Online Glossary of Geology from AGI— Free Access through June 30

AGI logo

A message from AGI: “The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is providing free individual access to its Glossary of Geology Online Service through June 30, 2020 in order to assist students, educators and other geoscience professionals who may be forced to sequester at home due to the spread of COVID-19.

The online Glossary provides access to the more than 39,000 glossary entries contained in the Fifth Edition of the print Glossary. Users can learn the difference between look-alike pairs, such as sylvanite (a mineral) and sylvinite (a rock); the origin of terms; the meaning of abbreviations and acronyms common in the geoscience vocabulary; the dates many terms were first used; the meaning of certain prefixes; and the preferred term of two or more synonyms. Many Glossary entries contain a syllabification guide and background information.

The online Glossary is searchable using terms, words within terms or definitions, categories and Spanish-language equivalents. Boolean operators (and/or/not) are available for each search field. Search fields may also be combined or may be browsed using a pop-up word wheel.

You will need to set up your own password and login to use the Online Glossary.

There is no obligation and AGI does not sell nor rent personal information. If you cannot use the online service, or know someone that can’t, we have a drastically reduced bundle of the print versions of the Geoscience Handbook and Glossary of Geology available for only $80.00.

For more information on this and anything else at AGI please contact John Rasanen at”

Carson City Aftershocks Continue after Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake

Carson City Aftershocks Continue after Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake: College of Science Seismological Lab Tracks Seismic Activity in Silver State
by Mike Wolterbeek, Nevada Today, Research & Innovation, March 26, 2020

Read the full story and learn more about earthquake planning in Nevada!

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Publication Sales and Information Office At Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library Closure—Effective March 18, 2020

As part of the University of Nevada’s effort to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Publication Sales and Information Office located at the Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library (GBSSRL) at 2175 Raggio Parkway in Reno will be closed to walk-in business for at least 30 daysThe Geological Society of Nevada Office in our building will also be closed.

You can still place orders on the shopping cart or by sending an email to

Please expect a week or more delay in our ability to fulfill mail orders.

This closure will be in effect until further notice. Please check our website for updates.

Much information can be downloaded for free from our open data portal, Mining District Files, or from our shopping cart (Look for the “PDF” link under the “FREE DOWNLOADS” heading on the publication landing pages).

Information on using spatial search

NBMG faculty and staff located in the SEM Building on the University of Nevada, Reno campus will also be working remotely from their homes since the campus will be closed.

If there is an emergency due to a geologic hazard event, please contact Jim Faulds, NBMG Director and State Geologist:
Cell Phone: 775-813-1895
Office Phone: 775-682-6650

We are sorry for this inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding!

NPGS April Meeting—Canceled

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS)
Canceled Speaker: Michael Say
Canceled Topic: Late Miocene transition between Basin and Range extension and Walker Lane tectonics, northern Pine Nut Mountains, Nevada: New insights from geologic mapping and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology

A message from NPGS: “The NPGS board has decided to cancel the April dinner meeting in light of the ongoing concerns surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  While we always look forward to an engaging evening of great food and stimulating presentations and discussion, we know that the health and safety of our membership is far more important.  We will be providing an update in due time about NPGS scheduling, including the May dinner meeting and other planned activities.  Please feel free to reach out to any NPGS board member with any questions, concerns, or comments.

The scheduled speaker for the April dinner was Michael Say who is a second year, structural geology master’s student in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research is focused on the transition from Basin and Range extension to Walker Lane right lateral shear in the northern Pine Nut Mountains through geologic mapping, geochemistry, and geochronology. He previously presented his work at the Geological Society of America conference in the fall and recently submitted a manuscript for publication to the Geological Society of Nevada Symposium that will be published this upcoming May. Michael’s future plans are to graduate in May of this year and apply his skills to the geothermal or mining industry. Michael graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2017 and was recently an intern at Ormat Technologies, Inc.

Abstract:  The westward encroachment of Basin and Range extension on the relatively stable Sierra Nevada block occurred during the Miocene. To better bracket the timing, magnitude, and kinematics of this transition, we conducted new geologic mapping, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, and geochemical analyses in the northern Pine Nut Mountains, NV, which are the westernmost structural and topographic expression of the Basin and Range extensional province. Structural mapping suggests that north-striking normal faults developed during the initiation of Basin and Range extension and were later reactivated as northeast-striking oblique-slip faults following the onset of Walker Lane transtensional deformation in the Carson Domain. Newly obtained 40Ar/39Ar radiometric dates collected from 30-36° NW-dipping intermediate to felsic (~55-65% SiO2) volcanic and sedimentary rocks in the northern Pine Nut Mountains show that deformation initiated after 7.15 ± 0.10 Ma. Tilting of the range was accommodated by a major east-dipping normal fault that defines the eastern flank of the range. Extension magnitude recorded in the northern Pine Nut Mountains (14% extension) and westward towards the rigid Sierra Nevada is significantly less than the highly extended Singatse and Wassuk Ranges (~150-180% extension) to the east. Subsequently, Walker Lane transtension initiated and dextral shear in the Carson Domain induced clockwise rotation of structural blocks bounded by northeast-striking left-slip faults orthogonal to the dextral shear zone. This resulted in a northeast-striking oblique-slip and transtensional structure in the northern Pine Nut Mountains. Although this oblique left-slip normal fault system is covered by young alluvium and inactive today, we infer this structure may have served as a major kinematic component of left-lateral shear similar to other left-slip faults identified in the Carson Domain to the north and south. It may have become inactive because it became mechanically unfavorable as the Carson Domain rotated and slip was accommodated on the other parallel left-slip faults. Recently active, north-striking east-dipping curvilinear faults on the western flank of the range show dip-slip to oblique right-slip normal kinematics that may have accommodated some dextral shear as conjugate Riedel shears of the Carson Domain.

Message from John Casteel: It remains to be seen if Michael will have an opportunity to present his work to NPGS at a future dinner meeting, however he is scheduled to present the paper at the GSN symposium May 12-24 (currently still on schedule), so you might be able to catch him there if that event is not eventually canceled.

The scale and the magnitude of the impact this public health crisis is having has caught many of us off-guard and we will have to take a bit of a wait-and-see approach to how we schedule events going forward, starting next with the May dinner.  The NPGS board hopes everyone remains safe and healthy during these coming weeks, and that we will be able to meet at least once more under better circumstances before the summer break.  As always, please feel free to reach out to me or any NPGS board member with any questions, concerns, or comments.

Best Regards,
John Casteel – President NPGS

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

DGSE Geoscience Seminars—Canceled through April 6

University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering (DGSE)

A message from Stacia Gordon, DGSE (3-12-20): “As an FYI, our next three seminar speakers for March 23rd, 30th and April 6th have had to cancel due to their university travel restrictions related to the corona virus. We hope to reschedule the speakers in the fall.
I will let you know if we can resume the seminars toward the end of the semester.”

Limited Services at NBMG/GBSSRL—Effective March 17, 2020

As part of the University of Nevada’s effort to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) Publication Sales and Information Office located at the Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library (GBSSRL) at 2175 Raggio Parkway in Reno will be closed to walk-in business until further notice.

You can still pick up orders at the front door of the office!

If you have prepaid on the shopping cart or with a credit card by phone, we can pass out your order through the front door of our office. Hours for this “take-out” service will be the same as usual: Tues-Fri (8-3).
Contact: 775-682-8766 ( or 775-682-8767 (

Mail orders by shopping cart and phone will be processed and mailed as usual.

Temporarily, there will be no viewing of cuttings and core and air photos and no rock IDs.

These limited services will be in effect until further notice. Please call us before coming to pick up orders, so we can be on the lookout for you when you arrive.

Much information can be downloaded for free here:

We are sorry for this inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding!

We will send an email when business is back to the normal schedule, and updates will be available on our website.

Discover Science Lecture Series—Thursday, April 9 College of Science, UNR

Speaker: Dr. Harrison Schmitt, Geologist and Apollo 17 NASA Astronaut

“Dr. Harrison Schmitt is an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor, former U.S. senator from New Mexico, and, as a crew member of Apollo 17, the most recent living person to have walked on the Moon. In December 1972, as one of the crew on board Apollo 17, Schmitt became the first member of NASA’s first scientist-astronaut group to fly in space. As Apollo 17 was the last of the Apollo missions, he also became the twelfth of the twelve men who have set foot on the Moon.”

Details and information

Read Nevada Today story (January 15, 2019) by Mike Wolterbeek.