Field Courses

Field Course Disclaimer:

Field courses will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and registration will be limited to the number of spaces shown. The indicated minimum and maximum numbers of participants are based on a combination of factors, including transportation, accessibility, and safety at roadside outcrops. Field courses are subject to cancellation if minimum number of registrants is not met. Field course logistics (e.g., schedule, duration, route, transportation, location/number of stops, etc.) are also subject to change. Participants should be prepared for variable weather conditions and hiking on uneven ground.  Field courses will proceed rain or shine. Additional information regarding the logistics of each field course will be provided to the paid registrants by the field course leader(s) at a later date, but well in advance of the course. 

Field Course #1: Field Analysis of the Blue Diamond Landslide: Implications for Environmental and Engineering Geology in the Basin and Range Province

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DATE: 

Monday, September 12, 2022

 

TIME:

8:00am-1:00pm

 

LOCATION:

Departs from the Hotel Lobby

 

COST (per person): 

$65.00 before 8/1/22, $80.00 after 8/1/22

LEADER: Daniel Sturmer, University of Cincinnati

MINIMUM TO RUN THE TOUR: 30, MAX: 48

Figure 1 - Deposit outcrops along the 4 km long Blue Diamond Ridge and Hill 4358'. Tlb = Blue Diamond landslide breccia, TRm = Moenkopi Formation, Qls = Quaternary landslide deposit.

Rock avalanches often have a catastrophic and long-lasting impact on infrastructure, society, and regional landscapes. This half-day field trip will examine the Blue Diamond landslide deposit exposed in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in the western Las Vegas Valley. We will investigate sedimentological, stratigraphic, and geomorphic features of the landslide complex and discuss their engineering and environmental implications. This trip includes two short hikes over moderate terrain that could be strenuous for some participants. Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and personal water. We recommend hiking boots, leather gloves, and binoculars.

Field Course #2: Hard Hat Tour of Hoover Dam and the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge

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DATE: 

Monday, September 12, 2022

 

TIME:

8:00am-1:00pm

 

LOCATION:

Departs from the Hotel Lobby

 

COST (per person): 

$100.00 before 8/1/22, $115.00 after 8/1/22

LEADER: : Bryan Simpson, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Jeffery Keaton, Wood, PLC.

MINIMUM TO RUN THE TOUR: 30, MAX: 96

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Get up close with the inner workings of the Hoover Dam, originally Boulder Dam, and completed in 1936.  For this field course, visitors will see the power generators, penstocks, and tailrace and outflow of the dam, getting VIP access to secured areas not offered to the public. This special tour is off the normal route and is conducted on the Arizona Wing of the Powerhouse. Closed-toed shoes are required, and hard hats will be provided. Hiking boots are recommended as there are steep hills to climb (closed-toed shoes required). Be sure to bring sunscreen, hat, and personal water. The bus will drop off passengers in a paved parking lot on the Nevada side where they will walk on a paved trail to the mid-point of the bridge. Note that canyon winds were the most significant dynamic load for design, even though earthquake design will be a topic for discussion on the field trip. 

 

Visit the Bypass Bridge and learn about the foundation conditions and seismic analysis for this high concrete-steel arch bridge completed in 2010. 

Field Course #3: The Great Unconformity, Las Vegas Valley Shear Zone, and the Discovery of Extensional Tectonics

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DATE: 

Tuesday September 13, 2022

 

TIME:

8:00am-1:00pm

 

LOCATION:

Departs from the Hotel Lobby

 

COST (per person): 

$65.00 before 8/1/22, $80.00 after 8/1/22

LEADER: Steve Rowland, Professor Emeritus, UNLV and James Faulds, Nevada State Geologist

MINIMUM TO RUN THE TOUR: 30, MAX: 48

Difficulty Level – Strenuous

The focus of this trip will be extensional tectonics and the history of the supercontinent cycle recorded in the rocks of the Frenchman Mountain Block.  We will examine the Frenchman Mountain Fault (a low-angle normal fault), and the base of Frenchman Mountain, where we will examine the Great Unconformity. Then view at a distance the Las Vegas Valley Shear Zone, and arm wave about regional geology and the Walker Lane. Also, we will examine Miocene rock-avalanche deposits that played a key role in the discovery of extensional tectonics in southern Nevada.  We recommend personal water, sun protection, binoculars, hiking poles, and footwear suitable for a short hike on a steep, rocky trail.

Field Course #4: Las Vegas Valley Water District Groundwater Recharge Well Field

DATE: 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

 

TIME:

8:00am-1:00pm

 

LOCATION:

Departs from the Hotel Lobby

 

COST (per person): 

$60.00 before 8/1/22, $75.00 after 8/1/22

LEADER: James Prieur, Southern Nevada Water Authority

MINIMUM TO RUN THE TOUR: 22, MAX: 30

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We will visit the operating well field within the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. An Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) program was initiated in Las Vegas Valley in 1989 as a water resource management tool to provide a reserve water storage bank and to stabilize groundwater levels in the Principal Aquifer. Since inception, over 365,000 acre-feet of treated Colorado River water has been recharged through 73 permitted dedicated recharge wells and dual use recharge/production wells during the off-peak season. Groundwater in the Valley was over-pumped extensively in the 1930s through 1970s resulting in declining water levels and subsidence bowls in certain areas. Well # 5 is a historic well which demonstrates the effects of subsidence. Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, walking shoes, and personal water. Participants will be transported around the wellfield via a tram with limited walking to the conference room and from the tram to tour sites. 

Field Course #5: Geologic and Hydrologic Cruise on Lake Mead

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DATE: 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

 

TIME:

8:00am-1:00pm

 

LOCATION:

Departs from the Hotel Lobby

 

COST (per person): 

$110.00 before 8/1/22, $125.00 after 8/1/22

LEADER: Eugene Smith, UNLV and Dan Bunk, USBR

MINIMUM TO RUN THE TOUR: 30, MAX: 96

Lake Mead was created by the construction of Hoover Dam in the early 1930s.  Take a two-hour cruise on the lake on the Desert Princess. Features of the geology dominated by Cenozoic volcanics, will be discussed by Eugene Smith, volcanologist, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. The construction of Hoover Dam, and the status of the Colorado River water supply system, including the effects of the drought, will be discussed by Dan Bunk, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation geohydrologist. Enjoy spectacular scenery, interesting geology, and Colorado River history and hydrology. Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, binoculars (highly recommended), camera, and personal water. Snacks and drinks are available for sale on the ship. 

Field Course #6: Geology of the Skywalk at the Grand Canyon, Hualapai Nation, Arizona (West of the National Park)

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DATE: 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

 

TIME:

8:00am-5:00pm

 

LOCATION:

Departs from the Hotel Lobby

 

COST (per person): 

$185.00 before 8/1/22, $200.00 after 8/1/22

LEADER: John H Peck, Consulting Geologist

MINIMUM TO RUN THE TOUR: 30, MAX: 48

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Travel to the west rim of the Grand Canyon and venture out on the glass bottomed skywalk, cantilevered beyond the cliff at Eagle Point.  The route will take us over the Hoover Dam Bypass bridge, through spectacular Basin and Range country to the Colorado Plateau.  Engineering geology of the Skywalk and geologic hazards of the canyon walls will be highlighted.  Luncheon at the Skywalk is included for this all-day field course. Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and personal water. West Grand Canyon, outside of Grand Canyon National Park. Easy walking required.