AEG Monthly Meeting—Thursday, March 12 Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists


Speaker: Stephen Dickenson, Adjunct Research Faculty, Nevada Seismological Laboratory, UNR

Topic: Post-Earthquake Forensic Investigations of Soil-Structure Interaction:  A Sleuth’s Guide to Seismological, Geological, and Geotechnical Clues 

Abstract: This presentation will focus on lessons learned from field observations and forensic evaluations of building foundations made by Dr. Dickenson and his colleagues at sites in Wellington, New Zealand following the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake. An overview will be provided that addresses seismological aspects of the strong ground motions recorded at the project sites and the significant impact of local geology on the strength of the ground shaking. This overview will lead into the case study of seismic performance of a five-story, pile-supported building, which was built in 2009, well instrumented with accelerometers, and had been subjected to two prior Mw 6.5 earthquakes. The project team was charged with evaluating the likelihood of significant damage to the pile foundations; a forensic investigation that required thorough seismological, geological, and geotechnical evaluation.

Biography: Stephen Dickenson is the President of New Albion Geotechnical, Inc., a consultancy specializing in geotechnical earthquake engineering applications for major civil works. Dr. Dickenson’s consulting, research, and post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts have primarily focused on dynamic soil-structure-interaction and the seismic performance of slopes and earth structures, earth retention systems, bridges, port and coastal facilities, and buildings. He has led, and supported, numerous investigations of the seismic performance of civil infrastructure involving development on weak soils, deep foundations and buried utilities subjected to ground failure, and the effectiveness of ground treatment for mitigating hazards.

Dr. Dickenson earned his Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley, his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, and his Doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a licensed Civil Engineer (CA, NV, OR, WA) and board-certified Diplomate in Port Engineering (ACOPNE D. PE) with over 30 years of experience in consulting practice, academia, applied research, and development of continuing education for geo-professionals. He has resided in numerous places along a circuitous path from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest, and now makes his home in Reno where he enjoys all of the outdoor time he can get.



This month we will be serving corned beef, salad, and key lime pie. On the RSVP, please indicate if you have a dietary restriction such as vegan, vegetarian or gluten free options.

Geological Society of Nevada 2020 Symposium, May 14–24, 2020

Early Registration Ends Friday, February 28, 2020!
Geological Society of Nevada 2020 Symposium, May 14-24, 2020

4 full days of Technical Sessions!
6 Field Trips!
11 Short Courses!

Keynote Speakers:  Rich Goldfarb, Quinton Hennigh, Joe Mazumdar, Keith Meldahl, Elizabeth Miller, John Prochnau, Eric Seedorff, Dick Sillitoe, Moira Smith, and Chuck Thorman.

Presentations, Field Trips, and Short Courses by NBMG Faculty:  Jim Faulds, Andrew Zuza, John Muntean, Bridget Ayling, Mike Ressel, Chris Henry, Rich Koehler, Mark Coolbaugh, and students Justin Milliard and James Ingraffia.

NBMG is a CO-HOST! Look for NBMG at Booth 69.

The Symposium is being held at the Nugget Casino Resort, Reno/Sparks, Nevada.

Call for information:  775-433-8758.

NPGS Monthly Meeting—Thursday, October 3

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society Monthly Dinner Meeting
Title: The Increasing Value of Geothermal in the West, Get Your Pickaxes Ready
Speaker: Paul Thomsen, Ormat Technologies
Abstract: I will discuss the economic benefits and value of geothermal compared to other renewable resources using actual market data, as well as forecasts for the coming 10-20 years. I will briefly explain how geothermal accrues greater economic benefits than solar PV in the California ISO (CAISO) wholesale energy market and in meeting resource adequacy (RA) requirements. For these reasons and others, significant quantities (GW) of new geothermal are being selected through capacity expansion modeling in California’s integrated resource planning (IRP) proceedings. This will require accelerated geothermal expansion across the Western U.S.

Bio: Paul Thomsen is the Vice President of Business Development for Ormat Technologies. Upon assuming this role in November 2018, he has taken responsibility for expanding Ormat’s existing portfolio of geothermal, solar, and recovered energy generation projects.

Thomsen brings expertise in both the public and private energy sector, previously serving as Commissioner and Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, and Director of Policy and Business Development for Ormat. He also worked for the law firm of Lionel Sawyer and Collins and United States Senators Harry Reid and Richard Bryan. He has advocated for meaningful energy policy as President of the Board of Directors of the Geothermal Energy Association and Chairman of the United States Clean Heat and Power Association.

Thomsen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Sign-up or more information here:

Date: Thursday, Oct 3, 2019
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Pacific Time
Location: Tamarack Junction
13101 South Virginia Street
Reno, NV  89511

Cocktails, wine and beer will be served starting at 6:30 PM, and dinner is served at 7:15 PM. The bar will be jointly sponsored by Krummrich Engineering, and McGinley & Associates

Science Talks around Town

If you are interested in attending local geo-talks in the Reno area, you can always check these websites for details about their upcoming meetings.

AEG (Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists)

The Great Basin chapter meets every third Thursday of the month at the Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel and includes a social hour at 5:50 pm followed by dinner at 6:30 pm; the presentation starts at 7:00 pm. Please note: Because of the October 5 field trip, there will not be monthly meetings in September and October 2019.

GSN (Geological Society of Nevada)

NPGS (Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society)

UNR COS Discover Science Lecture Series (College of Science)

UNR DGSE Geoscience Seminars Fall 2019 (Dept. of Geological Sciences & Engineering)

NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—Thursday, Sept 5

Speaker: Dave Browning, TerraCore
Topic: Hyperspectral Core Imaging: Applications in Unravelling Deposit and Reservoir Mineralogy

Abstract: Hyperspectral core imaging is a passive and non-destructive spectroscopic method for identifying and mapping mineralogy in drill-cores and cuttings. Hyperspectral data is available across the Visible-Near-Infrared (VNIR; 350-1000nm), Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR; 1000-2500nm), and Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR; 7500-12000nm) regions. The information obtained allows for representative quantification of mineralogy across intervals, providing a reliable, consistent and objective record that is directly applicable to reservoir characterization. Hyperspectral core imaging also allows for the observation of mineralogical and textural properties which are not visually detectable, such as chemistry changes and grain size detection (i.e. sediment vs. cement). The rich dataset provided by hyperspectral imaging provides insight into conventional and unconventional resources, aiding the geologists in the understanding of their reservoir. The spectral data is collected by utilizing a core imaging workstation that combines a long-wave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral camera with a SWIR hyperspectral camera and a high resolution RGB line scan camera. Several case studies will be presented demonstrating the importance of hyperspectral core imaging for petroleum and geothermal applications and how it can be utilized in conjunction with other datasets to better understand deposit and reservoir mineralogy.

Bio: Dave Browning has worked with hyperspectral data sets for over ten years, starting with utilizing spectroscopy as an exploration tool in Northeastern Nevada. He received a Master of Science degree from the University of Idaho, Moscow, for his thesis focused on ammonium bearing minerals and their ability to aid in regional exploration campaigns. As an exploration geologist he has designed and led several exploration campaigns focused in Nevada. Since joining TerraCore in 2014 he has been a lead geologist on projects of varying deposit types and industries across North America, from exploration through to production.

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS)
September 2019 NPGS Meeting
Date: Sept. 5 2019, 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction, Reno, Nevada
Event information.

AEG Great Basin Chapter Meeting—October 18

AEG Great Basin Chapter MeetingOctober 18

Sign-up details below.

Speaker: Rich Koehler, NBMG
Topic: Active Faulting in the North Valleys Region of Reno, Nevada: A Distributed Zone within the Northern Walker Lane

Abstract: At the latitude of Reno, Nevada, USA, ~15-25% of the Pacific/North American plate boundary strain is accommodated east of the Sierra Nevada through a combination of normal oblique (dextral) slip along the eastern Sierra Nevada range front and dextral slip along faults in the northern Walker Lane. The North Valleys region sits within the northern Walker Lane directly east of the Sierra range front and is characterized by a series of small north-striking basins bound by Quaternary active faults that accommodate dextral oblique extension.  Geodetic studies of the North Valleys estimate that the faults collectively accommodate 0.9-1.7 mm/y of extension and <0.3 mm/y of dextral slip; however, few Quaternary geologic/paleoseismic studies have been conducted.

Here I summarize geologic observations on the tectonic geomorphic expression and relative activity of faults within and bounding the North Valleys based on interpretation of lidar-derived hillshade images and field reconnaissance.  The results indicate that the faults all exhibit evidence of active late Quaternary deformation, including offset alluvial fan deposits and abrupt range-front escarpments and are characterized by extension rates on the order of hundredths to tenths of millimeters per year.  Cumulative geologic extension rate estimates across the North Valleys are slightly less than rates measured geodetically.  On-going mapping, paleoseismic trenching and numerical dating of displaced surfaces are being conducted to refine the style and amount of deformation with the goal of better understanding the role of the North Valleys in transferring dextral oblique extension from the Sierra Nevada range front to faults along the northeastern Walker Lane.

Biography: Dr. Rich D. Koehler is an Assistant Professor at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research is focused on earthquake geology, Quaternary geology, paleoseismology, geomorphology, and engineering geology. Dr. Koehler is specialized in using advanced techniques including air photo, lidar, and satellite imagery interpretation, Quaternary geologic and geomorphic mapping, and surveying to assess geohazards in a wide variety of terrains. Dr. Koehler is particularly well versed on topics in Quaternary geology in Nevada and has mapped in numerous valleys throughout the state.

His paleoseismic research throughout the western U.S.—including the study of faults in California, New Mexico, Washington, Alaska, and Nevada—has been funded by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation. His international project experience includes studies in Turkey, Taiwan, Jamaica, and Haiti.


SOCIAL HOUR: 5:30PM (Sponsored by Doug and Merrily Graham)

Members: $27.00, Non-Members: $30.00, Students: $20.00

The Bar is sponsored, and we are providing complementary dinners to the first three students who submit RSVP’s. Any additional students will be charged $20.

Merrily Graham, AEG Great Basin Chapter Chairperson

Please give us a 48 Hour Cancellation Notice if you are not able to attend. “No shows” without proper notification will be charged. Thank you.

AEG Meeting Schedule—Fall 2018 / Spring 2019
October 18, 2018 – Rich Koehler, Active Faulting in the North Valleys Region of Reno, Nevada
November 8, 2018 – Gary Luce, “Burning Man Black Rock Playa Investigation”
December 13, 2018 – Meet & Greet Holiday Party & Fund Raiser
January 10, 2019 – Shawn Gooch, “Permitting Metals Mining in Nevada”
February 7, 2019 – Jahns Lecturer, Debbie Green, AEG Dinner Presentation
February 8, 2019 – Jahns Lecturer, Debbie Green, “Tale of Two Waste Sites” lecture on the UNR campus
March 14, 2019 – Wendy Calvin, “Core Spectral Imaging”
April 18, 2019 – Student Night

NPGS Monthly Meeting—Thursday, May 3

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Monthly Dinner Meeting
Thursday, May 3, 2018

SPEAKER:  Jason Craig, Geologist, Student, University of Nevada, Reno [advisor, Jim Faulds, NBMG]

TOPIC:  Discovery and Analysis of a Blind Geothermal System in Southern Gabbs Valley, Western Nevada

ABSTRACT: A systematic geothermal exploration program has been completed in southern Gabbs Valley as part of phase II of the DOE-funded Nevada play fairway project. Multiple geologic, geophysical, and geochemical data sets for the area have been integrated to characterize a potential blind geothermal system in the study area. A 7 km2 area with elevated 2-meter temperatures has been established in a complex structural setting at the intersection between Quaternary strike-slip and normal faults. Geothermometry of water samples taken 7 km northwest and down hydrologic gradient of the 2-meter temperature anomaly indicate subsurface temperatures of 130-140°C. Detailed gravity, magnetic, and magnetotelluric surveys provide controls on intrabasinal structure and support evidence for geothermal activity in the subsurface. Exploration of the system is ongoing and drilling of new temperature gradient holes is scheduled within the next few months to delineate the resource.

BIO: Jason grew up in Reno, Nevada and is the descendant of a family of geologists and miners. He spent his childhood exploring the rivers of the Sierra Nevada and the mountain ranges of the Great Basin, which instilled in him a deep passion for the outdoors and the natural sciences. Jason was a member of the U.S. Whitewater Kayaking Team for over a decade and won titles including Junior National Champion and World Champion. He earned his undergraduate degree in Geology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2016. Jason is currently working towards completing his M.S. at the same institution in structural and geothermal geology later this year.

Tamarack Junction, Reno, NV
13101 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511

Cocktail Reception 6:30 PM; Dinner Served at 7:00 PM

Sponsored by Ormat Technologies

NPGS Members $25-$28; Non-Members $30-$33; Students $15

RSVP for the May Dinner Meeting by Tuesday, May 1, with the following link:

If you must cancel your reservation, please contact:
Jake Zachry,


Tom Gallagher,

Upcoming Meeting Dates:
Trexler Memorial Field Trip
Sep 7-10, 2018
More information will follow soon.