2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October –3 November 2010)
401 Wednesday, 27 October 2010
7:30 AM-7:00 PM, Colorado Convention Center: Lobby B

A Geologic and Anthropogenic Journey from the Precambrian to the New Energy Economy through the San Juan Volcanic Field

Primary Leader: Douglas B. Yager
Leader(s): Alison Burchell, Raymond H. Johnson, Austin Buckinghan
Field Trip Description: The San Juan volcanic field comprises 25,000 km2 of intermediate composition, mid-Tertiary volcanics and dacitic to rhyolitic calderas, including the La Garita caldera super-volcano. The region is famous for geological, ecological, hydrological, archeological, and climatological diversity, characteristics that supported ancestral Puebloan populations. It is also important for mineral wealth, which once fueled economic vitality. Today, mitigating impacts of mining and establishing the region as a climate base-station are the research focus. Studies include advanced water treatment, the acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC) of propylitic bedrock for mine cleanup, the use of soil amendments, including biochar from beetle-kill pines to aid re-vegetation by incorporation into soils to reduce erosion and improve productivity and moisture retention and the natural terrestrial carbon sequestration (NTS) potential of volcanic soils to help offset atmospheric CO2 emissions. This field trip examines the volcanic and cultural history of the area, including its structures, economic deposits and impacts, recent mitigation measures, and associated climate research. Field-trip stops include the Summitville superfund site to explore quartz alunite-Au mineralization, associated alteration, and new water-quality mitigation strategies; the historical Creed epithermal-polymetallic-vein district, with its remarkably preserved resurgent calderas, keystone-graben and moat-sediments; sunset at Mesa Verde; the historical mining town of Silverton, located in the San Juan–Silverton caldera complex, which exhibits base-metal-Au-Ag mineralization and the site of ANC and NTS studies. The return to Denver traverses Grand Mesa, a high-NTS area with Neogene basalt-derived soils, with a stop to soak in geothermal waters of the Aspen Anomaly at Glenwood Springs.
Field Trip will span: 4 days
Sponsor(s): USGS, NTS Group, Fort Lewis College, CDPHE

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