Archive | January 2019

Job Announcements from BLM

We are pleased to announce a new, exciting position 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:  Petroleum Engineer;
Announcement Number:  NM-DEU-2019-0018;
Location(s) of position:  Farmington, NM, US;
Salary:  (USD) $33,394 – (USD) $99,920;
Applications will be accepted until:  01/11/2019.
For additional information on this job posting, please go to:!execute.hms?orgId=3&jnum=122257


Association of Engineering Geologists, Great Basin Chapter: Monthly Dinner Meeting—January 10, 2019

SPEAKER: Shawn Gooch, P.E.
TOPIC: Water Pollution Control Permitting in Nevada for Metals Mining

ABSTRACT: Metals mining in the State of Nevada that uses mechanized equipment is required to obtain a  Water  Pollution  Control  Permit  from  the  Department  of  Conservation  and  Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation (BMRR) pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes 445A and Nevada Administrative Code  445A. BMRR’s Regulation Branch operates under these statues and codes with a mission to provide protection of “Waters of the State” by enforcing water pollution control regulations at mining facilities. The presentation will provide an overview of typical water pollution control permitting for small and large scale metals mining. The presentation will also cover new 2018 regulations and upcoming changes and improvements to the permitting process. Some general attention will be given to reclamation and closure topics as well as inspection and compliance activities. The presentation will emphasize containment of process solution through a variety of methods including use of synthetic liner systems, secondary containment systems, double containment, and QA/QC procedures.

For a detailed biography, please click here:

The Bar is sponsored, and we are providing complimentary dinners to the first three students who submit RSVP’s. Any additional students will be charged $25.


Social Hour Sponsored by Doug and Merrily Graham
Cost: Members: $30.00 ~ Non-Members: $32.00 ~ Students: $25.00
Currently seeking a sponsor for student dinners!


Please give us a 48 Hour Cancellation Notice if you are not able to attend. “No shows” without proper notification will be charged. You will be responsible for your invited guests who do not comply with the cancellation request.  Thank you.

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS) Monthly Dinner Meeting—January 10, 2019

TOPIC: Stratigraphy, structure, and fluid flow at the Soda Lake geothermal field, western Nevada, USA
SPEAKER: Holly S. McLachlan

ABSTRACT: The Soda Lake geothermal field lies in the south central Carson Sink basin in northwestern Nevada. It is within the Basin and Range province, a world-class geothermal region with significant untapped potential. Basin and Range geothermal systems can often be ‘blind’, and have little or no surface expression. The Soda Lake well field taps one of these blind systems, and as a result, the controls on geothermal fluid flow are not discernable at the surface. However, Soda Lake has produced electricity for over 30 years, and a great wealth of subsurface data has been acquired since the area was first explored in the early 1970s. Both legacy and new (c. 2010) data were used in this study to model the geology of the Soda Lake field, and to estimate the most likely fluid upflow paths.

The stratigraphic framework of the field was re-modeled from drill cuttings and borehole logs at the outset of this study. A 3D geologic model of the field area was then constructed based on 1) the re-interpreted well data, 2) bedding attitude estimates from seismic surveys and borehole logs, and 3) a fault pick set obtained from a previous study of the Soda Lake 3D seismic volume. Prior to building the geologic model, the preexisting seismic fault pick set was enhanced along strike and extended to >2 km depth using well intercepts and 2D gravity profiles. The resulting fault framework served as the initial input in the modeling workflow. A ‘horizon’ model was then built around this fault framework to generate a 3D block model of geology at the field. In the final phase of this study, the Soda Lake temperature anomaly was modeled in a series of cross-sections extracted from the geologic block model. Equilibrated well temperature data were interpreted in context with the geology, PTS data, and well schematics in order to identify likely upwelling and outflow conduits.

There are three major stratigraphic packages at the Soda Lake field: 1) unconsolidated basin fill, 2) Miocene bedrock, and 3) Mesozoic basement. Basin-fill sediment is ~1 km thick at Soda Lake, and can be divided into two units based on grain size and provenance. The basin fill section is underlain by a ~1 km thick Miocene bedrock section comprised of mafic lavas (75%), mafic to felsic tuffs, and sedimentary rocks. This late to middle Miocene package lies unconformably on Mesozoic metasediments and granite. The structural fabric of the field area is defined by a series of east-dipping, northerly-striking normal faults that bound a series of west-tilted half-grabens. Five of these east-dipping faults define the west side of a deep graben in the center of the Soda Lake field, and they step to the left in tandem a few hundred meters west of the most densely drilled part of the well field. The easternmost of these, the Blue3 fault, accommodated the most slip. A northeast-striking splay, the SWX fault, intersects the Blue3 fault slightly southeast of the left step. The hottest, highest flow rate wells are in the dilatational southeast quadrant of this fault intersection, and are interpreted to intersect upflow zones that converge on the Blue3 fault at ~1.2-1.5 km depth.

BIO: Holly S. McLachlan
M.S. Stanford University, 1993, Brecciation and its relationship to gold mineralization and wall-rock alteration in the Round Mountain epithermal gold/silver deposit, Round Mountain, Nevada, 139 p Advisor: Dr. Marco T. Einaudi.
~15 years as a geologist in the Nevada mining industry with Santa Fe Pacific Gold, Hecla, Newmont, Placer Dome, Harvest Gold and Rye Patch Gold.
PhD. UNR, 2018, Stratigraphy, Structure, and fluid flow at the Soda Lake geothermal field, western Nevada, USA; 258 p. Advisor: Dr. Jim Faulds.

The event details are as follows:
Date: Jan 10, 2019; 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction
Click here to register online and reserve your seat:

Because there is a limited capacity for this event, we recommend advanced registration.

For further information contact:
Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Phone: (775) 800-1862

Keystone Thrust Trail in Red Rock Canyon NCA—NBMG Story Map

Story maps are an excellent way to share content in order to help the public, students, teachers, and researchers alike in learning about a specific topic. These story maps make it easy for us to organize our maps, photos, research, and geography to tell a story. Rachel Micander with the Cartography and GIS group at NBMG has recently created a story map featuring the Keystone thrust trail and geology of the area. The story map features photographs of the fantastic geology of the Keystone thrust fault and a short virtual “hike” along the Keystone thrust trail in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area! Explore this unique region in more detail here:

KNPR Audio Interview with Seth Dee

UNR Uncovers New Earthquake Faults in Nevada
KNPR, 1-2-19, by Kristy Totten

The complete article is copied below.

A new kind of mapping technology being used by the University of Nevada, Reno sounds a little like X-ray vision.

It can create incredibly accurate topographical maps using lasers.

“Basically, it’s sending pulses of light, which gets bounced off whatever it hits off first, and bounces back up to the sensor on the instrument,” said Seth Dee, a mapping specialist with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.

The laser technology is attached to airplanes that fly over swaths of land collecting data. The flyover of the Reno and Carson City areas happened in the fall of 2017 but it wasn’t until this past summer that UNR received the data.

So far, the research has uncovered previously unknown earthquake faults, landslides and even an Ice Age lake that no longer exists.

But that’s not all LiDAR data can do, Dee explained. Because of how the light bounces off objects it registers vegetation but researchers can delete that data to look only at the ‘bare earth’ picture.

Biologists, on the other hand, can use the vegetation data for their own look at the tree canopy.

Dee said the information gathered in the mapping for Nevada can be used by a myriad of industries and researchers to find everything from dangerous abandoned mines to roadside ditches.

For Dee and his colleagues, they’re getting detailed information about fault lines they knew about in the Reno area but now understand much better.

“What this helps us do is map those a lot more accurately and analyze them in a way that can help us rank their relative hazard,” he said.

The new fault lines they found were in the mountains west of Reno that were difficult to map because of all the vegetation.

“When you don’t have LiDAR, it is essentially blurry and when you do have this it’s like you put on glasses and can see all these things,” Dee said.

View the story map here and search for your house and other landmarks here.

Guest: Seth Dee, Geologic Mapping Specialist, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Below the Neon: Reno’s Bare Earth Recent Reno–Sparks–Carson City Lidar Acquisition Project

Story maps provide an excellent means for NBMG staff to share information about programs and activities throughout Nevada with the public. NBMG Cartography and GIS group members Irene Seelye and Rachel Micander have created a story map documenting the recent lidar acquisition in the greater Reno–Sparks–Carson City area. This story map, titled “Reno’s Bare Earth: Below the Neon,” documents the differences between various quality levels of lidar data, air photos, and the bare earth data that are obtained with lidar. This recent lidar acquisition was made possible with matching funds from the Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno and through partnerships with the Washoe Regional Basemap Committee, the US Forest Service, Lyon County, and Storey County. Read more about the plan, collaborators, and the final products here:

Revealing our dynamic landscape through new high-resolution topographic data: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology’s regional-scale lidar mapping provides novel insights into earthquake, flood and glacial history
Nevada Today, 12/18/2018, by: Jane Tors

The complete article is copied below.

If you could pull back the vegetation and man-made structures and have a high definition view from above, what would you learn about the landscapes and valleys below? A lot, it turns out.

A significant recent effort by the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) utilized airborne lidar technology to produce high-resolution topographic maps of the Reno–Sparks–Carson City area. The data will benefit a number of in-progress Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology studies to understand earthquake and flood hazards, as well as natural resources.

Preliminary project findings include:

  • The discovery of more than two dozen, previously unknown earthquake faults, plus better understanding of many previously identified faults.
  • The extent of large and geologically young landslide deposits at the mouth of Ophir Creek in Washoe Valley.
  • Evidence for a large lake during the end of the last ice age in Lemmon Valley.
  • The size and geologic history of ice-aged glaciers on Mount Rose.

Using Light Detection and Ranging technology, or lidar, the project collected data by bouncing light pulses off the surface of the earth. The result is a high-resolution, three-dimensional topographic map that allows improved identification of geologic features such as flood plains, glacial deposits and earthquake faults. This can also support the assessment of ecological systems, infrastructure planning and the identification of geothermal reserves to support clean-energy production.

The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology created an online story map, titled Reno’s Bare Earth: Below the Neon, to document the project and share examples of lidar images. Visit the story map at

A Collaborative Effort

Under the direction of Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Director Jim Faulds and spearheaded by faculty member and Geologic Mapping Specialist Seth Dee, the project received initial funding through the USGS and Research & Innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The many significant implications of this high quality dataset were quickly evident. Several entities and agencies recognized this potential and extended financial support to allow the lidar data to be expanded in areal coverage and acquired at a greater level of resolution. The Washoe County Regional Basemap Committee, the U.S. Forest Service, Lyon County, Storey County, City of Reno, City of Sparks and NV Energy are among those that provided additional support for the project and are now using the data for planning or hazard mitigation.

Exploring Nevada’s Wide-Open Spaces

Through the USGS’s 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), lidar mapping has been completed in many other states, though typically concentrated in urban or well-populated settings. The USGS 3DEP program requires a 1:1 funding match, which is easier to obtain for more populated areas with large amounts of private land. In the wide-open spaces of Nevada, where approximately 86 percent of the state is owned by the federal government, it is more difficult to obtain this match and thus lidar acquisitions have progressed more slowly compared to other regions. This presents opportunities for future work in the region and adds the element of discovery to nearly any lidar acquisition in the state.

“Nevada is still the wild west,” said Rachel Micander, a geographic information system analyst in the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. “There’s a lot going on in this state from the geographic and geologic perspectives. Nevada is the second most mountainous state and the state with the most named mountain ranges.”

“Nevada is still relatively unexplored; we are still figuring it out,” said Faulds. “We don’t know as much about our flood hazards compared to many other parts of the country, and we continue to find new earthquake faults. There’s a whole element of discovery here that isn’t happening in other areas.”

Seth Dee remarked that the new lidar data acquisition for the area “is the equivalent of getting a much better lens on a telescope. The best topography widely available 20 years ago was from contours every 40 feet on a topographic map. With lidar we get a grid of data with elevation measurements spaced at least every meter (~3 ft), accurate to 10 cm (4 inches) vertically. We can now quickly map sub-meter geologic features, in addition to countless applications in other disciplines.”

Understanding Hazards

It’s well known that Nevada is a seismically active state. Faulds noted that understanding the geologic setting and finding new faults should not be a cause for concern, but rather recognized as valuable information in the effort to monitor seismic activity, mitigate hazards, aid in the planning of infrastructure and development, and guide future geologic exploration.

“These data can help us focus in on where to conduct our geologic work,” he said. “We see there is a fault scarp at a certain location; we now know we need to go there to learn more.”

The mapping data also informs flood planning by accurately defining what land could be inundated when flood waters rise. The Reno’s Bare Earth: Below the Neon online story map, which was developed by Micander and her fellow geographic information system analyst, Irene Seelye, shows the example of the Carson River near Dayton, Nevada.

The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology team is understandably proud of the project and deeply appreciative of the support and engagement behind it.

“This demonstrates the University’s public service role and the role of statewide programs that are out there doing things for the public good,” said Faulds.  “This is a great example of partnership and what we strive to do to achieve really broad benefits.”


Researchers made 3D laser maps of northern Nevada and the data is available to anyone online
Reno Gazette Journal, 12/21/18, by Benjamin Spillman

This story includes a video interview: “Researcher Seth Dee of University of Nevada explains how recently made LiDAR maps of Reno and Carson City will help Nevadans for years to come.”

New Report at NBMG

Opportunities for Precious Metals Toll Processing and Copper Concentrate Processing in Nevada
by Thomas J. DeMull, David A. Davis, Lucia M. Patterson, and Joel Lenz
Year: 2018
Series: Report 57
Format: 44 pages (6 pages are 11×17), color

Endeavoring to facilitate economic development in the minerals industry, the Nevada Commission on Mineral Resources initiated this study on opportunities for precious metal custom milling and copper concentrate processing in the state. The study compiled a listing of 51 existing processing facilities, including key data such as location, ownership, process type, and capacity, if available. Brief descriptions of the existing facilities are provided. A number of these facilities are either actively engaged in custom processing or will consider custom processing of materials. Precious metal resources that could become candidates for custom processing were identified, and descriptions of the resources are provided. Since ample opportunities for custom processing precious metal ores already exist, the viability of establishing a new plant for precious metals is questionable. Reactivating one of the idle plants would likely be more attractive than building a new one.

Undeveloped copper resources in Nevada are identified, including estimates of potential production that could feed a copper concentrate processing facility. The volume of existing copper concentrate production in Nevada is probably not adequate to support a concentrate processing facility. However, a case could be made for establishing a concentrate processing facility in Nevada, if production from other western states that is now exported and the potential production from undeveloped resources in Nevada and other states are considered along with the current Nevada production. Copper smelting and concentrate leaching are listed as alternative processing technologies. Autoclave leaching of concentrates is a lower capital cost alternative, which could increase the economic attractiveness of a copper concentrate processing facility. Potential developers could include the producers of concentrate and operators of concentrate processing facilities in other states. Nevada is a mining-friendly jurisdiction, and potential locations for a copper concentrate processing facility were identified with access to transportation, energy, and air basins with no current sources of emissions. Development of a concentrate processing facility may attract downstream copper facilities such as rod plants, wire manufacturers, brass mills, and copper-alloy manufacturers.