Reminders of upcoming geology talks

AEG MeetingJahns LectureThursday, February 6:

Scott Lindvall—Characterizing Fault Displacement Hazards: Significant Progress and Significant Uncertainties

Read details here:

Merrily Graham

Discover Science Lecture Series
Thursday, February 6:

William F. Tate IV—Is Space + Race > STEM Opportunity?

Read details here:

AEG/GSA 2019
2020 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished LecturerFriday, February 7:

Speaker: Scott Lindvall

Topic: A Tale of Three Dams along the Owens Valley Fault System

Biography: Scott Lindvall is a Certified Engineering Geologist in California with 35 years of experience working in the consulting industry performing seismic and geologic hazard analyses, fault investigations, and engineering geology studies for both existing and proposed critical facilities.

Location: Pennington Medical Education Building, Room 12 (NE corner of UNR campus)

Date/Time: Friday, February 7 (11:30–1:30 PM)

Free lecture is open to the public.

Shuttle service will be provided to the lecture hall at the Pennington Medical Education Building. Shuttles will leave the south end of DMS Building at 11:30 PM and return by 1:30 PM. Paid parking is also available northeast of the Pennington Medical Education Building.

Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lectureship: “The Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lectureship was established in 1988 by the Environmental and Engineering Geology Division and the Association of Engineering Geologists, jointly, to commemorate him and to promote student awareness of engineering geology through a series of annual lectures at academic institutions.”

DGSE Geoscience Seminar—Monday, February 3, TODAY

University of Nevada, Reno

Speaker: Dr. Laura Waters (New Mexico Tech)

 Topic: Why Doesn’t Continental Crust Evolve to its Fullest Potential?

A message from Stacia Gordon: “Our next seminar speaker on Monday, February 3rd will be Dr. Laura Waters from New Mexico Tech. Laura is visiting us as part of the Mineralogical Society of America Distinguished Lecturer Series. Laura is an igneous petrologist primarily interested in understanding the processes that govern the evolution of the continental crust. You can find out more about her here:

The title of Laura’s talk is:  “Why doesn’t continental crust evolve to its fullest potential?”

Abstract: The paucity of high-silica rhyolite in volcanic arcs and its restricted occurrence as scattered aplite dikes throughout arc granitoid batholiths suggests there is a mechanism that prevents high-silica (near-eutectic) rhyolite melts from coalescing and erupting as discrete liquids at subduction zones. In contrast, large volumes (≥100 km3) of high-silica rhyolite, including those that are relatively cold (700–750 °C) and hydrous, erupt in extensional tectonic settings. The emerging question is: What controls the eruption of high-silica rhyolite? In this talk, I use results of several experimental and petrologic studies on silica-rich magmas (rhyolites) from Long Valley to provide a crystallization (kinetic) perspective on what it takes to efficiently extract, move and erupt a eutectic melt and, thus, stratify continents.

The seminar starts at 4 PM in DMS 102, with refreshments beginning at 3:50 PM.”

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

All regular Monday seminars are in DMS 102 at 4:00 PM.

2019 Mineral Exploration Summit (NMEC) Presentations Now Available Online

Atlantis Resort & Casino
November 12–13, 2019

2019 Nevada Mineral Exploration Summit

“We would like to extend a big thank you to all of our attendees, speakers and presenters, and our sponsors for making the 2019 Annual Mineral Exploration Summit the best one yet.

Over the course of two days, our guests were able to hear directly from and interact with renowned experts, regulators, and policymakers about trends in mineral exploration in Nevada and around the world, new processes for streamlined permitting, and an update on land withdrawals and other public lands issues.

We have provided a number of the presentations that were given during the Summit for viewing and downloading on our website. Included among these are presentations from the Nevada BLM Office, the Division of Minerals, the U.S. Navy, and the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council.”

Annual Mineral Exploration Summit Presentations
Click to view/download each presentation [using link below].

  • Opportunities in Global Mineral Resources – Jon Price
  • Oil and Gas in Nevada – Rich Perry
  • 2019 Division of Minerals Update – Rich Perry
  • NEVADA’S SAGEBRUSH Ecosystem program – Kelly McGowan, Allen Biaggi
  • Fallon Regional Training Center Brief_NV Exploratory Mining Summit_ 13 NOV 19 – Rob Rule
  • BLM Streamline Permitting – Brian Amme
  • Nevada Mineral Exploration Update – John Muntean

GSN Regular Membership Meeting—May 17


“The location is again at Great Basin’s Taps & Tanks, 1155 S. Rock Blvd. Reno, NV. Drinks @ 6:00 pm, APPETIZERS @ 6:30 pm, Talk @ 7:15 pm. Speaker, Mike Ressel, NBMG/UNR. Title: “Carlin-type Deposits As Part of the Great Basin’s Eocene Metallogeny“. DRINKS SPONSORED BY: FALCON DRILLING AND HARRIS EXPLORATION DRILLING! Appetizers only for $15—prepay online or pay at the door. GSN students are free. For more info contact Laura Ruud at or 775-323-3500. Details on page 3. To PREPAY for appetizers please click on this link:

No reservations required but avoid the line by pre-paying!”

Speaker: Mike Ressel, NBMG

Topic: Carlin-type Deposits As Part of the Great Basin’s Eocene Metallogeny

Mike Ressel, Curtis Johnson, Elizabeth Hollingsworth, Christopher Henry, and Philipp Ruprecht, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and/or University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract: Late Eocene (~42-34 Ma) ore deposits have contributed a majority of the Great Basin’s precious- and base-metal production through 2015, including about 6.2 Kt Au (199 Moz), 27.6 Kt Ag (887 Moz) , 17.5 Mt Cu, and 0.5 Mt Mo. The production of these four metals alone from Eocene deposits would have a present-day value of over $400 billion (USD), ~64% of which is attributable to gold, 29% to copper. Eocene ore deposits are restricted to the northern half of the Great Basin, coincident with arc magmatism and the earliest stages of Cenozoic crustal extension. Curiously, metal production from Eocene deposits is strikingly polarized, with 79% of Au production derived from mines in north-central Nevada, and 98% of Cu and 86% of Ag derived from mines in north-central Utah. Most Nevada Au production is from three major Au belts that host giant sedimentary rock-hosted Carlin-type Au deposits: Carlin, Battle Mountain-Eureka, and Getchell. Three major Utah districts produced the bulk of Cu, Mo, Au, and Ag (Oquirrh, Park City, and Tintic), with the vast majority of Cu, Mo, and Au coming from the Bingham Canyon porphyry system. In addition, Eocene deposits in northern Nevada contain more than 1.68 Kt of Au (54 Moz) and 0.67 Mt Mo in reserves, and Bingham Canyon contains reserves of about 2.72 Mt of Cu and 0.15 Mt of Mo.

Perhaps more than any other deposit type in the Great Basin, Carlin-type gold deposits are enigmatic. After more than five decades of mining more than 150 Moz of gold from Carlin-type deposits in north-central Nevada, we continue to debate what one is, resorting to terms such as Carlin-like to qualify our uncertainty. As a result, the rest of the exploration world is even more baffled by them. Uncertainty has hindered exploration beyond the Great Basin because of lack of a well-constrained exploration model that incorporates not only elements of existing descriptive models but also the syn-mineral regional geologic framework of type deposits in Nevada.

We assess findings contributing toward a global Carlin-type deposit exploration model. Key regional components of the model based on Great Basin geology are: 1) age and age progression of Carlin-type gold mineralization, 2) spatial and temporal association of Carlin-type deposits with other gold-rich deposits, and 3) the regional geologic setting of gold deposition including crustal architecture and syn-mineral tectonism and magmatism. The progressive change in Eocene ore deposits from Au- to Cu-dominant across the central to eastern parts of the northern Great Basin is extraordinary and has major exploration implications. This change in metals parallels changes in the geochemical and isotopic character of magmatism across the Eocene arc, although rocks are grossly similar in terms of their mineralogy and bulk composition. We preliminarily interpret west to east variations in Eocene igneous chemistry and styles of metallization as interrelated, with contrasting chemistries reflecting major differences in architecture and composition of the crust through which magmas traveled.

Thus, the range of Eocene sedimentary rock-hosted, disseminated gold deposits (SHDGs), including Carlin-type deposits, in northern Nevada defines a distinct intrusion-related gold metallogeny that contrasts with the “classic” deposits formed in many other continental arc settings, including the eastern Great Basin in Utah, which are typified by porphyry Cu and Cu-Mo, polymetallic skarns and replacements, and high- and intermediate-sulfidation epithermal Au-Ag deposits. The reduced mineralogy and geochemistry of ores and Au-dominant or Au-only character of SHDGs in northern Nevada infer overall reduced ore fluids that fundamentally differ from highly oxidized fluids indicated for porphyry-related systems. We suggest that emplacement of the Eocene arc far inboard of the plate margin and into kilometers-thick carbonaceous slope and basinal rocks of the Neoproterozoic through Paleozoic passive margin progressively modified and chemically reduced mid-crustal magmas from mafic to silicic compositions through assimilation of reduced crust.

NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—Thursday, May 2

A message from NPGS: “We are pleased to announce May 2019 NPGS Meeting on May 2, 2019.  This is the FINAL dinner meeting for the season, so please join us before taking the summer break. The bar will be sponsored by Sinclair Well Products, and talk will be given by Bill Ehni. Please note, online registration ends Monday night, April 29th.”

Speaker: Bill Ehni

Topic: Adventures in Nevada Oil and Geothermal Exploration,
some answers to geologic questions with examples from White River Valley, Lake Valley, Beowawe and Wabuska

Abstract: White River Valley, in Nye County Nevada, has no oil production as of this date; however, there have been numerous good oil shows, and coupled with the presence of good source rocks and reservoir rocks, it is only a matter of time before oil production is established. The southern half of white river valley is a Tertiary graben with Paleozoic bedding dipping to the east at about 20 degrees. The 50 square mile Neogene basin created by this graben is bounded on the east by the Eagan Range with nearly 12,000 ft of displacement along west dipping normal faults and on the west by an east dipping with a minimum of 9000 ft of displacement. Mississippian source rocks in the central portion of the graben are well within the oil window and source rock analyses indicate that over 500 million barrels of oil have been expelled from the hydrocarbon kitchen.

In Lake Valley there have been 4 wells drilled for oil and gas exploration and a considerable amount of 2D seismic data. A well drilled by Amoco in1984 and drilled to a total depth of 12,750 ft (BHT 208F) encountered 2,368 ft of Mississippian rocks. Brent Energy drilled a well to a total depth of 9178 ft (BHT 226F) and encountered 1750 ft of Mississippian section. In 2010 Cabot drilled a well to 9515 ft (BHT 128F). Cabot was anticipating a 2100 foot thick section of potential Mississippian source rocks, which seems logical based on the earlier drilling results, but only found 400 ft of source rocks that were not in the oil window. These perplexing results are due to an inordinate thick section of volcanic rocks. The thick section of volcanic rocks encountered in the Cabot well probably have a significantly higher thermal conductivity which accounts for the lower bottom hole temperatures compared to offset wells. The missing Mississippian section in the Cabot well was probably eroded away, possibly by a drainage systems flowing west from the Indian Peak volcanic complex, and then subsequently filed by volcanic rocks with a relatively high thermal conductivity resulting in a thin section of Mississippian Chainman that is not in the oil window.

A curious geothermal anomaly identified in at least one publication on the Beowawe Geothermal system appears to be related to the Miocene Northern Nevada Rift. Magnetotelluric data suggests that the Beowawe system is on a northeast trending resistivity anomaly that originates near the Northern Nevada Rift. Although igneous activity associated with the Miocene Northern Nevada Rift is too old to be directly related to the Beowawe Geothermal system, it appears that secondary northeast trending structures, such as the Malpais Fault, are locally geothermally anomalous. Other northeast trending structures along the Northern Nevada Rift could be geothermal targets for additional geothermal exploration. A blind geothermal system south west of the Beowawe geysers is on trend with this resistivity anomaly and is undoubtedly related to the same northeast trend structure that controls the Beowawe geothermal system.

Bio: William J. Ehni has a Bachelors degree in Geology from Humboldt State University in 1975. He worked for 5 years in the Geysers California, 3 years at Republic Geothermal, and 3 years in Austin Texas at Geotronics Corporation. In 1985 he founded Ehni Enterprises Inc.

Click here for details or to register online and reserve your seat.

The event details are as follows:

Organization: Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Event Name: May 2019 NPGS Meeting
Date: May 2, 2019, 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction

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

Discover Science Lecture Series—April 25

Speaker: Dr. Robert “Bob” Zeigler

Topic: Global Food Security

Dr. Robert “Bob” Zeigler is Director General (Emeritus) of the International Rice Research Institute and an internationally respected plant pathologist. Zeigler has more than 30 years of experience in agricultural research in the developing world, and his lecture titled “Science and policy: the Yin and Yang dynamic of global food security” will explore how science, technology and public policy are in a constant state of flux – a Yin and Yang like dance, as he describes it. From the onset Green Revolution of the 1950s – the large increase in crop production in developing countries achieved by the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and high-yield crop varieties – to now, advancements in agriculture technology have shaped our modern understanding of food security in the developing world.

Zeigler’s professional life spanned Africa, Latin America, US, and Asia. He has had a productive research career on diseases of rice that focused on host-plant resistance, pathogen and vector population genetics, and their interactions to develop durable resistance and sustainable disease management practices.

Thursday, April 25
DMSC Redfield Auditorium, 7 PM

Read more here (Nevada Today story, 4-16-19):

Association of Engineering Geologists, Great Basin Chapter, Monthly Dinner Meeting—March 14, RSVP by March 12 at 5 PM

Speaker: Dr. Wendy Calvin, PhD
University of Nevada, Reno

Topic: Core Spectral Imaging

“Reflectance spectroscopy is a rapid technique for identifying both hydrothermal alteration and primary mineralogy.” Dr. Calvin will explain the evolution of this technology and its applications.

Abstract: Reflectance spectroscopy is a rapid technique for identifying both hydrothermal alteration and primary mineralogy. Minerals have unique and diagnostic spectral properties, and features such as the band center, strength, shape, and width are used to identify species with high confidence. Laboratory spectroscopy has been used since the 1970’s for determinative mineralogy with field portable instrumentation becoming common in the late 90’s.  Recent advances in commercial spectroscopy include automated mineral identification and core imaging systems. We have surveyed a number of geothermal drill core using portable field instruments and modern tools that provide spectral image data cubes at < 1mm/pixel.   The talk will review the technique including which minerals are diagnostic in various wavelength ranges, compare field instruments with modern core imaging and discuss future projects.

Bio: Dr. Wendy Calvin received her PhD from the University of Colorado in Boulder and is a Foundation Professor and Department Chair for Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada in Reno. She has built her career on working with spectroscopic data from terrestrial planets in the solar system (mostly Mars) and has been using the technique for geothermal exploration on Earth since 2002.





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.

We will be serving corn beef and all the trimmings that go with an Irish dinner. Dessert will be bread pudding with whisky sauce.  Special dietary requests available if requested on the RSVP.

Students sponsored by Kappes, Cassidy, and Associates

Social hour sponsored by Doug and Merrily Graham

Cost: Members: $30.00 ~ Non-Members: $32.00 ~ Students: $25.00

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