Geology List

Geology Thumbnail Index

Mojave Desert Geology

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California’s geomorphic provinces are naturally defined geologic regions that … Earthquakes & Faults ยท San Andreas Fault. Summary of the earthquake fault …

Cajon Pass Geology

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Heteromyid rodents from Miocene faunas of the Mojave Desert, Southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Science Series 41; p. 213-236.

Geology of Red Rock Canyon

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Red Rock Canyon California State Park. The geologic story of Red Rock Canyon is told by its …

Death Valley Geology

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California/Nevada Death Valley Regional Geology. Field Trip Guide. Walk Through Time. Badwater with Telescope …

Geology of Mojave Preserve

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Mesozoic Rocks. Source – NPS, Cinder cones national natural landmark. Kelso Dunes, Mojave Preserve, Eastern Mojave Desert Banshee …

The Mojave Desert – Shaping the Classic American Desert

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The area of most dramatic relief is around Death Valley, California, where the elevation drops from 3,400 m above sea level at Telescope Peak to 88 m below sea …

Desert Sand Dune Geology

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The Geology of Sand Dunes. While one-quarter to one-third of the world’s deserts are covered with sand, little research has taken …

Mojave Preserve Geology – Landforms

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Desert landscape and surface processes study, Mojave National Preserve.

Hole in the Wall – Mojave Preserve

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Mojave Preserve – Geology. Hole-in-the-Wall. Hidden violence. Visitors to Mojave National Preserve are fascinated by the brightly colored, …

The Mojave River and Associated Lakes – Mojave Desert Geology

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Desert landscape and surface processes study, Mojave National Preserve.

Geology – Death Valley Rock Samples – Mojave Desert

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A rock formation is a body of rock of a considerable extent with distinctive characteristics that allow geologists to map, describe, and name it. The sample rocks …

Geology of the Death Valley Region

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The three sites in this area lie in the extreme southeast corner of Death Valley National Park immediately west of California Highway 127 which provides the …

Introduction to Geology of the Mojave Desert

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Far from being static, the geology of Earth is dynamic, in constant motion and change. The crust is a puzzle made up of tectonic plates, shifting against …

Geology of Joshua Tree

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Mojave Desert Geology: Joshua Tree National Park – Nature & Environment. Geology of Joshua Tree. Geologic Displays. The park encompasses some of the most …

Earthquake Faults: Mojave Desert Geology

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Geology: Earthquakes & Faults: California straddles the juncture of two great crustal plates: the Pacific plate and the North American plate.

Desert Sand Dune Geology

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Wind-induced Sand Movement. Photo of a dust devil on Soda Lake in the Mojave Preserve transporting sand. Individual sand grains are moved under the force of the …

Rock Formations – Mojave Desert

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Trona Pinnacles. This eerie, fantastic landscape is one of the most unique geological features in the California desert. These … Vasquez Rocks. These towering …

Desert Landforms & Surface Processes

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Historic weather data for the Eastern Mojave Desert is relatively scarce because there is no significant … Geologic History. The oldest rocks exposed in the …

Geology of Mono Lake

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This ongoing process has created the majestic contrast of a desert lake bordered by high mountain peaks. As the western floor of the Mono Basin slipped …

Geology Tour Road

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Map, photos and virtual tour of the Geology Tour Road in Joshua Tree National Park.

Introduction to the Arch Rock Geology tour

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Geology tour of White Tank Arch Rock in Joshua Tree National Park.

The Geology of the Mojave Desert

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The earliest rock, related to the metamorphic gneiss and schist at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, has little exposure in the Mojave, but can be seen at Saddle …

Magma On The Move: Geology of the Mojave Desert

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Along with the faulting, volcanic activity increased across the landscape. Igneous rock is derived from molten layers of magma beneath the Earth’s crust. Under …

Changing Climates and Ancient Lakes Mojave Desert

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Information was derived from articles within Enzel, Wells, and Lancaster (2003); [Geological Society of America Special Paper 268].

General Geologic History – Mojave Preserve – California Mojave

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Desert landscape and surface processes study, Mojave National Preserve.

Geology Road – Joshua Tree National Park

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Driving tour of Joshua Tree geology

Mitchell Caverns

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The Providence Mountains caves, like most limestone caves in other parts of the world, seem to have had a two-stage history. Most geologists who have studied …

Volcanic Rocks and Associated Landforms

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Cinder Cones and Lava Flows National Natural Landmark Area. Volcanic eruptions have occurred many times throughout the Mojave National Preserve in the geologic …

Badwater – Death Valley Geology

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Some of the minerals left behind by earlier Death Valley lakes dissolved in the shallow water, creating a briny solution. The Desert Returns. The wet times didn’t …

Geology Red Rock National Conservation Area

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For much of the past 600 million years, the land that is now Red Rock Canyon NCA was the bottom of a deep ocean basin and the western coast of North America was …

Mosaic Canyon – Death Valley Geology

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Smooth, polished marble walls enclose the trail as it follows the canyon’s sinuous curves. The canyon follows faults that formed when the rocky crust of the …

Educational Gold

I suppose everyone has heard the story I am about to tell you and if you aren’t part of everyone then you will be after you read this because you will have heard the story I am going to tell.

One fine and sunny summer morning in the late 1950s/early 60s, there was a road crew patching the asphalt on a lonely stretch of desert highway. I am not sure of which highway and I pretty much don’t care because this could have happened just about anywhere in the Mojave. Anyway, these guys are out there working away and down this empty highway rode this big, old, dark blue Buick driven by a somewhat elderly lady with another lady riding as a passenger. They slowed and stopped when they got to the road crew.

“Excuse me, sir?” the driver asked.

“Yes? How can I help you?” the signalman replied.

“My name is Betty and this is my friend, Betty–You can call her, ‘other’ Betty. We are school teachers from Indiana on vacation. We noticed these mines all along the mountains and were thinking how nice it would be to have a gold nugget to show our students. Would you tell us where we could get one?”

The road crew; the signalman, the man with the shovel, the man supervising the man with the shovel, and the supervisor of the man supervising the man with the shovel had all gathered next to the car. They were all smiling–It just wasn’t that easy.

Garlock – 1896 — Gold Gamble

“Well, did you see those piles of gravel next to the mines?” the supervisor asked. “Well, those are tailings,” he continued.

“Yeah,” you can find gold in there,” the shovel operator said with a chuckle.

“Thank you!” said Betty.

“Yes. Thank you,” chimed in ‘other’ Betty.

With that, Betty turned the car around and they disappeared in the heat waves in the distance.

The road crew had a good laugh.

It was only about 15 minutes later the Buick come tooling back down the road. It slowed and then stopped at the road crew.

“We found a piece! Thank you kindly!” Betty hollered.

‘Other’ Betty held out her hand and a half-inch thick chunk of gold covered the palm of her hand. Now, ‘Other’ Betty was a large woman with the hands of a truck driver and the nugget she held was damn big. The road crew was aghast at their stupid joke gone awry and they passed the rest of the day in embarrassed silence. The merry school teachers pleased that they had an authentic piece of gold to show their students, drove on to Bakersfield because Bakersfield seems to be where everyone that finds gold goes.

— end —

Room 8

The Mystery of Room 8 . . .

Room 8 – Kelso Depot

The waitresses of Kelso Depot were disappearing from their quarters in Room 8. One by one, during the dark of night, these young ladies would vanish without a trace or clue as to whatever may have happened to these delicate, polite, and refined maidens.

Upper floor on the left; Room 8

Many felt it was a curse, that possibly the Kelso Depot was built on sacred ground, but there was never a shred of proof that there was either a graveyard or spell over this piece of the desert country.

New girls and fresh waitresses would be brought in to fill the void left by these temporal spirits who would remain employed by the Union Pacific until their inevitable disappearance.

Go to the light . . .

This went on long enough that a definite pattern was observed, and the mystery was solved:

The single women who worked here would become so lonely during their time that they would escape in the dark of night with the first gentleman who would elope with her and take her out of the desert.

At least, that’s what I heard happened.

Kelso Depot

Kelso, California

Mojave National Preserve

Union Pacific Railroad