Notes From The Field

The first full day of the AWG Canadian Rockies Field Trip opened to pouring rain by the time we reached the Canmore, Alberta area – about 66 miles west of Calgary. So no grand views of the impending Front Ranges or sights of Triangle Zone structure. Once in a while during lunch we could vaguely see the break in slope that marks the McConnell Thrust at Mount Yamnuska. But even in the downpour, our intrepid leader Katherine Boggs got us out of the vehicles to look at and talk about the Kananaskis Dam and its geology.

Pouring rain does not deter the AWG field trip discussions.

Pouring rain does not deter the AWG field trip discussions.

The Upper Cretaceous Cardium Formation is the bedrock at the dam. Extensional faulting – late Cretaceous/Paleocene in age and expressed as a series of grabens and horsts – cuts the Cardium at the dam site. I took a long look at those structures knowing that that’s probably the last I’ll see of extensional faulting for awhile.

Extensional faulting in the Upper Cretaceous Cardium Formation at the Kananaskis Dam near Canmore, Alberta.

 

The downpour started to break a few miles east of Lake Louise. It was really spectacular to see the clouds begin to part around Castle Mountain. The Castle Mountain Thrust is at the base of the mountain and it delineates the boundary between the Front Ranges and the Eastern Main Ranges. Flat-lying Cambrian carbonates comprise Castle Mountain as opposed to generally west-dipping Devonian/Mississippian carbonates of the Front Ranges The weather forecast sounds better for tomorrow… we’ll see. Tomorrow brings hikes around the Lake Louise-Moraine Lake areas, so some clear skies would be welcome.

Castle Mountain finally breaks through the clouds.

AWG 2014 Canadian Rockies Geology Field Trip Gears Up

Castle Mountain (Canadian Main Ranges) and Bow River, Banff National Park, Alberta, by Ben Rye.

Castle Mountain (Canadian Main Ranges) and Bow River, Banff National Park, Alberta, by Ben Rye.

The Association for Women Geoscientists’ 2014 Canadian Rockies geology field trip is fast approaching. The trip starts and ends in Calgary, and runs from August 28th through September 7th, with pre-trip hikes around the Calgary area on August 27th. Because the trip geology will be so spectacular and many people wanted to go, but just did not have the available time to do so, we decided that we will do blog postings during the trip whenever we have access to wifi (which should be most of the field trip nights). And – if anyone is really interested in the trip after following our travels, the field guidebook will be on sale at the AWG Online store after the trip.

To better follow our postings, I thought it would be helpful to give a brief run-down of the trip itinerary so that everyone knows what to expect for our travels:

August 27thFish Creek Park in Calgary – looking at the 2005 and 2013 Calgary flood features and constraining the boundary between the Laurentian and Cordilleran Ice Sheets.

August 28th and 29th – Trans-Canada Highway to Lake Louise for classic transect through Foothills to Main Ranges of Foreland Fold and Thrust Belt.

August 30th and August 31st – Icefields Parkway: Peyto Lake, Saskatchewan Glacier, Athabasca Glacier stops just to name a few. We also will have Paul Hoffman with us, so we will have good discussions on topics like “snowball earth”.

September 1st – Field, B.C. area with Burgess Shale Hike or other options such as Iceline Trail hike,Takakkaw Falls.

September 2nd  and 3rd – Revelstoke – Rocky Mountain Trench to Omineca Crystalline Belt, Roger’s Pass, Illicillewaet Glacier hike.

September 4th – Rocky Mountain Trench to Fernie – Windermere Supergroup (Rodinia breakup, turbidites discussions).

September 5thCrowsnest Pass to Dinosaur Provincial Park (Crowsnest duplexes & Lewis Thrust; Crowsnest Volcanics; Frank Slide).

September 6thDinosaur Provincial Park: hiking in the Badlands and guided tour of DPP bone beds.

September 7th – Dinosaur Provincial Park to Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller and return to Calgary.

2014 AWG Canadian Rockies Geology Field Trip – Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the Association for Women (AWG) Geoscientists 2014 Canadian Rockies Geology Field Trip. All registration information and associated forms are posted on the AWG website at: AWG 2014 Field Trip. 

Castle Mountain (Canadian Main Ranges) and Bow River, Banff National Park, Alberta, by Ben Rye.

Castle Mountain (Canadian Main Ranges) and Bow River, Banff National Park, Alberta, by Ben Rye.

The AWG 2014 Canadian Rockies field trip is scheduled for August 28 to September 7, 2014, and will be the field trip of a lifetime! The field trip begins and ends in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

There are two trip options available:

  • The 9-day main trip itinerary includes a classic geological transect through the Canadian Foothills to Main Ranges of the Foreland Fold and Thrust Belt, the geology of the Columbia Icefields Parkway, the Rocky Mountain Trench, and Crowsnest Pass areas, and a hike to the Burgess Shale.
  • An optional 2-day trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park and to the Royal Tyrrell Museum can be added on to the end of the main field trip.

The trip itinerary includes:

  • A classic geological transect through the Canadian Foothills to the Main Ranges of Foreland Fold and Thrust Belt via the Trans Canada Highway from Calgary, Alberta to the Icefields Parkway, Alberta
  • Columbia Icefields Parkway Geology
  • Burgess Shale Hike or less strenuous geotourism options such as Takkakaw Falls, Natural Bridge, and Emerald Lake in the Field, B.C. area
  • Columbia, Athabasca, and Saskatchewan rivers’ headwaters and Revelstoke Dam visits
  • Rocky Mountain Trench Geology: Omineca Crystalline Belt, Windermere Supergroup,  Illecillewaet Glacier in the Field, Revelstoke, Golden, & Fernie, B.C. areas
  • Crowsnest Pass Geology: Duplexes & Lewis Thrust, Crowsnest Volcanics, Frank Slide (Crowsnest Pass, B.C./Alberta area)
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park and Royal Tyrell Museum explorations in the Brooks and Drumheller, Alberta areas. This part of the field trip is an optional 2-day addition to the end of the main trip

The field trip leaders are:

  • Katherine Boggs, Department of Geology, Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta Canada
  • Mindy Brugman, PhD, Geological and Planetary Sciences – Cal Tech

Field trip costs and payment information:

The field trip base fee is US$1700/person for the full 11-day field trip and US$1400/person for the 9-day field trip without the Dinosaur Provincial Park/Tyrrell Museum option. A deposit of US$200 for AWG members/US$300 for non-members to AWG will be due by April 1, 2014, and is non-refundable after April 1. The remaining balance of the field trip fee is due by June 30, 2014, and is non-refundable after June 30.

Cuba Geology Via the Cuban Digital Geoscience Library

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The Cuban Digital Geoscience Library, compiled by Yasmani Ceballos Izquierdo and Manuel Iturralde-Vinet, is now available at  www.redciencia.cu/geobiblio/inicio.html. This is an extremely complete compendium of resources on Cuban geology – one that I wish I had access to before I went on geology/”people to people” tour to Cuba last March that was sponsored by the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG). Manuel Iturralde-Vinet (one of the co-authors of the Cuban Digital Geoscience Library) was our geology guide for the AWG trip. That Manuel was our guide was fortunate for us given his extensive expertise in Cuban geology. For more information on our AWG trip, link to a trip article published by Earth magazine and to a previous blog on our Cuba journey posted on Geopostings.

Here’s a brief intro to the Cuban Digital Geoscience Library (using my sometimes loose translation skills):

The “Cuban Geoscience Digital Library” brings together a considerable number of references, most of the contributions published and unpublished to a lesser degree, the existence of which the authors are aware of (over 3000 references). The topics cover the various branches of Earth Science, with emphasis in geology, geophysics and mining Cuba, or in any way relevant to the best knowledge of Cuban territory and other geologically/geographically related areas. These contributions include books, monographs and scientific articles, abstracts and a few maps, dating from 1535. Some very important unpublished documents are referenced, and are available at the National Bureau of Mineral Resources (NDRA), the National Geological Information Center (IGP ), the map library and collection of science of José Martí National Library, and in the Institute for Geophysics Library, University of Texas at Austin.

The “Cuban Geoscience Digital Library” has several pioneering works, namely the literature on geology of Cuba News, released by Pablo Ortega (1910), the Cuban Scientific Library compiled by Trelles (1918), the Bibliography of West Indian Geology of Rutten (1938), the Cuban Geological Bibliography published by Peter J. Bermúdez (1938), Mining Bibliography of Colonial Cuba (Anonymous), Geology of the sketch on Cuba prepared by Antonio Calvache Dorado (1965), and the Compilation on Paleontology Publications (Bonzoño et al., 2008). Of these bibliographic lists, Bermudez and Trelles are noted for their excellent compilation of the oldest contributions.

The existence of many compilations on contributions to the geosciences of Cuba, made at different times, denotes the interest of researchers to present the results of their time, to facilitate future professionals, and to provide a computer database to serve as basis for their work. This compendium is also a broad recognition of the scientific work of several generations of outstanding professionals.

On this basis, the development of this “Cuban Geoscience Digital Library”, with the quality that current technologies can provide to users for accessing most texts and maps in digital format (pdf and jpg) was inspired, and thus for the first time puts a “click” access to this vast intelligence, particularly for the paper originals that are hard to acquire. A first version of this database was published as part of the “Compendium of Geology of Cuba and the Caribbean” in the 2010 and 2012 editions done by Manuel Iturralde-Vinet.

AWG 2014 Canadian Rockies Field Trip

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I thought that I’d give some advance notice for a geology field trip that is being sponsored by The Association for Women Geoscientists. The field trip will go through a part of the Canadian Rockies and the Alberta Badlands, and anyone can sign up for a spot on the field trip. Here’s the trip information that we have so far:

Tentative Dates: Late August/Early September 2014 (11 days)

Itinerary (Main part of the trip is Day 1 through Day 8.5; the remaining 2.5 days are an add-on option of continuing on to Dinosaur Provincial Park/Tyrrell Museum): 

  • Trans Canada Highway from Calgary, Alberta to the Icefields Parkway, Alberta (classic transect through the Foothills to Main Ranges of Foreland Fold and Thrust Belt – 2 days total)
  • Columbia Icefields Parkway Geology (2 days)
  • Burgess Shale Hike or less strenuous geotourism option such as Takkakaw Falls, Natural Bridge, Emerald Lake (Field, B.C. area)
  • Rocky Mountain Trench Geology: Omineca Crystalline Belt, Windermere Supergroup, Illicillewaet Glacier (Field, Revelstoke, Golden, & Fernie, B.C. areas)
  • Crowsnest Pass Geology: Duplexes & Lewis Thrust, Crowsnest Volcanics, Frank Slide (Crowsnest Pass,  B.C./Alberta area)
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park and Royal Tyrell Museum Explorations (Brooks and Drumheller, Alberta). This part of the field trip is an optional 2.5 day addition to the main trip.

Field Trip Leaders:

  • Katherine Boggs, Department of Geology, Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta Canada
  • Mindy Brugman, PhD, Geological and Planetary Sciences – Cal Tech
  • Various Guest Lecturers

Tentative Cost (Includes field trip transportation, tours, lodging, and meals – except for dinners):

  • $1600 for field trip without Dinosaur Provincial Park/Tyrrell Museum option; $1900/person with Dinosaur Provincial Park/Tyrrell Museum option. Field trip cost may decrease depending on number of field trip participants, so spread the word about the field trip to your friends!

Trip Information Contacts: Marcia Knadle: MarciaAWG@aol.com; Debbie Hanneman: whgeol@gmail.com. We have not opened registration for the trip yet, but anticipate that registration will begin in early 2014 and will be done through the AWG web site – http://www.awg.org/.

A Geological Field Trip in Cuba

416270070_370The Association for Women Geoscientists sponsored yet another of their remarkable geological field trips. This time it was a March 2013 trip to Cuba. I detail the trip in the August 2013 issue of Earth magazine (published by the American Geosciences Institute), in “Travels In Geology: Journeying Through Cuba’s Geology And Culture”. As I explained in the article’s introduction:

It’s not every day that you get the chance to go to Cuba, so when I found out that the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) was offering an organized trip there in March 2013, I jumped at the opportunity. The excursion — nearly two weeks of exploration of our southern neighbor’s geology and culture — did not disappoint.

Cuba is truly an extraordinary place – both geologically and culturally – and as I said at the end of the article:

I look forward to returning and seeing even more of Cuba’s geology.

As noted above in this post, AWG puts together some great geological field trips. The next one will be in September 2014, and it will be a geological field trip through the Canadian Rockies. More details on that will be uploaded to Geopostings as they become available.