New Zinc-lead-silver mineral deposit discovered in SE Arizona




Arizona Mining Inc. (formerly Wildcat Silver) has just announced a major new discovery of zinc-lead-silver mineralization on their Hermosa Taylor project in Santa Cruz County near Patagonia, Arizona.

I have previously reported on what is now called the Hermosa Central deposit which lies to the southeast of the new deposit: see Manganese may be mined in Arizona. According to a prefeasibility study completed in December, 2013, that deposit contains reserves of 145 million ounces of silver and 7.2 billion pounds of manganese, with inferred additional resources of 235 million ounces of silver and 10.3 billion pounds of manganese. The mineralization occurs mainly as a oxide manto (blanket).

The new discovery, called the Hermosa Taylor deposit, discovered in 2015, lies about 2,000 feet to the northwest of Hermosa Central. This mineralization is a stratabound carbonate replacement deposit. This deposit contains sulfides of zinc, lead (with silver) and copper. A resource estimate as of Feb., 2016, claims 39.4 million ton of 11.04% zinc equivalent. (An “equivalent” grade adds in prorated values for copper, lead and silver, see chart here.) There is also an overlying oxide zone according to the cross-section (see here).

Arizona Mining reports that the best hole to date at Taylor Deposit HDS-361 intersects 8 mineralized intervals including 105 feet grading 13.65% Zinc, 10.33% Lead and 3.36 opt Silver and 73 feet grading 15.20% Zinc, 11.20% Lead and 3.89 opt Silver within a larger interval of 504.5 feet grading 6.51% Zinc, 4.88% Lead and 1.72 opt Silver. (Opt = ounces per ton)

The new Taylor deposit remains open to the north, west, and south, so the actual resource could be much bigger than currently estimated. See exploration potentialmap here.

Update, September 13: Arizona Mining reports that a step-out hole sited 1,300 feet northwest of the existing resource encountered intense alteration and recrystallization of the carbonate host and five distinct mineralized intervals including a 24.5 foot interval which assayed 23.1% zinc, 13.5% lead, 0.10% copper and 7.3 ounces per ton silver within a 49.5 foot thick broader zone of mineralization which assayed 13.6% zinc, 8.04% lead, 0.11% copper and 4.79 opt silver. This result bodes well for the possibility of greatly expanding the resource.


Both the Central and Taylor deposits are hosted by Paleozoic sandstones and limestones and by Cretaceous and Tertiary volcanic rocks. See here for more detail.

Arizona Mining’s current interpretation of the geology:

The major lithologic host for the Hermosa deposit is an epiclastic sandstone that is locally interbedded with very fine-grained tuff. High-angle faults, trending predominantly north-south and east-west, bound the horst blocks in the area, and may have served as conduits for mineralizing fluids.

Sections through the deposit oriented both east-west and north-south suggest that the strata are deformed into a doubly-plunging anticline the apex of which is coincident with the highest grade-thickness of silver accumulation, which suggests that deformation pre-dated the mineralizing event, that mineralizing fluids migrated to the topographically highest permeable area, and that post-mineral tilting of the deposit has occurred.

The company still has more drilling and metallurgical testing to do, but that’s the easy part. The hard part is navigating the regulatory quagmire for permitting.

Climate Madness 7

By now you should realize that the war on carbon dioxide emissions is not about the climate but about money and power. As you read the items below keep in mind these two things:

1) Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has admitted the real reason for the climate hysteria: to transform the world economy, redistributing income from rich nations to poorer ones. Figueres stated: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.” (Source)

2) Obama’s Clean Power Plan, if fully implemented, would reduce temperatures by 0.023 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. The UN’s Paris climate agreement, if fully implemented would reduce global temperatures by 0.08 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 according to UN modeling. The costs of the Paris climate pact are likely to run $1 trillion to $2 trillion annually throughout the rest of the century. (Source)

Should We Be Having Kids In Light Of Global Warming?

By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller

National Public Radio (NPR) featured an academic philosopher who says morality requires Americans to stop having kids, because they will only cause more global warming.

“Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them,” NPR Travis Rieder, a philosopher at Johns Hopkins University, told NPR. “The situation is bleak, it’s just dark … Population engineering, maybe it’s an extreme move. But it gives us a chance.”

Rieder said America produces a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) per person, and the world’s poorest nations will be most affected by global warming. He suggests rich nations should stop having children to remedy this. Reducing the current birth rate to 0.5 kids per woman could be the “thing that saves us,” he said. Read more Read a rebuttal

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Worried about global warming? Fear not because you can now get Climate Anxiety Counseling. (Link)

Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change

by Kate Hardiman

‘We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change’

Three professors co-teaching an online course called “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs recently told their students via email that man-made climate change is not open for debate, and those who think otherwise have no place in their course.

“The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course. The class is taught by professors in Genetic engineering, English, and Sociology/Social Justice. Read full story from the College Fix

Perhaps these professors should consult the Climate Anxiety group. Update: The University of Colorado professors who shut down climate change debate in class have landed on the radar of a member of the school’s board of regents, who says he wants to make sure students are being “educated, not indoctrinated.”

Bill McKibben Goes Full Jackboot on Climate Change

Environmentalist Bill McKibben wants the world to wage war against climate change, by giving governments full wartime powers to seize private property and coerce businesses into supporting the effort, and with strict government control of the economy. Read more

George Monbiot Eats Roadkill to Save The Planet

by Eric Worrall

Prominent Guardian (UK) environment reporter George Monbiot has decided to eat Vegan supplemented with Roadkill to “reduce his impact” on the global climate.Read more

Vibrating roadways to generate electricity?

By Dr. Roy Spencer

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more stupid…

Solar Freakin’ Roadways was a bad enough idea…now, the California Energy Commission has agreed to fund several projects to investigate the generation of electrical energy from piezo electric cells placed in road surfaces. The idea is that since a piezo device can convert mechanical vibrations into electricity, they can regain some of the energy lost by cars and trucks that are constantly vibrating the roads. At first it seems like a reasonable idea…until you think about the tiny amount of energy involved compared to the cost of such devices. Read more

How Lowering Crime Could Contribute to Global Warming

By Tatiana Schlossberg, New York Times

It sounds simple: If something has a big carbon footprint and you get rid of it, you eliminate those carbon dioxide emissions. Right? But it’s not always that easy. In a recent study published in The Journal of Industrial Ecology, researchers at the Center for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey in England estimated the annual carbon footprint of crime in England and Wales, and found that reducing crime could actually cause society’s overall carbon footprint of society to increase. That’s because inmates generally consume less than an average citizen in the country, so fewer prisoners might mean higher overall energy consumption. Read more(FYI, Tatiana Schlossberg is a granddaughter of JFK)

Government regulations:

Federal contractors will have to detail “climate risk”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration recently proposed requiring that all companies doing business with the federal government publicly disclose what they know about their climate-risk exposure. This information will be a factor in taxpayer-funded contracting decisions. The administration is also working to increase disclosure of climate risks that America’s more than 140 million pension beneficiaries face in their investments. And we now require that our agencies consider and publicly disclose climate risk when undertaking other major federal actions, like leases of public resources, issuance of permits, and investment in infrastructure. Read more

Government: New 700,000-Word Regulation is Good for You

by Terry Jeffrey, Townhall

The EPA has just signed a new 1,689-page regulation that imposes new “greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards” on vehicles ranging from heavy-duty pickup trucks to tractor-trailer combinations used to haul cargo. According to the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, by model year 2027, the regulation will increase the cost of tractor trucks, depending on the type, between $10,235 and $13,749. Trailers will cost from $1,204 to $1,370 more. The regulation follows from the EPA administrator’s determination, made seven years ago under the terms of the Clean Air Act, that greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, “endanger public health.” Read more

The Department of Energy (DOE) has now developed an energy efficiency regulation specific to wine coolers.

It estimated the rule would cost the average small business $12,500 to test whether their equipment meets specifications. While DOE said the $12,500 testing cost is “unlikely to represent a significant economic impact for small businesses,” it did not address the costs to or impact on individual consumers who have or might purchase wine chillers for their homes. Read more

Obama issues guidance making it tougher to build roads, bridges in name of climate change

by Valerie Richardson, the Washington Times

Building that bridge or expanding that highway just became more difficult under a rigorous standard issued by the Obama administration that will make it easier to block a wide range of projects in the name of climate change. The final guidance broadens the National Environmental Policy Act by requiring agencies to quantify the impact of activities that require federal permits not just on the environment but also on “projected direct and indirect GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions.” The White House described the guidance as “another big step in the administration’s effort to consider how all types of federal actions will impact climate change and identify opportunities to build climate resilience.” Read more

Climate Predictions:

2009: The 2016 Olympics will be the last summer games due to global warming.

2016: The 2080 Olympics will be the last summer games due to global warming.

The Imaginary Drought Of 2016: Experts predicted a severe drought in the corn belt this summer. But: The past two years has been much wetter than normal across the corn belt.

1923: experts said Glacier National Park will be ice-free by 1950.

1952: experts said Glacier National Park would be ice-free by 2000

2009: experts said Glacier National Park would be ice-free by 2020.

2016: Dengue fever flip-flop: Health researchers now predict that the transmission of dengue fever could decrease in a future warmer climate, countering previous projections that climate change would cause the potentially lethal virus to spread more easily.


“… every season is sure to be ‘extraordinary,’ almost every month one of the driest or wettest, or windiest, coldest or hottest, ever known… speculating quite as conjecturally and even more absurdly, seem to attribute the impending change of climate, of which they assume the reality, to the operation of men. ” -Brisbane Courier, January 10, 1871 in an article entitled “Imaginary changes of Climate”

Climate “science”:

The Corrupt History Of NASA Temperature

In this post Tony Heller, proprietor of the blog “Real Science” documents how NASA has been manipulating the temperature record to conform with the current political agenda.

In 1974, the National Center For Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, showed no net warming from 1870 to 1970, and a 0.5C cooling from 1940 to 1970. Climatologists blamed every imaginable form of bad weather on the global cooling that was occurring.

In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences reported the same thing, and said global cooling is inevitable.

In 1989 Tom Karl, the Director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said Earth had cooled from 1921 to 1979.

But by 1999, NASA had changed the 1921 to 1979 cooling which Tom Karl reported into almost 0.3C warming, and had erased most of the 1940 to 1970 cooling.

By 2001, NASA had increased the fake 1921 to 1979 warming to more than 0.3C, had further erased the 1940 to 1970 cooling, and showed about 0.5C warming from 1880 to 1999.

NASA now shows 0.5C warming from 1921 to 1979, have completely erased the 1940 to 1970 cooling, and shows 1.1C warming from 1880 to 1999. They more than doubled 1880 to 1999 warming since their 2001 graph.

Summarizing : NASA has completely erased the post-1940 cooling. They turned Tom Karl’s 1921-1979 cooling into 0.5C warming, and have more than doubled 1880 to 1999 warming since their own 2001 temperature graph. Malfeasance like this in most professions would have serious consequences for the perpetrators.

A new global warming study says only a total power shutdown can save us now

by Thomas Richard

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has a new study this week: to prevent catastrophic global warming, the world will need to stop emitting all man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2085. So say goodbye to Uber, iPhones, computers, trains, planes, automobiles, air conditioners, heating, or anything that even remotely relies on fossil fueled power. It means our entire way of life would be thrown into the Stone Age to prevent an unlikely two-degree Celsius rise in temperatures from occurring by 2100. And it would keep developing nations from being industrialized. Forget renewables. According to manufacturing analyst Steven Capozzola, you “can’t build a wind farm with the electricity generated by a wind farm.”

Additionally, the federally funded NCAR study says that we will need to develop carbon scrubbing devices capable of removing CO2 from the air. It notes that even if every sector in every country – including manufacturing, power generation, farming, transportation, and the military–ceased all operations, we would still need technology to remove 15 gigatons of CO2 a year from the atmosphere. Read more

See also:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6


The explosive geology of the Chiricahua Mountains


The Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona where once the site of very explosive volcanic eruptions. They now host some very interesting rock formations including hoodoos, rock spires, and balanced rocks. (All are erosional forms which develop into fantastic pinnacles, towers and grotesques shapes. Hoodoos have a cap rock.)

Chiricahua location

Like the Tucson Mountains, the Chricahuas have had several periods of volcanism. The principal and most explosive episode began about 27 million years ago.

As described by the U.S. Geological Survey (see reference below), “a large mass of magma accumulated within a few miles of the surface, forming a magma chamber” just to the south of where Chiricahua National Monument occurs in the northern part of the range.

“Eventually, the overlying rock ruptured and the resulting decrease in confining pressure allowed volatiles (mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide) to separate from the magma and form gas bubbles. Foaming magma formed pumice and expanded as much as 50 times in volume, causing a series of large explosive eruptions. The eruptions blew more than 100 cubic miles of magma out of the volcano and buried a region of at least 1,200 square miles in a thick blanket of hot ash and pumice. For comparison, the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens produced only one tenth of a cubic mile of magma and the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, which was one of the largest eruptions of the century, produced only about one cubic mile of magma.”

The USGS report notes, “The eruption produced boiling clouds of very hot (greater than 1,000°F) ash, pumice, rock fragments, and gas that were propelled into the atmosphere and across the land surface at speeds of 50 to more than 100 miles an hour, scouring everything in their paths like superheated jets from a sandblaster. As the clouds lost gas and deflated, they became more dense and flowed downslope from the volcano as pyroclastic flows that ponded in valleys to form thick deposits of steaming ash and pumice.” As the still-hot ash and pumice came to rest is compacted and fuse into a rock geologists call welded tuff.

Eruption of that great volume of magma caused the magma chamber to collapse in on itself to form a caldera (now called the Turkey Creek caldera) that was about 12 miles in diameter and at least 5,000 feet deep. The caldera was partially filled by some of the just-erupted ash and by subsequent eruptions. See geologic map below.

Following the explosive ash eruption, an eruption of less-volatile lava covered most of the caldera and prevented much of the tuff from being eroded away.

During the 20 million years following eruptions, large faults cut the volcanic edifice and dropped part of it down to form the San Simon Valley on the east and the Sulphur Springs Valley on the west.

HoodoosAlso during that time, water and wind eroded the welded tuff along fractures to produce the weird shapes we see today. The USGS opines, “Recent study has shown that contrary to previous ideas, the joints were not produced as the tuff was squeezed and fractured between faults, as if in a vise. If that were the case, one would expect to see a systematic pattern in the orientation of the joints. Instead, the joint directions vary widely and they curve, features that indicate they resulted mainly from contraction brought about by the original cooling of the tuff. Cooling joints form at right angles to surfaces where heat is removed from a lava flow or tuff layer; these are mainly the top and bottom surfaces and the resulting joints are usually vertical planes. The intersection of joint planes form rock columns.”

The USGS calculates that the rock spires and columns are about 2.4 million years old based on the local erosion rate of the tuff. And, they say, “Surprisingly, the columns are quite strong, and even the ‘balanced rocks’ are not as fragile as they appear. Engineering analysis shows that the columns are well within their mechanical failure limits for static load; they are not about to fail under their own weight. In fact, the 187-foot-high Totem Pole could be suspended upside-down without breaking. Dynamic failure is much more likely, in which columns would be ‘knocked over’ by a lateral force. Lateral forces occur during earthquakes, but surprisingly, few of the columns appear to have been destroyed by the nearby magnitude 7.2Pitaicachi earthquake of 1887, despite widespread damage to buildings in the region. Perhaps, a ‘tuned’ frequency of earthquake ground waves is required to get the columns swaying enough to fall.”

geo map



geo map index



Pallister, J.S., du Bray, E.A., and Hall, D.B., 1997, Guide to the Volcanic Geology of Chiricahua National Monument and Vicinity, Cochise County, Arizona, USGS MAP I-2541



See more photos here.

Tucson Mountains geology – an update


The Tucson Mountains form the rampart on the west side of the city. If you drive over Gates Pass, take a look at the road cuts, especially near the top, you will see a chaotic jumble of different rocks, mainly volcanics. According to the Arizona Geological Survey: “Tucson Mountain Chaos is a formal geologic name, describing one of the more confusing, complex, and controversial areas in southern Arizona.”

Like many mountain ranges in Southern Arizona, the Tucson Mountains have experienced several episodes of volcanic eruption. Major eruptions occurred during Triassic-Jurassic time (~190-200 Ma), early Laramide (74 Ma), later Laramide (62 Ma), and one late Tertiary (~20 Ma). (Ma means million years ago.) There were also several interspersed minor eruptions.

The early Laramide (74 Ma) eruption was very explosive and produced great volumes of rhyolite tuff (Cat Mountain tuff). The rapid eruption caused the volcano to collapse in on itself to form a caldera. That collapse produced megabreccia called the Tucson Mountain Chaos. (Breccia is simply a bunch of angular fragments cemented together.) Within that breccia are small to very large fragments of other rocks including house-sized blocks of limestone. The breccia could have formed in three ways (and there are proponents of each way): moat in-filling of the caldera, landslides, or fluidized material brought up from below.

TM geo map3The Tucson Mountain caldera is not a typical caldera with equal subsidence all around. Rather, it is a “trap door” caldera with the “hinge” area on the southeast and major subsidence on the west. The western ring fault (called the Museum Fault) parallels Kinney Road from about Old Tucson to just past the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, then swings east around a granite pluton. This structure was first proposed by Peter Lipman of the United States Geological Survey in 1994 and later supported by geophysical investigations.

Beginning about 25 to 30 million years ago, Arizona and the West experienced crustal stretching which began to tear things apart. It was proposed, about 10 years ago, that the Tucson Mountain volcano and caldera formed over where the Santa Catalina Mountains now stand on the east side of Tucson. It was posited that crustal stretching slid the caldera to its present location. (You can see an explanation and cross-sections of that story in a 2009 article from my Wryheat blog.) That was such a neat story that the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum constructed a mechanical model which Docents (including me) used to interpret the story. That particular “kit” has been retired because subsequent evidence shows that the story is probably in error. The main evidence against the sliding story is that the chemistry of the volcanics in the Tucson Mountains is incompatible with the proposed generating pluton in the Santa Catalina Mountains. There are also some structural inconsistencies.

TM section

One other thing: there was a Tucson Mountain dinosaur. Dinosaur bones were found within one of the blocks of megabreccia about 1800 feet NNW of Gates Pass. This dinosaur is classified as a large Hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur). This dinosaur lived in Tucson some time between 72 and 83 million years ago.


Kring, D.A., 2002, Desert Heat – Volcanic Fire, The Geologic History of the Tucson Mountains and Southern Arizona, Arizona Geological Society Digest 21

Lipman, Peter, 1993, Geologic map of the Tucson Mountains Caldera, southern Arizona, U.S.G.S. IMAP 2205. (link)

Lipman Peter W., 1994: Tucson Mountains caldera; a Cretaceous ash-flow caldera in southern Arizona. U S (link)

Marshall, L. and Stokes, P., 2012, the Tucson Mountains Caldera: Using Gravity and Magnetic Anomalies to Test Trapdoor Subsidence and Locate Subsurface Plutonic Bodies. (link)

Spencer, G.L. et al., 2005, The late Cretaceous Tucson Mountains dinosaur, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 29 (link)

See also:

Arizona Geologic History: Chapter 1, Precambrian Time When Arizona was at the South Pole

Arizona Geological History: Chapter 2, Cambrian and Ordovician Time

Arizona Geological History: Chapter 3: Devonian to Permian Time

Arizona Geological History Chapter 4: Triassic Period

Arizona Geological History Chapter 5: Jurassic Time

Arizona Geological History Chapter 6, The Cretaceous Period

Arizona Geological History Chapter 7: The Cenozoic Era

Old mines of the Tucson Mountains

Velvetpod Mimosa – a desert survivor

Velvetpod mimosa

Velvetpod fruit








The Velvetpod Mimosa (Mimosa dysocarpa) is an extremely drought and heat tolerant legume plant that is native to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It blooms during the hottest part of the summer. It occurs mainly along arroyos and washes, 3500-6500 ft. elevation.

The mimosa is a woody shrub that grows three to six feet tall. The branches have large, sharp thorns. The flowers are showy but misleading because you see the flower filaments not the petals. The petals are very tiny and fused together. (See photos here) Fresh flowers are magenta to deep pink, but fade to light pink and white as they age. The leaves are fuzzy.

The pollen is a mild allergen. Butterflies, bees, birds, and moths are the principal pollinators.

After the flowers are pollinated, the fruit is a one- to two-inch-long bean covered with tiny hairs which look like velvet, hence the name. The bean pod is also protected by four large thorns. These beans are a favorite of quails. The plant is a favorite of Coues white-tailed deer in the Santa Rita Mountains of Arizona (source).

The velvetpod mimosa is often used in xeriscape gardens.

The velvetpod mimosa is in the Mimosoideae subfamily of the Leguminosae family (Fabaceae). For some perspective, here is what the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum says about this plant group:

“Legumes are a very large family of 16,000 species in nearly all of the world’s habitats. Champion drought tolerators, they are most abundant in the arid tropics. Their prevalence in the Sonoran Desert flora (for example, there are 53 legume species in the Tucson Mountains, 8% of its plants) reflects this desert’s tropical origin. North of the Mexican border most of the common Sonoran Desert trees are legumes.”

“The family was named Leguminosae for its fruit, which in most species is a legume (the technical term for bean pod, a single-chambered capsule enclosing what appears to be a single row of seeds that is actually two rows — alternate seeds are attached to opposite halves of the pod). There are three subfamilies with flowers that look very different from one another at first glance, but arose from a common pattern: Caesalpinioideae, Faboideae, and Mimosoideae.”

Some of my other articles about plants in the legume family are:

Mesquite Trees Provide Food and a Pharmacy

Palo Verde Trees Will Turn the Desert Golden

Desert Ironwood with video

A Guide to the Geology of the Flagstaff Area

Flagstaff section

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has just released a 53-page illustrated booklet about the Flagstaff area. You can download the booklet here:

According to Michael Conway, Chief of the AZGS, Geologic Extension Service, “This 53-page, Down-to-Earth booklet includes pictures, illustrations and jargon-free text to open the geology of northern Arizona to those who otherwise lack a geology background.”

Sunset crater



General geology as described in the booklet:

The Flagstaff area is on the southern margin of the Colorado Plateau, a 130,000-square-rnile geologic province of vast plains, high mesas and buttes, deep canyons, volcanic fields and isolated mountain clusters. The landscape of this southern Plateau margin is dominated by the young San Francisco volcanic field and the underlying limestone-capped plateau.

The oldest known rocks underlying this part of the Plateau are 1.7-1.8 billion-year-old (Precambrian) granite and schist. These rocks, which make up the original crust of North America, were beveled by erosion and offset by faults that moved again during younger geologic periods.

Horizontal layers of sandstones, limestones, shales, and siltstones of the Paleozoic Era (544 million to 248 million years ago) were deposited on the ancient Precambrian rocks. These younger units, named in ascending order, the Tapeats Sandstone, Bright Angel Shale and Muav Limestone, Martin Formation, Redwall Limestone, Supai Group, Coconino Sandstone, and the Toroweap and Kaibab Formations, were deposited when this part of the continent was a shallow sea floor, a muddy tidal zone, a coastal plain crossed by silt-laden rivers, or a vast desert covered by sand dunes. The Coconino Sandstone and the Toroweap and Kaibab Formations are the only Paleozoic rocks exposed in the area covered by this guidebook.

More rock layers were laid down during the Mesozoic Era (248 to 65 million years ago). The Moenkopi Formation is the only Mesozoic rock that covers large parts of the Flagstaff area. Younger layers of sediment accumulated, but were later eroded away. The total thickness of sedimentary rock deposited during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras may have reached 10,000 ft (3050 m), but much of this was stripped off by erosion.

Beginning about 65 to 75 million years ago, western North America was subjected to intense horizontal compression during an episode of mountain building called the Laramide Orogeny. The Rocky Mountains, for example, were formed during this period. This stress reactivated old faults and created new faults and folds. Vertical movement along these faults elevated the Precambrian basement rocks and the thick sequence of younger sedimentary layers thousands of feet, eventually forming the Colorado Plateau. The exact timing and causes of the uplift are still debated by geologists.

In the Flagstaff area movement along faults deformed once-horizontal layers into long folds, such as the Black Point monocline north of Wupatki National Monument. The uplift also caused formerly sluggish rivers to cut deep canyons into the younger sedimentary layers.

Beginning about 25 million years ago, the crustal rocks of western North America were stretched, thinned, and broken along steep faults. Movement occurred again along the old faults of the Flagstaff area. About 6 million years ago, molten rock (called magma inside the earth and lava when it erupts) migrated upward along some of these fractures and flowed onto the land surface as lava flows. As eruptions continued during the period 3 million to 1000 years ago lava of the San Francisco volcanic field poured onto, exploded through, or was injected into Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary layers of the plateau.

Finally, San Francisco Mountain, the high stratovolcano that towers over the volcanic field, was scoured by glacial ice several times during the last 1.8 million years. Today, running water is cutting into and wearing down this southern flank of the Colorado Plateau.


The geologic features described and illustrated in the booklet include:

San Francisco Volcanic Field

Lava Dome: Mount Elden

Stratovolcano: San Francisco Mountain

Glacial features: Cirques, Moraines, and U-shaped Valley

Young Cinder Cones and Lava Flows: Sunset and SP Craters

Squeeze-up: Bonito Flow

Cinder Dunes and Ventifacts

Moenkopi Formation: Wupatki National Monument

Blowhole: Wupatki National Monument

Fault-aligned Cinder Cones: Wupatki National Monument

Sinkhole: Wupatki National Monument

Graben: Wupatki National Monument

Folding: Black Point Monocline

Entrenched Meanders: Walnut Canyon National Monument

Kaibab Formation: Walnut Canyon National Monument

Coconino Sandstone: Walnut Canyon National Monument

Stream Displaced by a Lava Flow: Grand Falls

Meteor Impact Crater: Barringer Meteor Crater

Laccolith: White Horse Hills (Marble Mountain)

Anatomy of a Cinder Cone: Red Mountain

Tafoni: Red Mountain

Hoodoos (Demoiselles): Red Mountain

Lava Tube: Lava River Cave

Why do scorpions glow under UV light?

All scorpions glow a bluish-green under ultraviolet (UV) light. If you take a “black light” outside on a summer night, you may be surprised about how many scorpions you find. For a more general article on scorpions, see Scorpions, Vinegaroons, and Sun Spiders

Scorpion glowSo, why do they glow? There are really two questions here: 1) what is the mechanism, and 2) does it provide some advantage or protection?

The mechanism:

A hyaline coating (cuticle) on the exoskeleton of a scorpion contains beta-carboline and 4-methyl, 7-hydroxycoumarin which absorb UV light and retransmit it as visible bluish-green light. Young scorpions and recently molted scorpions don’t glow until the cuticle hardens. These chemicals may help the exoskeleton become impermeable.

“According to scorpion expert Dr. Scott A. Stockwell, this could mean that the substance that causes fluorescence is a byproduct of the hardening process itself, or it might be secreted not long after the creature molts.

“Whatever its source, the glowing property is surprisingly long-lasting. When scorpions are preserved in alcohol, the liquid itself sometimes glows under UV light. And the hyaline layer is amazingly durable: It can survive millions of years, Stockwell says; it’s often found in scorpion fossils even when all other parts of the cuticle have vanished. What’s more, even fossilized hyaline fluoresces!” (Source)

The Why (maybe):

Why scorpions developed this trait is subject to much speculation. One thing to note: moonlight transmits UV light.

Is the glow just a random act of nature? California State University arachnologist Carl Kloock thinks otherwise. Over the past few months, Kloock and his colleagues have started unraveling the mystery of why scorpions glow.

“They may be using UV as a way to determine whether or not to come to the surface to look for prey, based on the light levels.”

Scorpions are nocturnal creatures. They abhor the heat and evaporative effects of sunlight, and it turns out they specifically avoid UV light too. In a recent issue of the Journal of Arachnology, the Cal State team reported that the arachnids adjust their activity level depending on the amount of UV shining on them. When flooded in UV, they are less active than when lights are dim.

“My thinking at this point for why they would respond to UV is that there is a UV component in moonlight,” Kloock wrote in an email. If scorpions are hungry, he explained, they’ll come out and hunt regardless of light levels. But if they’re satiated, research shows they tend to lie low on moonlit nights, especially around the time of the full moon. “(Fluorescence) may be part of the mechanism by which the scorpions respond to moonlight.” ( Natalie Wolchover, NBCnews Source)

On the other hand:

Douglas Gaffin from the University of Oklahoma has a more intriguing idea. He thinks that scorpions glow to convert the dim UV light from the moon and the stars into the color that they see best – blue-green. This could explain why scorpion eyes are so exquisitely sensitive, to the point where they can detect the faint glow of starlight against the background of the night sky. They amplify those faint signals by turning their entire bodies into light collectors.

Why bother? In the open, scorpions are vulnerable to rodents, owls and other predators. They like shelter, and they’ll instinctively flee from light in an attempt to find it. In the wild, you’ll often find them in the shade of a single twig or blade of grass. Gaffin thinks that scorpions could easily find such hiding spots by sensing light with their entire bodies. Any object that casts shade upon their skin could reduce its glow and indicate a potential hiding place. (Ed Yong, Discover, Source)

Others speculate that the ability to turn UV light into visible light acts as a sun screen. Not too useful for a nocturnal animal. Some have proposed that scorpion glow is used to “dazzle” predators that are sensitive to UV light. As you can see, the science is not settled.

A piece of fossilized lightning

The lightning accompanying monsoon storms reminded me of a curiosity I have in my collection. It is a cylinder of fused soil about 6 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter.

Fulgurite 1

Fulgurite 2

This structure is called a “fulgurite” and it is produced by a lightning strike – it is “fossilized” lightning. The material is also called “lechatelierite” which is a mineraloid of fused quartz. It can also be produced from meteorite impacts. Fused sand requires a temperature of at least 1,800 °C (3,270 °F) and it is estimated that peak temperature of a lightning bolt can be over 30,000 °C . This particular lightning strike occurred in New Mexico. A colleague of mine saw it happen and then collected some pieces of the resulting fulgurite.

What also brought this to mind was a new paper recently published in Nature Scientific Reports. (Read full paper: )

Two researchers from the University of South Florida School of Geosciences decided to study fulgurites to see if they could developed a method to measure the amount energy expended by a bolt of cloud-to-ground lightning. Atmospheric physicists can approximate lightning bolt energy by measuring the electrical current and temperature of bolts as they occur. The numbers are usually approximations. The USF team is the first to investigate the energy in lightning strikes by using geology “after-the-fact” research, rather than measuring energy during a strike. By conducting this lightning strike “archaeology,” the researchers were able to measure the energy in a bolt of lightning that struck Florida sand thousands of years ago.

“The team collected more than 250 fulgurites – both recent and ancient – from sand mines in Polk County, Fla., at a site that is believed to have recorded thousands of years of lightning strikes, providing a way to measure the lightning strike history of what is today called the I-4 Corridor, a region near Tampa and Orlando. They analyzed the properties of the fulgurites, paying particular attention to the length and circumference of the glass cylinders because the amount energy released is revealed by these dimensions.” (By the way, the press release touts that Florida is the “lightning capital of the United States.” I wonder if they have ever been to Arizona.)

The researchers developed a statistical model based on the length, diameter, and composition of the fulgurite to help them estimate the energy in the lightning strike. You can read the paper to judge if their assumptions are reasonable.

In an earlier study, other researchers studied the gases trapped in glassy bubbles in fulgurite (see the journal Geology,) That study concluded that fulgurite gases and luminescence geochronology can be used in quantitative paleoecology. Thermoluminescence can be used to date the specimen. These researchers found that theSahel desert in northern Africa extended much farther north 15 thousand years ago.

Climate Madness 6

“There is no scientific basis for believing that modest increases in atmospheric levels of CO2 will have catastrophic effects despite the misdirected efforts of the UN and alarmist scientists. Attempts to restrict human CO2 emissions serve no useful purpose for anyone except wind and solar industries looking for customers, sensation-seeking news media looking for readers, environmentalists looking for a cause to attract contributions, climate scientists looking for more government grants, and politicians looking for increased government revenue to spend on their favorite boondoggles.” – Alan Carlin

Global warming hysteria is not really about the climate or the environment. UN officials admit that it is about redistribution of wealth:

Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has admitted the real reason for the climate hysteria: to transform the world economy, redistributing income from rich nations to poorer ones. At a press conference in Brussels (2015), Figueres stated: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.” A similar point was made in 2010 by United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) official Ottmar Edenhofer: “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy…One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.. ” (Source)

The July winner for the stupidest climate claim goes to Secretary of State John Kerry. He actually has two really dumb claims:

Kerry: Climate Change as Dangerous as Terrorism

By Matthew Lee

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that climate change is as dangerous as, if not more, than the threats posed by the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

Speaking Friday in Vienna at an international climate change conference, Kerry said the issue might not get as much public attention as terrorism but that the meeting is as important as a gathering he hosted only Thursday in Washington on combating the Islamic State. (Source)

Kerry: Refrigerator chemicals are just as bad as ISIS

By John Siciliano

Air conditioners and refrigerators pose as big a threat to “life on the planet” as the threat of terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday. Kerry was in Vienna negotiating a global climate deal to phase out chemicals used as refrigerants in basic household and commercial appliances such as air conditioning and refrigerators, called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The chemicals are a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists blame for contributing to global warming. (Source) Could it be that John Kerry’s naivety and ideology are threats to western civilization and he is being used as a “useful idiot” ? Here is a petition to remove all air conditioning from State Department property: link.

Runner up for dumbest of the month:

Democratic Platform Calls For WWII-Scale Mobilization To Solve Climate Crisis [link].

Second Runner up for dumbest of the month:

Green EU Commission President Claims ALIENS are Worried about Brexit

by Eric Worrall

Its not just Greens who are worried about Europe – the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stated in a speech that leaders of other planets are worried about the direction Europe will take, in the wake of the Brexit vote. Read more (The Eu is worried about Brexit, in part, because it would disrupt the Paris climate agreement.)

NASA: Global Warming Observations Need a Further 19% UPWARD Adjustment

by Eric Worrall

NASA researcher Mark Richardson has completed a study which compares historical observations with climate model output, and has concluded that historical observations have to be adjusted, to reconcile them with the climate models. Read more

Climate science or climate advocacy?

by David R. Legates

For almost thirty years, I have taught climate science at three different universities. What I have observed is that students are increasingly being fed climate change advocacy as a surrogate for becoming climate science literate. This makes them easy targets for the climate alarmism that pervades America today. Earth’s climate probably is the most complicated non-living system one can study, because it naturally integrates astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology, geology, hydrology, oceanography and cryology, and also includes human behavior by both responding to and affecting human activities. Current concerns over climate change have further pushed climate science to the forefront of scientific inquiry.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s definition of climate science literacy raises the question of whether climatology is even a science. It defines climate science literacy as “an understanding of your influence on climate and climate’s influence on you and society.” Read more

Global Warming Expedition Stopped In Its Tracks By Arctic Sea Ice

by Craig Boudreau

A group of adventurers, sailors, pilots and climate scientists that recently started a journey around the North Pole in an effort to show the lack of ice, has been blocked from further travels by ice. Read more

$14,000 per MWh – the price South Australia Pays for Renewables Madness

by Eric Worrall

The South Australian Government been forced to beg fossil fuel operators to bring mothballed plants back online, to contain wild swings in electricity spot price caused by unstable renewable production, prices which last month peaked at $14,000 / MWh – up from more normal prices of $100 / MWh which prevailed before political favouritism towards renewables messed up the market. Read more

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Units to Shutter: What Are the Consequences?

By Chris Warren

This week, the Institute for Energy Research released an analysis on the consequences of Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) decision to shutter two Diablo Canyon nuclear units in 2024 and 2025. PG&E plans to replace the nuclear units with intermittent wind and solar energy, an endeavor that could cost billions and increase carbon dioxide emissions.

In their infatuation with wind and solar energy, PG&E and the state of California are making decisions that will prove costly to energy consumers.

Key considerations include:

Diablo Canyon produces 9 percent of California’s electricity and 20 percent of Pacific and Gas and Electric’s power. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicates that the Diablo Canyon units are well run and among the best in the country. The utility indicates that they are able to withstand earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding.

Decommissioning Diablo Canyon is expected to cost $3.8 billion and replacing all its power with solar energy could cost $15 billion based on current prices.

PG&E is expecting to only need to replace half of Diablo Canyon’s power, 9,000 gigawatt-hours. The utility expects to get 2,000 gigawatt-hours from improved energy efficiency by 2025, leaving a gap of 7,000 gigawatt-hours that it is expecting to fill with wind and solar power. However, when nuclear plants have been shuttered thus far, their energy has been replaced almost entirely by natural gas.

Natural gas consumption could increase by 34 percent in northern California between 2023 and 2026 when Diablo Canyon is shuttered despite the company’s renewable energy and efficiency goals. Some have estimated that the carbon dioxide emissions from the replacement power are equivalent to putting 2 million cars on the road.


Only California would consider closing a perfectly good nuclear plant that emits no carbon dioxide emissions and replace it with intermittent renewable energy that needs back-up power from a flexible fuel such as natural gas.

California’s laws to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and to double its energy efficiency–both by 2030–are driving these decisions that will prove costly for electricity consumers in the state. Click here to read the full analysis.

Using Children as Political Pawns to Fight Global Warming

Hundreds of moms and their children gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday (July 13, 2016) to hold a unique “Play-In” protest event. The moms and their kids focused on the need to address climate change and air pollution, and also demanded climate solutions like renewable energy and federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions. (Source)

India to Fight Climate Change Through Less Flatulent Livestock

by H. Sterling Burnett

Despite its recent announcement it may not adopt the Paris Climate agreement before the end of 2016, India is moving ahead with a unique effort attempting to reduce the greenhouse gases its agricultural sector emits into the atmosphere: creating cows and livestock that burp and fart less.

India is home to more than 280 million cows, and 200 million more ruminants, including sheep, goats, yaks and water buffalo. According to an analysis of satellite data from the country’s space program, these animals’ emit 13 million tons of methane into the atmosphere every year. Since, methane traps 25 times as much heat as carbon dioxide does on a per molecule basis, reducing animal flatulence could make a difference in India’s emissions accounting, where it is actually likely to increase its carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades, due to increasing demand for energy. The country expects to double its coal production by 2019. Read more Even if they succeed, it will make no measurable difference in global temperatures.

Green Travel:

There was much celebration when Solar Impulse (A solar powered airplane ) finished its $177 million task by flying around the world in only 16 months (Source). Meanwhile, a 65-year-old Russian Orthodox priest made a solo, non-stop flight around the world in 11 days in a hot air balloon. (Source)


More climate madness:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5


Roadside Geology – Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments

The Arizona Geological Survey has just released another booklet in its “Down to Earth” series.

Sunset crater cover

The geologic setting in Wupatki National Monument is distinctly different from that in Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, even though the monuments are side by side. At Wupatki, sedimentary rocks that were deposited by ancient seas and river systems more than two hundred million years ago during the Permian and Triassic Periods dominate the landscape.

The landscape at Sunset Crater is dramatically different. Although underlain by the same rocks

exposed at Wupatki, the Sunset Crater area is covered with cinders and cooled lava flows from intermittent volcanic eruptions during the last few million years. The most recent eruption was that of Sunset Crater Volcano, only about 900 years ago.

Sunset crater map
This guide provides only a glimpse of what can be found in these areas. By hiking the trails and perusing the displays at the Visitor Centers, you will get a much more in-depth view of the monuments.

Most visitors to these monuments travel north from Flagstaff, enter Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and drive north on the Loop Road to Wupatki. This road log, therefore, is organized to follow the Loop Road in that direction.

You can download the 36 -page booklet (34Mb) here:


For other booklets in this series see: