Sunday, October 26, 2014

AZGS geologists will lead field trip to Sabino Canyon debris flows

AZGS geologists Dr. Phil Pearthree and Dr. Ann Youberg will lead the Arizona Geological Society Fall Field Trip - "Debris Flows Shape the Sabino Canyon Landscape - look out below!"
Sabino Canyon Visitor Center Patio, located at 5900 North Sabino Canyon Road, Catalina Foothills, Arizona.
Date: 15 Nov 2014 8:30 AM UTC-07:00
Debris Flows Shape the Sabino Canyon Landscape - look out below!

Field Trip Leaders: 
Ann Youberg and Phil Pearthree, Arizona Geological Survey - Environmental Geology Section

Tour Description: AGS Members and their guests are invited to join the Arizona Geological Survey tour of debris flows in Sabino Canyon.

During late July 2006, heavy rainfall in southern Arizona produced record flooding in several larger drainages and triggered numerous debris flows in the Santa Catalina Mountains and elsewhere throughout southeastern Arizona mountain ranges.  These debris flows did a remarkable amount of geomorphic work in a very short time, eroding hillslopes and channels and transporting very coarse sediments that garden-variety 100-year floods likely will not move.

Field Trip Date/Time/Location: Saturday, November 15, 2014.
Check-in begins at about 8:30 AM at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center Patio, located at 5900 North Sabino Canyon Road, Catalina Foothills, Arizona.

Route: We will catch the 9:00 A.M tram and take it to Rattlesnake Wash.  Here and elsewhere along the tram road, we will examine debris flow deposits that formed in 2006.  The final stops will be at the top or northeast end of the tram road, elevation approximately 3,200 feet.  We return to the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center via the tram or down the Telephone Line Trail, about a 3-mile walk. The field trip will end around 12:30 PM.

Conditions & Recommendations:  All attendees should wear appropriate footwear for moderate hiking, which will be mostly along the tram road. Long pant and long-sleeve shirts are recommended for protection from the sun and vegetation. Be sure to bring your own snacks and water, as none will be provided by the AGS.

Guidebook:  Field trip guidebooks will be provided to trip participants.  One copy is recommended to be shared among couples or family members. 

The guidebook will summarize the mechanisms responsible for triggering debris flows, the damage they can do, how frequently they may occur, and the importance of these extreme events in shaping the mountain landscapes of Arizona.

Additional guidebooks will be produced by the AGS following the trip, which can be purchased at our dinner meetings.

Fees:  This field trip will be free to all AGS members and guests.   However, each participant will be responsible for a $5.00 parking fee at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and an $8.00 tram ticket for the ride up the mountain.
Contact: AGS VP Field Trips Ralph Stegen at or (520) 498-6811 with any additional questions.

More information and online registration:  Fall Field Trip - Debris Flows Shape the Sabino Canyon Landscape - look out below! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Earth and Space Exploration Day at ASU this Saturday

ASU hosting Earth and Space Exploration Day

Saturday, October 25, 2014 (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.) 

LOCATION: Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4), Arizona State University, Tempe

Earth and Space Exploration day is a free annual fall event hosted by the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) on ASU’s Tempe campus inside/outside ISTB 4. The SESE community offers special science-related activities from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for students age five and up, families, educators and anyone interested in exploring Earth and space. One of the biggest attractions is ISTB 4 with its Gallery of Scientific Exploration offering a variety of interactive exhibits and the Marston Exploration Theater, which will be running 3-D astronomy shows. Visitors can also see a replica of Curiosity Mars rover, explore "A" Mountain (Tempe Butte) on a guided field trip, bring rock samples for Dr. Rock to examine, and so much more!

SESE’s research portfolio includes projects on every continent of the world, and extends to the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and beyond. We are taking photos of the lunar surface with special cameras, sampling the Red Planet using robotic rovers, studying earthquakes big and small, investigating mud volcanoes in Indonesia and much, much more! Each year, the SESE community brings to life its research through innovative hands-on activities as part of this special Earth and Space Exploration Day.

Attending Earth & Space Exploration Day 2014 is free (including parking). But you can help us anticipate the number of people that will attend by pre-registering at Pre-registration also allows a speedy check-in for you and your family.

The Marston Exploration Theater will be offering 3-D astronomy shows.
The Center for Meteorite Studies features interactive displays, touchable specimens, and a video display of the collection’s specimens. Staff will be on hand to inspect potential meteorite specimens in person. Only one sample will be identified per person.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Science Operations Center, located in Interdisciplinary A, will be open. Visit the Moon rock and enjoy a guided walk through of the Visitors Gallery.

[taken from the ASU SESE site]

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Arizonans to drop, cover, and hold on during the Great Shakeout

Thursday is ShakeOut Thursday. At 10:16 am on 10/16, 120,000 Arizonans and 24 million people worldwide will “Drop, cover and hold on” to practice responding to earthquakes.  The  organizers remind us that everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves in an earthquake. Even if earthquakes are rare where you live, they may happen where you or your family travel.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness.

I've lost track of the number of people who say that Arizona doesn't have earthquakes. Not true.  The recent magnitude 5.2 Duncan earthquake with hundreds of aftershocks reminded eastern Arizonans of the risk.  Learn more at

National Fossil Day - Arizona's state fossil is petrified wood

Happy National Fossil Day!   The National Park Service organizes the events and promotional materials -
The Arizona State Fossil, petrified wood, is among a long list of state symbols shown on the Arizona Secretary of State's website.