Monday, September 28, 2015

Quakes hit northern Arizona

 A magnitude 3.3 earthquake hit northern Arizona about mid-way between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon village on Saturday, Sept. 26 at about 4:14 pm, local time. [Right, orange star marks quake epicenter. Credit, USGS]

Later that evening, at 9:23 pm, a magnitude 2.9 event occurred about 7 miles SSW of Kachina Village. This could be another aftershock to last November's M=4.8 earthquake between Flagstaff and Sedona.

The region from around Flagstaff to Grand Canyon is the most seismically active in the state.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Symposium on sustainable mining in the Southwest US & NW Mexico

The University of Arizona Global Initiatives group is working with UA Mining & Geological Engineering to host a 3-hour symposium on Mineral Resources: from Exploration to Environmentally Sustainable Mining in the SW United States and NW Mexico.

It will be held Monday, September 28, 2015,09:00 to 12:00.

Location: ENR2, Room S 225, University of Arizona, Tucson

The full program can be viewed at

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Expanding the national geothermal data system

We're in the last day of the Geothermal Resources Council annual meeting in Reno, with an exhibit booth in the Geothermal Energy Association's Expo, giving demonstrations of the National Geothermal Data System ( 

AZGS manages the NGDS on behalf of the rest of the state geological surveys, with 65+ data providers in all 50 states contributing over 10 million data records currently. Any geothermal energy project funded by the US Dept. of Energy has to make their data publicly available through the NGDS.   Most projects chose to send their data to the Geothermal Data Repository node on NGDS.  GDR is run by the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado. 

We've been meeting with leaders of various research projects in the Play Fairway Analysis and FORGE programs to discuss adding their growing reams of data into NGDS. We've also had conversations with representatives from East African countries about supporting their data management programs for the booming geothermal development in that region. [Right,  AZGS' Steve Richard -right- talks with Andrew Palmateer with the US Energy Association's East Africa Geothermal Program, and Rick Zehner with Geothermal Development Associates, about data needs in East Africa]

Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Life as Geoscientist" photo contest

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) looking for entries in its 2015 "Life as a Geoscientist" Photo Contest

They are looking for any and all geoscience images featuring your internships, research, or geoscience work as a whole. Photos can be entered into three different categories: Outdoor Lab, Indoor Lab, and Data Visualization. They "want your best photos showing what geoscience work and research looks like and why you love being a geoscientist. Submitting epic photos allows participants the opportunity to win prizes."

All submitted materials should be sent to

Deadline to submit is November 6th, 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015

Search engine allows access to 19 environmental databases

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced it now has available through its website an online search engine allowing faster, more direct access to the agency’s 19 environmental databases containing information such as a facility’s operating permits and compliance history.

Known as MegaSearch (, the tool allows customers to enter search criteria such as a facility’s name and address or its unique ADEQ file number to view a list of relevant environmental records and files of interest. Once identified, the files may be selected from the results page and emailed to the ADEQ Records Center for retrieval and viewing. By conducting their own independent research, customers can save time by eliminating the need to wait for results from a traditional records request with the help of Records Center staff.

“MegaSearch helps prospective land and business owners or anyone who wants to see instantly what environmental activity has been reported for a given location,” ADEQ Records Manager Eric Flohr said.

For example, Flohr said if you previously had wanted to know if a nearby gas station had a history of leaking underground storage tanks, you would have contacted ADEQ to submit a research request. Staff would then have accessed these same databases now available online to see what records of activity had occurred at the site. The process could take several days depending on the number of pending research requests, he said.

“Tools like MegaSearch give customers direct and instantaneous access to ADEQ’s vast amounts of environmental data from all over the state, which supports more transparent government for our citizens,” Flohr said.

For questions about MegaSearch, please contact Eric Flohr at (602) 771-4335 or by email at

[excerpted from from the ADEQ announcement]

Geothermal data repository reaches 500 submission

The Geothermal Data Repository node on the National Geothermal Data System has received its 500th submission of data and results from DOE-funded geothermal projects -  NGDS was developed by the Arizona Geological Survey on behalf of the Association of American State Geologists and other participants, with funding from the US Dept. of Energy.  [Right, map of the US highlighting the locations of GDR users. Critical data about the subsurface is added to the GDR from sites all across the country. Credit: Jon Weers, NREL.]

The GDR is managed by the National Renewable Energy Lab and is the online repository for the results of any DOE-funded geothermal project if the project does not want to host the data themselves.   We are developing additional data content models to accommodate new data types submitted to DOE by the various projects.   [Bottom, relative amounts of different types of data useful to the geothermal community, housed by the GDR. Credit: Jon Weers, NREL]
We will have an exhibit booth at the Geothermal Resources Council annual meeting in Reno next week to demonstrate the system to the geothermal industry.