projects last May and came out on top. This project involves analysis and cataloging of the favorable settings of geothermal systems in order to facilitate exploration and discovery of new blind or hidden systems (those with no surface hot springs), which make up the bulk of geothermal resources in the Great Basin region. The award brings national and international recognition to the project.

Jim also led two field trips for the Geothermal Resources Council meeting in Reno, including both a pre- and post-meeting, two-day trip.  About 25 people attended each trip.  The pre-meeting trip visited geothermal sites in and around the Carson Sink of western Nevada, including the Brady’s, Desert Peak, Salt Wells, and Soda Lake geothermal systems.  The post-meeting trip visited geothermal sites near Winnemucca (Blue Mountain and Rye Patch) and the Black Rock Desert area in northwestern Nevada.