American Exploration & Mining Association Annual Meeting—December 1–6

Look for these booths at the AEMA convention:
654—Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
218—Center for Research Economic Geology (CREG)
119—Geological Society of Nevada
117—Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering
115—State of Nevada-Division of Minerals

2019 Nevada Mineral Exploration Summit (NMEC) Tuesday, November 12 – Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Location: Atlantis Resort & Casino

“Join with your exploration colleagues for 1½ days of presentations and panel discussions covering the latest information on topics relevant to your success in a rapidly-changing exploration landscape.

You will hear from internationally-recognized authorities, Nevada legislators, county commissioners, state and federal agencies, and your fellow explorers.

Keynote speaker, Rod Eggert, PhD, an expert from the Colorado School of Mines and the Critical Materials Institute, will bring you up-to-date about the looming minerals supply crisis being brought on by the shift to a low-carbon future.

Rick Rule, the President and CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings, Inc., and expert on natural resources companies and investing, will present insights on the perceptions of Nevada’s prospectivity, political and regulatory climate, and investment attractiveness as viewed by outside companies and investors.”

Initial list of speakers (others to be confirmed):
Rick Rule (President and CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings, Inc.)
Rich Perry, Administrator, Nevada Division of Minerals
Todd Process, Branch Supervisor, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
Mark Compton, Executive Director, American Exploration & Mining Association
Dana Bennett, PhD., President, Nevada Mining Association
Allen Biaggi, Sagebrush Ecosystem Council
Rod Eggert, PhD, Critical Minerals Institute, Colorado School of Mines
John Muntean, PhD, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and Director of the Center for Research in Economic Geology (CREG) program

AEG Monthly Meeting—Thursday, November 7

Chad W. Carlson, Ph.D.

Oroville Dam Emergency Response: Geologic Considerations for Spillway Repairs and the Engineering Geologists’ Contributions during Construction

Abstract: At 770 feet (235 m) high, Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the U.S. An earthfill-embankment dam on the Feather River just east of the city of Oroville, California, Oroville Dam serves mainly for water supply, hydroelectricity generation, and flood control. The catastrophic failure of the Oroville Dam main spillway during use forced dam operations to stop release of reservoir waters to minimize damage. The subsequent rise in reservoir levels brought into use the emergency (auxiliary) spillway for the first time since dam completion in 1968. The rapid headward erosion across the native landscape toward the crest of the emergency spillway, and its potential for an uncontrolled release of flood waters, was the deciding factor to the downstream evacuation of nearly 200,000 residents on February 12th, 2017. Two and a half years later, with temporary and permanent repairs in place during the runoff seasons of 2018 and 2019, respectively, the majority of work at Oroville Dam is now complete and public access across the dam and spillways to the boat ramp has been restored.

Construction on or into competent rock was a primary consideration during repairs and new construction of Oroville Dam spillways. While the high strength (~50,000 psi) of metamorphic rock (amphibolite) provided sound foundation, localized zones of deeply-weathered bedrock were present across the site. The original construction of main spillway infrastructure on severely weathered bedrock in some places was determined to be the principal contributing factor to its failure. These weathered zones are commonly associated to regional deformation (e.g., foliation and periods of subsequent faulting/shearing). Detailed geologic mapping, exploratory drilling, and geophysical methods were used to assess rock characteristics prior to construction.

During construction, engineering geologists monitored drilling of Main Spillway anchors into bedrock, Secant Pile Wall installation at the downstream end of the Emergency Spillway, slope stability, and numerous other tasks onsite. The in-field engineering geologists’ real-time observations during construction verified spillway design specification were met and aided in the rapid completion of Oroville Dam repairs.

Biography: After 13 years working in Naval and commercial aviation, I found myself with an opportunity to change the direction of my professional life. Being a Fresno native, I returned home in 2005 and registered for courses at Fresno City College. Not long after, I chose to enter studies focused in the Geological Sciences. Having completed much of my lower division requirements, I transferred into the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Fresno State the fall of 2007. Working with Dr. John Wakabayashi, I completed a senior thesis interpreting the late Cenozoic uplift history of the central Sierra Nevada and graduated in 2009 with my undergraduate degree in Geology. My earlier goals of going into industry and applied geology were thwarted with my new found passion for geologic research. The fall of the same year I re-entered Fresno State to begin a Master of Science degree working with Dr. Christopher Pluhar. Using paleomagnetics of volcanic rocks I studied the vertical-axis rotations of crust east of the Sierra Nevada in the west-central Walker Lane. As my master’s work was drawing to an end, I considered my options and decided to try applying to a doctorate program. After acceptance to the University of Nevada, Reno, and while still writing my Master’s thesis, I began working with Dr. James Faulds in fall of 2011 to further the understanding of dextral shear accommodation and strain transfer at the transition between the northern and central Walker Lane. While juggling a teaching assistantship and coursework the first year in Reno, I managed to complete my Master’s in Geology the spring of 2012 at Fresno State. Combining detailed geologic mapping and paleomagnetic research, I finished my Ph.D. in Geology the summer of 2017. With little time to relish my accomplishment, I soon found myself full circle back to applied geology working on the spillway repairs of the Oroville Dam as an independent geologic consultant for InfraTerra, Inc. With my experiences from Oroville, and a new position with Lettis Consultants International, Inc., I look forward to becoming a licensed Professional Geologist while continuing my research endeavors to expand my knowledge base in all aspects of geology.

Chad W. Carlson, Lettis Consultants International, Inc. (InfraTerra, Inc.) carlson@nevada.unr .edu




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.

NPGS Monthly Meeting—Thursday, November 7

Speaker: Rick Zehner
Topic: Travelogue and Early-Stage Geothermal Exploration in Papua New Guinea
Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
November 2019 NPGS Meeting
Nov. 7, 2019, 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction

Abstract: Papua New Guinea (PNG) is located off the beaten track to the north of Australia and just south of the equator. Eight million people spread over a tropical archipelago speak over 800 different languages, along with German and Australian colonial influences. The country is resource-rich but lacks enough power generation for speedy development.

Geologically, the area is a mishmash of continental and oceanic plates grinding together, having some of the highest subduction rates on the planet. This has created an environment friendly for magma generation, volcanoes, and geothermal systems. Its one existing 65 MW geothermal power plant is located on Lihir Island and serves to power an epithermal gold mine.

The Provincial Government of Madang commissioned the authors to conduct a geothermal reconnaissance of Karkar Island, an active stratovolcano located in the Bismark Sea, and having no known geothermal system. How we planned and implemented this survey (satellite thermal IR, shallow temperature survey, etc.), and the resulting successes and failures of the project will be discussed.

Since our shallow temperature equipment was already at PNG, we were asked at the last minute to implement a survey at the known geothermal system at Rabaul, the former provincial capital of East New Britain. Rabaul lies at the north end of an active caldera that hosts Tavurvur Volcano, whose 1997 eruption buried half the town in over a meter of ash. However, the geothermal system associated with Tavurvur is robust and is located only about 4 km from the main substation. Geothermometry and shallow temperature data from the Rabaul geothermal system will be presented.

The talk will hopefully stitch together some of the cultural and geologic aspects of PNG, using photos and some of the early-stage data that we collected.

Bio: Rick Zehner is an experienced exploration geologist with a strong background in generative and project work in both the geothermal and precious metal industries. He has conducted exploration, mapping, site assessments, due diligence, rotary and core drilling, and other development activities in the western U.S., Alaska, Yukon, Indonesia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and Serbia. Proficient in GIS and database management. He has worked in federal and state geologic agencies, universities, major mining companies, small startups, and is currently an independent consultant. Rick is a Certified Professional Geologist, and has MSHA open-pit certification.

Cocktails, wine and beer will be served starting at 6:30 pm, and dinner is served at 7:15 pm.

The bar will be sponsored by Di Drill Survey Services.

Click here to register online and reserve your seat.

Nevada Geology Calendar 2020

Designed by Jack Hursh, Jennifer Vlcan, and Chris Henry
Series: Calendar CAL2020
Format: 13 x 9.5 inches, full color
Sneak preview and preorders here:

You can preorder now and calendars will be shipped as soon as they arrive (around mid-November). We will send an announcement when calendars are available for pickup at our office at GBSSRL.

This 12-month calendar (January through December 2020) is full of beautiful photos highlighting Nevada’s scenic wonders and features a different geologic topic each month: Clan Alpine Mountains, White River Country, East Humboldt Range, Strata, Fissure Ridge, Little High Rock Canyon, Ragged Top, Nevada’s Largest Earthquake, Geothermal Energy, Clayton Valley Dunes, Walker Lane, and Mormon Well Road. The calendar also includes interesting facts about Nevada and the geology of the state.

Free campus delivery: For those on the University of Nevada, Reno campus who would like free delivery, you may select “Pick up” on the shopping cart so you will not be charged for shipping and then under “instructions” type “UNR campus mail delivery.” Please be sure to give us your campus mail stop and department name.

Calendar photo contest for 2021: If you have amazing photos of Nevada geology that you would like to share with others in the 2021 Nevada Geology Calendar, you can enter the photo contest now!

Here are the details for the 2021 calendar contest:

  • Deadline for entries is May 31, 2020.
  • Photos need to be taken in Nevada. A location description and/or GPS coordinates should accompany submissions along with description.
  • High-quality, high-resolution photo files of at least 300 DPI are required for quality printing.
  • You may enter as many photos as you wish.
  • Email submissions to Jack Hursh (
  • NBMG Cartographers will make the final decision on the winning photos.
  • Prizes will be awarded for first-, second-, and third-place winners.
  • Check out other photos of Nevada geology on the NBMG website.

Major Mines of Nevada 2018

By Rich Perry and Mike Visher, Nevada Division of Minerals
Series: Pamphlet (Major Mines) P-30
Format: 28 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches

Paper copies will be available soon.

This is the thirtieth of an annual series of summary reports on major mines of Nevada. Sand and gravel operations are not included. Information on employment and production for the calendar year 2018 was provided by the individual mine operators. The Nevada Division of Minerals maintains a complete register of Nevada mines. For further information, contact them at 400 W. King, Suite 106, Carson City, Nevada 89703 or call (775) 684-7040, fax (775) 684-7052, or visit their website at

Map locations of all major mines are shown and an overview of mineral production and its effect on Nevada’s economy is presented.