Field Trips Chair
Bob Raynolds
B breakfast
L lunch
R refreshments
D dinner
ON overnight lodging
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Field Trips

Premeeting Concurrent Postmeeting

All trips begin and end at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, unless otherwise indicated. Details about the precise trip itinerary are provided upon registration or you may contact the field trip leaders directly. Participants are cautioned against scheduling any tight travel connections with field trip return times, as those times are estimates, and delays in the field may occur. For a list of hotels near the airport, contact GSA.

If you register just for a field trip, you must pay a non-registrant fee in addition to the field trip fee. This fee may be applied toward meeting registration if you decide to attend the meeting. Trip fees include transportation during the trip and a trip guide.


Badlands Castles

421. Late Quaternary through Holocene Landscape Evolution of the White River Badlands, South Dakota
Wed.-Sat., 31 Oct.-3 Nov. Canceled
422. A GeoMystery Field Trip to the Anton Escarpment
Cosponsored by GSA Engineering Geology Division; GSA Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division
Thurs., 1 Nov.
David C. Noe, Colorado Geological Survey, +1-303-866-2432, .
Anton Trench
click for larger image
Everybody loves a mystery. One of Colorado's great mysteries is the origin of the "Anton escarpment" that crosses eastern Colorado's high plains for nearly 100 miles. Was it formed by movement along a fault? If so, what is the timing? Or is this straight-line feature a product of massive, late Pleistocene erosion? The highlight of this field trip will be the examination of new research trenches dug into the slope of the 80-ft-high escarpment. We will look at trench stratigraphy and archeology, and (if present) indicators of seismogenic movement. Because these trenches will be dug later in 2007, even the field trip leaders don't know exactly what we'll see!
Min: 6; max: 36. Cost US$85 (L, R)
423. Integrated Analysis of Laramide to Holocene Deformation of the Northeastern Front Range Using 3-D Balancing and Comparative Fracture Analysis of Pre- and Post-Laramide Strata
Cosponsored by GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division
Thurs., 1 Nov.
Eric A. Erslev, Colorado State University, +1-970-491-6375, ; Scott M. Larson.
This field trip will unravel the multistage folding and fracturing of the Rocky Mountains by integrating larger fold and fault geometries with detailed minor fault, joint, and paleomagnetic analyses in a transect just south of the Colorado-Wyoming border. Extensive fault analyses in this area of diverse structural trends show both regional Laramide shortening and local deformation partitioning, which are integrated into a restorable 3-D model of the Laramide deformation. The timing and mechanisms of extensional fracturing (jointing) are revealed by comparing their orientations to minor faults in the spectacularly folded pre-Laramide strata and to fractures in on-lapping post-Laramide strata. The trip will traverse new open space acquisitions that span the Front Range foothills and include the Lindenmeier archaeological site of the Folsom culture.
Min: 12; max: 36. Cost US$79 (L, R)
424. Stratal Architecture and Sequence Stratigraphy of the Mount Garfield Formation, Grand Junction Area, Colorado
Thurs.-Sat., 1-3 Nov. — FULL
Diane L. Kamola, University of Kansas, +1-785-864-2724, ; Andrew S. Madof; Mustapha Zater.
Trip begins and ends in Grand Junction, Colorado.
This trip will present a depositional and high-resolution sequence stratigraphic analysis for the Upper Cretaceous Mount Garfield Formation, Grand Junction area, Colorado. The Mount Garfield Formation is interpreted as coastal plain to shoreline-nearshore environments, and represents the final regression of the western interior seaway. Nearshore and tidal environments are well exposed. Detailed field study has identified five depositional sequences, each bracketed by a well-documented sequence boundary (regional erosion surface overlain by a basinward shift of facies). The five sequences will be examined in stratigraphic succession, starting with the most proximal (western) exposures and working progressively eastward (i.e., more distally) with each stop. Highstand deposits will be traced along depositional dip, from proximal to distal exposures. These consist primarily of wave-dominated shoreface successions and range from distal offshore siltstones to shoreline sandstones. Parasequence architecture of the highstands will be emphasized, including the regional distribution of component subenvironments. Facies of the lowstand and transgressive systems tracts consisting primarily of incised valley fill deposits will also be emphasized. Incised valley fill strata are complex: some valley fills are characterized by vertically nested fluvial successions, while others contain vertically stacked, tidally influenced sandstones. Many localities contain stacked incised valley fills, which are discernable only through detailed outcrop mapping. A sequence stratigraphic interpretation of the Mount Garfield Formation illustrates the complex stratal geometries associated with higher frequency sequences, as well as the compartmentalization of a formation caused by the depositional response to rapid and successive changes in base level.
Min: 9; max: 24. Cost US$270 (2ON, L, R)
425. Laramide Paleoseismites of the Bighorn Basin
Thurs.-Sun., 1-4 Nov.
Mervin J. Bartholomew, University of Memphis, +1-901-678-1613, ; Kevin G. Stewart.
Paleocene-Eocene faulting along the Beartooth fault in southern Montana and northern Wyoming and earlier faulting in Elk Basin generated numerous large earthquakes. The record of these earthquakes is spectacularly preserved as paleoseismites in synkinematic sediments within the adjacent Bighorn Basin. This field trip will focus on new work by Bartholomew, Stewart, and their graduate students on the nature and distribution of these paleoseismites and their relationship to the kinematic history of the Beartooth front. Field trip stops will include sites in the basin from Red Lodge, Montana, to near Clark, Wyoming. Most of the exposures are within the Paleocene Fort Union Formation and are easily accessible by vehicle and short hikes. Day 1 of the trip will consist of driving from Denver to Red Lodge, Montana, where we will stay overnight. Days 2 and 3 will be spent examining paleoseismites in the Basin, returning to Red Lodge each night. On Day 4, we will return to Denver.
Min: 10; max: 30. Cost US$420 (3ON, L, R)
426. Walking with Dinosaurs along Colorado's Front Range
Thurs., 1 Nov. Canceled
427. Geomorphic Effects of a Catastrophic Forest Fire
Thurs., 1 Nov. FULL
Lee McDonald, U.S. Forest Service, Denver, ; Robert G. Raynolds.
This trip will visit the area burned by the catastrophic Hayman Fire. We will examine the sedimentary responses to the fire damage and consider the long-term effects of such a major fire in the Colorado Rockies.
Min: 12; max: 45. Cost US$69 (L, R)
428. Old and New Geologic Studies along the Front Range between Golden and Morrison, Including Structural, Volcanic, and Economic Geology and Paleontology (2)
Cosponsored by Friends of Dinosaur Ridge; GSA Geoscience Education Division; GSA Sedimentary Geology Division
Thurs., 1 Nov.
Chris Carroll, Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, +1-303- 697-3466, ; Tim Connors; Harald Drewes; T. Caneer; Norb Cygan.
This field trip will visit the Laramide uplifted late Paleozoic to early Cenozoic stratigraphic interval exposed between Golden and Morrison, Colorado. Topics to be presented include dinosaur remains of three ages, folds, faults, and two-stage volcanism associated with the Laramide Orogeny. Economic deposits, past and present, will be observed along the way, including a uranium roll front and oil seeps near Morrison. This field trip provides geologic educators with an opportunity to view excellent field lab sites for geology instruction, including Mesozoic dinosaur tracks and bones of the Dakota Sandstone and Morrison Formation. Field trip stops will include the classic dinosaur track site at Dinosaur Ridge, Triceratops Trail, Red Rocks Park, and North and South Table Mountains.
Min: 12; max: 45. Cost US$85 (L)
429. Coeval Miocene Magmatism and Crustal Extension in the Colorado River and Death Valley Extensional Terrains
Thurs.-Sun., 1-4 Nov.
Death Valley
click for larger image
J.P. Calzia, USGS-Menlo Park, +1-650-329-5538, ; O. Tapani Rämö; C.F. Miller, S.D. Ludington.
Trip begins and ends in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Geologic, petrologic, and isotopic studies of Miocene plutonic and volcanic rocks in the Colorado River and Death Valley extensional terrains demonstrate a close temporal and spatial relation between magmatism and crustal extension; the coeval nature of the magmatic rocks and extensional structures suggest a genetic and possibly a dynamic relationship between these geologic processes. This four-day post-meeting trip will begin and end in Las Vegas, Nevada; field evidence and lab data presented during this trip will be summarized into a magmatic-tectonic model that relates magmatism to coeval crustal extension in extensional terrains.
Min: 10; max: 20. Cost US$430 (3ON, L, R)
430. Aquifer Stratigraphy in the Denver Basin
Fri., 2 Nov.
Robert G. Raynolds, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, +1-303-370-6047, ; John Moore; Marieke Dechesne; Steven A. Boand.
Trip participants will visit outcrops of the important bedrock aquifers in the Denver Basin. We will examine a series of detailed subsurface datasets tied to the outcrops and evaluate the volume and character of the groundwater resource that is being rapidly exploited in the Douglas County area. This trip will be of interest to stratigraphers, water-use planners, and residents of the Front Range urban corridor.
Min: 8; max: 22. Cost US$90 (L, R)
431. New Perspectives and an Update on Continental Accretion — Colorado Style: Island Arcs and Back Arcs of the Central Front Range
Fri., 2 Nov.
Giant Andalusites Outcrop
click for larger image
Lisa Rae Fisher, ; Thomas R. Fisher, Colorado School of Mines, +1-303-215-0480,
This is an all new update of our popular field trip held during the 2004 Denver Convention. It is a one day trip through the Central Front Range of Colorado to examine the ~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 of and significance of the Coal Creek Quartzite an amphibolite-grade meta-sandstone and conglomerate will be discussed and presented. The trip will feature the original stops plus two new stops to further examine implications of the metamorphic sequences and textures in interpreting the paleogeology and geography of the original protolith. Implications and significance of new geochronolgy will be discussed and examined. Lastly, the trip will attempt to put the Central Front Range accretionary sequences into a more global context by comparatives with worldwide events such as accretionary events of similar age around the West African Craton.
Min: 10; max: 40. Cost US$85 (L, R)


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