GSA Home Page Denver 2004 - Geoscience in a Changing World

Premeeting Field Trips

1. top Navajo Sand Sea of Near-Equatorial Pangea: Tropical Westerlies, Slumps, and Giant Stromatolites [401]
Tues.-Sat., Nov. 2-6. Cosponsored by GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
David Loope, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68508, (402) 472-2647, fax 402-472-4917; Len Eisenberg; Erik Waiss.
Max.: 15; min.: 10. Cost: $475 (5L, R, 4ON, vans). Begins and ends in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Up-close and personal, full-day inspections of two spectacular Navajo Sandstone outcrops form the core of this trip. One outcrop lies on the Utah/Arizona border along the west edge of the Paria Plateau, and the other is near the crest of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. Emphasis will be on cyclic crossbedding, trace fossils, giant stromatolites, mass flows, and paleowind reconstructions.
2. top Strike-Slip Tectonics and Thermochronology of Northern New Mexico [402]
Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 4-6.
Eric Erslev, Dept. of Geosciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, (970) 491-5661, fax 970-491-6307; Steven Cather; Seth Fankhauser; Matt Heizler; Rob Sanders.
Max.: 40; min.: 12. Cost: $255 (2L, R, 2ON, vans). Begins and ends in Denver or Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Participants will meet in Denver or join us in historic Santa Fe for a review of dextral faults in New Mexico and the active controversy over their age—are they Laramide, Pennsylvanian, or Precambrian? Friday will be spent viewing spectacular granitic breccias and folds of the Picuris-Pecos fault, the largest strike-slip fault in the southern Rockies. On Saturday, we will explore the thermochronologic contrasts and metasomatic alterations in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and view new seismic data across their frontal faults.
3. top Geology of the Silver Cliff-Rosita Hills Mining District and Spanish Peaks Area [403]
Fri. and Sat., Nov. 5-6. Cosponsored by GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Paul R. Krutak, P. Krutak Geoservices International, P.O. Box 369, 2118 Main Street, Rye, CO 81069-0369, (719) 489-2282 (phone and fax); John R. Barwin; Marty Horn.
Max.: 36; min.: 12. Cost: $185 (2L, 1D, R, 1ON, vans).
The first day of this two-day field excursion covers the mining geology of the Silver Cliff-Rosita Hills mining district on the west flank of the Wet Mountains, Colorado. We plan visits to the sites of the old Geyser, Bull Domingo, and Bassick mines as well as to the BP (British Petroleum) CO2 facility at Sheep Mountain. Second-day activities include study of the Spanish Peaks intrusives in the Raton Basin, where we will examine the following plutons: Black Hills, Silver (Dike) Mountain, and at least two of the radial dikes (Profile Rock and Devil's Stairway) associated with the West Spanish Peak. We will also visit synorogenic fanglomerates at Cordova (Apishapa) Pass and Laramide structures associated with the Culebra Thrust.
4. top Hyperpycnal Wave-Modified Turbidites of the Pennsylvanian Minturn Formation, North-Central Colorado [404]
Fri. and Sat., Nov. 5-6. Cosponsored by GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Paul M. Myrow, Dept. of Geology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, (719) 389-6789, fax 719-389-6910; Karen Houck; Charles Kluth; Michael Lamb; Claire Lukens; Jeff Parsons.
Max.: 36; min.: 12. Cost: $155 (1L, R, 1ON, vans).
We will examine the spatial and stratigraphic distribution of turbidites in the Pennsylvanian Minturn Formation, north-central Colorado and particle hydrodynamic interpretations. The beds contain evidence for both density-induced flow and storm-generated waves. Successions of sedimentary structures and beds with reverse-to-normal grading indicate deposition from hyperpycnal flows and a direct link to the hydrograph of floods that produced these flows.
5. top Structural Implications of Underground Coal Mining in the Mesaverde Group, Somerset Coal Field, Delta and Gunnison Counties, Colorado [405]
Fri. and Sat., Nov. 5-6. Cosponsored by GSA Coal Geology Division.
Christopher J. Carroll, Colorado Geological Survey, 1313 Sherman St., Room 715, Denver, CO 80203, (303) 866-3501, fax 303-866-2461; Greg Hunt; Wendell Koontz; Eric Robeck.
Max.: 20; min.: 7. Cost: $240 (2L, 1D, R, 1ON, vans).
This trip will visit two underground coal mines: Bowie #2 and West Elk Mines. Coal cleat development and open-mode fractures will be observed on the surface and compared to underground seams there. A reverse-reactivated, penecontemporaneous fault exposed underground, with soft-sediment deformation and shale diapirism in the fault plane, will be observed. We will show how early faults can rotate coal cleat, providing a tool for locating hidden faults in advance of mining.
6. top A New K-T Boundary in the Denver Basin [406]
Sat., Nov. 6. Cosponsored by GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Kirk Johnson, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80205-5732, (303) 370-6448, fax 303-331-6492; Richard Barclay.
Max.: 45; min.: 12. Cost: $105 (1L, R, bus).
This trip to the plains east of Denver will visit a recently discovered exposure of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. This is the only known surface section in the Denver Basin that preserves the K-T iridium and shocked mineral anomalies. Located on the west side of the Bijou Creek valley on property owned by the Plains Conservation Center, this site has also produced Cretaceous dinosaurs, other vertebrates and plants, and Paleocene mammals, crocodiles, turtles, and plants.
7. top Buried Paleo-Indian Landscapes and Sites in the High Plains of Northwestern Kansas and Eastern Colorado [407]
Sat., Nov. 6. Cosponsored by the GSA Archaeological Geology Division.
Rolfe D. Mandel, Kansas Geological Survey, 1930 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66047-3726, (785) 864-2171, fax 785-864-5317; Jack Hofman; Steve Holen.
Max.: 36; min.: 12. Cost: $85 (1L, R, vans).
This field trip will focus on buried Paleo-Indian landscapes and sites in the High Plains along the Kansas-Colorado border. Recent geoarchaeological surveys in this area have recorded thick sections of alluvium with buried soils dating to ~9,000-11,000 14C yr B.P. along small streams (draws) high in drainage networks. In addition to examining some of these sections, stops will be made at several buried Paleo-Indian sites, including Kanorado (Clovis and possible pre-Clovis), Powell (Clovis), and Laird (Late Paleo-Indian). Emphasis will be placed on the geomorphic and stratigraphic context of buried Paleo-Indian landscapes and sites, and late-Quaternary paleoenvironmental conditions will be addressed.
8. top Colorado Front Range — Anatomy of a Laramide Uplift [408]
Sat., Nov. 6. Cosponsored by Colorado Scientific Society.
Karl Kellogg, U.S. Geological Survey, P.O. Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, (303) 236-1305, fax 303-236-0214; Bruce Bryant; Jack Reed.
Max.: 36; min.: 12. Cost: $100 (1L, R, vans).
The trip will explore the geologic framework and uplift history of the Front Range by examining (1) the sedimentary and structural record along the eastern margin near Denver, (2) the Proterozoic basement of the range and the significance of northeast-trending shear zones, (3) the geologic setting of the Colorado mineral belt, and (4) the western structural margin of the range, which contrasts significantly with the eastern margin.
9. top Continental Accretion, Colorado Style: Proterozoic Island Arcs and Back Arcs of the Central Front Range [409]
Sat., Nov. 6.
Lisa R. Fisher, Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401-1887, (303) 478-9427, fax 303-273-3859; Thomas R. Fisher.
Max.: 36; min.: 12. Cost: $90 (1L, R, vans).
A trip through the Central Front Range of Colorado to examine the ca. 1.7 Ga metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary sequences formed during the accretion of Colorado onto the North American craton. Island arc, back-arc, and sedimentary basin-fill sequences that comprise the so-called "Idaho Springs Formation" will be examined. The possible origins and significance of the Coal Creek Quartzite, an amphibolite-grade meta-sandstone and meta-conglomerate, will be presented and discussed.
10. top Eco-Geo-Hike along the Dakota Hogback North of Boulder, Colorado [410]
Sat., Nov. 6.
Peter Birkeland, Dept. Geological Sciences (retired), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309; Ven Barclay; Edwin Larson; Ralph Shroba.
Max.: 20; min.: 7. Cost: $45 (1L). Begins and ends in Boulder. Instructions for public transportation from Denver to Boulder will be available upon registration for this trip.
Retired and active geologists will lead an eco-geo-hike (6 mi/1200 ft vertical) to discuss work mainly mapped by others or used in classes. We will traverse the Dakota hogback and discuss (1) sedimentary rocks (Fountain Formation to Pierre Shale), (2) paleomagnetic dating of Laramide uplift, (3) various kinds of landslides on the hogback, (4) the erosional history and formation of Quaternary fluvial terraces, and (5) the Boulder Creek floodplain.
11. top Geological Reconnaissance of Dinosaur Ridge, Red Rocks, and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains near Morrison, Colorado [411]
Sat., Nov. 6. Cosponsored by GSA Geoscience Education Division; GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Norbert E. Cygan, Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, 16831 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO 80456, (303) 697-3466, fax 303-697-8911; T. Caneer; Harald Drewes and other volunteers from Dinosaur Ridge,
Max.: 45; min.: 12. Cost: $90 (1L, bus). Also offered as a postmeeting trip.
This trip will visit classic dinosaur bones and footprints at Dinosaur Ridge in the vicinity of Morrison, Colorado. Participants will investigate the stratigraphy and depositional systems of the sedimentary rocks in the foothills. A stop will be made to examine the four lava flows at North Table Mountain with discussion of the vent area for the flows. Regional geology will be reviewed from overlooks in the area. Other sites will include the geologic display at the new Red Rocks visitor center as well as the Precambrian unconformity located nearby, selected Precambrian outcrops, an oil seep in the Dakota group, and a textbook example of a uranium roll front.
12. top Glenwood Springs, Colorado Coal Fire — Observations, Discussion, and Field Data Collection Techniques [412]
Sat., Nov. 6.
Glenn B. Stracher, Dept. of Science and Mathematics, East Georgia College, Swinsboro, GA 30401; (478) 289-2073, fax 478-289-2080; Gary Colaizzi; Steve Renner; Janet L. Stracher; Tammy P. Taylor.
Max.: 45; min.: 12. Cost: $105 (1L, R, bus, pool).
Gas vents, ground fissures, and subsidence associated with the Glenwood Springs, Colorado, underground coal fire will be examined and discussed. Techniques for collecting mineral condensates and microarthropods adjacent to gas vents, coal gas using a LaMotte hand-operated sampler and Tedlar bags, and CO plus CO2 data by Drager tube analysis will be demonstrated. We will end the day with a dip in the Glenwood Springs hot springs pool.
13. top Overview of Laramide Structures along the Northeastern Flank of the Front Range [413]
Sat., Nov. 6.
Vince Matthews, Colorado Geological Survey, 1313 Sherman St., Room 715, Denver, CO 80203, (303) 866-3028, fax 303-866-2461.
Max.: 38; min.: 12. Cost: $120 (1L, R, bus).
Laramide fold structures in the sedimentary rocks along the northeastern flank of the Front Range uplift are quite varied, including both symmetrical and asymmetrical anticlines and synclines, as well as domes, basins, and monoclines. These structures are a microcosm of the Wyoming Province of the Rocky Mountain Foreland. Exceptional exposures along the flank of the Front Range make it possible to observe the contrasting deformation of the Proterozoic basement rocks and the overlying Phanerozoic rocks. This well-illustrated field trip will be a roadside overview of the variety of structures found in the area and how they relate to regional lineaments and the structure of the adjacent Denver Basin. A short, easy walk will occur at the last stop.
14. top Paleoclimate, Paleohydrology, and Paleoecology of the Morrison Formation in the Front Range of Colorado [414]
Sat., Nov. 6. Cosponsored by GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Stan Dunagan, Dept. of Geology, Geography & Physics, University of Tennessee, Martin, TN 38238, (731) 587-7959, fax 731-587-1044; Christine Turner; Fred Peterson; Tim Demko.
Max.: 30; min.: 10. Cost: $105 (1L, R, vans).
New interpretations of isotopic, sedimentologic, and paleoecologic data from the Morrison Formation suggest that the Front Range foothills area of Colorado was the site of Late Jurassic wetland/lacustrine deposition. Visit Denver-Fort Collins area outcrops; see spectacular lacustrine stromatolite heads, charophyte-bearing mudstone and limestone, and paleosols. A regional paleoclimatic/paleohydrologic framework provides context for the reinterpretation of these distal Morrison deposits.
15. top Paleontology and Volcanic Setting of the Florissant Fossil Beds [415]
Sat., Nov. 6. Cosponsored by GSA Sedimentary Geology Division; Paleontological Society.
Herb Meyer, National Park Service, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, P.O. Box 185, Florissant, CO 80816, (719) 748-3253, fax 719-748-3253; Steven Veatch; Amanda Cook.
Max.: 36; min.: 12. Cost: $125 (1L, R, bus).
The world-renowned site at Florissant preserves late Eocene plants and insects in lake sediments and lahars that formed in close association with nearby volcanism. This trip will include visits to an outcrop and overlook of the Thirtynine Mile volcanic field, to the petrified forest and visitor center at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and to a site where fossil leaves and insects can be collected.
16. top Stratigraphy and Paleobiology of Mammoth Sites in the Denver Area [416]
Sat., Nov. 6. Cosponsored by GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Russ Graham, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80205, (303) 370-6047, fax 303-331-6492; Bart Weis; Jim Dixon.
Max.: 36; min.: 12. Cost: $95 (1L, R, vans).
This field trip will examine sites in the Denver area where mammoths have been found. The implications of the taxonomy and stratigraphic positions of the finds and how they relate to our understanding of mammoth evolution will be discussed. In addition, associated taxa provide a framework for interpreting the environments these mammoths inhabited.

General Field Trip Info




Personal Scheduler

Field Trip Co-Chairs:

Eric Erslev
Dept. Geosciences
Colorado State University

Eric Nelson
Dept. Geology & Geological Engineering
Colorado School of Mines

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Last Revised on 27 October, 2004