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Product Code: E061

Title: A land in transition! Ancient river courses, young volcanoes, recent earthquakes, and modern debris flows in the Carson Valley (Guide for the Earth Science Week Field Trip, October 21, 2017)

Author: Seth Dee, Bridget F. Ayling, and Christopher D. Henry
Year: 2017
Series: Educational Series 61
Format: 23 pages, color

In celebration of the 2017 national Earth Science Week, geologists Seth Dee, Bridget Ayling, and Chris Henry led NBMG’s twentieth annual public field trip. These field trips are fun, educational, family oriented, and always free.

If you were not able to attend the official field trip, you can still follow the free road log and plan your own adventure.

Major stops on this field trip include the following:

  • a "young" one-million-year-old cinder cone volcano,
  • evidence of ancient rivers flowing from central Nevada to the Pacific Ocean before the Basin and Range of Nevada dropped down because of faulting,
  • recently active earthquake faults,
  • geothermal springs, and
  • the 2014 Hot Spring Mountain flood and debris flows.

The Carson Valley is bounded on the west by the Carson Range and on the east by the Pine Nut Mountains. The east and west forks of the Carson River converge near the town of Genoa, and the river continues north-northeast through the valley on its way to the Carson Sink, 65 miles to the northeast surrounding Fallon, NV. Carson Valley is home to Minden and Gardnerville, and combined with Carson City has a population of approximately 100,000 residents.

This field trip highlights aspects of the diverse and fascinating geology in the Carson Valley, including young and ancient volcanism, active faults, geothermal fluids, and recent debris flows.

The natural forces that make Carson Valley such a beautiful place and provide renewable energy and mineral resources also create hazards such as earthquakes and debris flows. On this trip, you will learn how this landscape formed, and how geologists help protect the community from these geohazards.

Earth Science Week

“The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2017 is "Earth and Human Activity." This year's event, the 20th annual Earth Science Week celebration, promotes awareness of what geoscience tells us about human interaction with the planet's natural systems and processes.

Earth Science Week 2017 learning resources and activities are engaging young people and others in exploring the relationship between human activity and the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (life). This year's theme promotes public understanding and stewardship of the planet, especially in terms of the ways people affect and are affected by these Earth systems.”

© Copyright 2017 The University of Nevada, Reno. All Rights Reserved.

Original Product Code: E61