$nit.. of CaJilomla PETE WILSON
In This Issue I
MAIL OADER FOAM....... . 189
The Resources DOUGlAS P. WHEELER
Secretary for ReSOUfC85
Department of eon.......allol'l EDWARD G. HEIOIG
0Msl0n 01 Mines & Geology JAMES F. DAVIS
Stale Geologist
Cover Photo: NOI1h Dome (left), Basket Dome (right) and Mt Hoffman (left center
horizon) from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Pari<, California. These massive
granitic domes have been shaped by exfoUstion (see page 192). MI. HoHman
(10,850 leet) is named for Charles Fredrick Hoffman, a topographer and member
of the Whitney Survey, Call1ornia's first geological survey. lis summit owes its
distinctive jagged appearance to Quaternary glaciers that gouged its flanks. leaving
a ridge 01 pinnacles. Kodachrome-54. lOSmm lens, 1125, 1111. Phato by James W.
Carlblom, submitted in response to CALIFORNIA GEOLOGY's Call For Photos.
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Utah Geographic Infonnation Council
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August 1991Nolume 44/Number 8
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Institute, Inc. X
Mono County, Califomia
This article is an abridgment of Special
Repon 172, Travertine Hot Springs at
Bridgeport, Mono County, Calilornia, in
preparation at the California Division of
Mines and Geology.
The Travertine Hot Springs area is on the
northern edge of what many consider to be
one of the most teetonk:a.lly active areas in
the United States. There is abundant
geothermal and seismic actiVity. The
landscape is doned with volcanic features-
cones, craters, domes, flows, lumaroles and
hot springs-lndicators of unrest in the
pl'esent as well as reminders of activity in
the past.
Travertine, also known as calcareous
sinter. IS limestone 'ormed by chemical
precipitation of calcium carbonate (CaCO
lrom ground or surface waters. It forms
stalactites and stalagmites in caves, fills
some veins and spring conduits and can
also be lound at the mouths of spril'lgS,
especially hot spril'lgs. The less compact
variety is called tula and the dense, banded
variety is known as Mexican onyx, or onyx
marble. True onyx, however, is a banded
The term travertine is derived from
tiverrino, an Italian word for 1rom TIbur:
TIbur is the old Roman name for TIVoli. Italy.
a city east 0' Rome. There. travertine forms
the falls of the Aniene Aiver. The deposit is
lamous because it is 500 leet thiCk in places
and because it has provided much of the
building stone for Aome since ancient
times.... editor.
Hot Springs Bodie
Figure 1. Location map ot the Travertine Hot Springs area, Mono County, California.
ravertine Hot Springs. once pri-
vately controlled, is now under the
jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land
Management. It consists of numerous
hot and colcl springs that are unevenly
distributed over about 9 acres near the
southeastern perimeter of the town of
Bridgeport. Mono County. California
(F"lgure l). The travertine locality is most
easily reached by turning east off U.S.
Highway 395 about 0.6 mile south of
the junction with Nevada Highway 23
onto the paved road leading to the Cali-
fornia Department of Transportation
yard. The paved road veers to the south
and an unpaved road continues east.
1lle unpaved road splits into two, with
the lou.rer. right-hand branch leading to
the travertine area.
The travertine terrace deposits form a
compact tabular mass marked with trav-
ertine ridges ranging up to 850 feet long
and 15 feet high. Hot waters ascending
along fault-controlled fractures in Ter-
tiary volcanic rocks are enriched in cal-
cium bicarbonate. When these waters
reach reduced pressures at the surface,
calcium carbonate precipitates to form
travertine. Porous lightweight travertine
comprises the bulk of the terraces.
ridges. and other hot spring features.
A dense banded travertine occurs in
fissures In the ridges.
In the 1890s about 60 tons of traver-
tine VJere quarried and shipped to San
Francisco where polished slabs were
used as ornamental facing stone in the
rotunda of City Hall. Subsequent quarry-
ing has been sporadic and is presently
Pyroclastic deposits
of Willow Springs
Underlain by
altered rocks
Dacite 0' Willow
Springs Formation
Fault (dashed where
approximately located;
dotted where concealed;
U, upthrown side:
D, downthrown side)
Strike and dip of beds
Strike and dip
of flow banding
approximately located
... ---_ ......
ITufa I Hot spl'ing deposits
Terrace deposits
lacustrine deposits


" 17
T. 5 N

0: I
T • ,
t »'>"'-11.'
Figure 2. Geologic map of Travertine HOI Springs and vicinity. Modified from Map Sheet 21.
Geology of the Bodie 15' Quadrangle, Mono County. California (northwest corner).
Travertine Hot Springs is within the
complexly faulted western part of the
Bodie Hills, a volcanic upland that
formed in Tertiary time. Exposed lava
flows and tuff breccia of the Bodie Hills
are chiefly late Miocene in age. To the
west they are overlain by Pleistocene
glacial till and outwash.
circular topographic depression partly
bounded by silicic plugs that intrude the
ring-faulted margin of Ihe collapse zone.
An east-striking fault zone extends from
the caldera west to U.S. Highway 395
passing close to the site of The Hot
Springs. which is located about 1.25
miles south of Travertine Hot Springs
(Rgure 2, see also Chesterman and
Gray. 1975).
Springs appears to be a depositional lap
onto late Miocene dacilic flows. $Orne of
which are weakly hydrothermally al-
tered. In several places. especially along
the main drainages. a thin skin of cal-
cium carbonate is being deposited on
lightly alluviated gully bottoms. Moucds
of calcitic mud also are being deposited
on and around grassy vegetation grow-
ing on the travertine terraces.
The nearest known volcanic collapse
fealure is the 1.5-mile-diameter caldera
at Big Alkali. about 4 miles east-south-
east of Travertine Hot Springs. Warm
springs at Big Alkali are centered in a
The travertine deposits are assumed
to have begun forming in the Pleisto-
cene. but have never been precisely
dated. The poorly exposed bedrock-
travertine contact at Travertine Hot
Featureless travertine terraces are
interrupted by a remarkable series of
finger-like fissure ridges. mounds of
various sizes. pools, and springs.
Fl\}Ure 3. Map of map ~ features
of the Travertlne Hot Springs area.
o 50
,,- ",""
-, ' ........
Fissure ridge
PhoIo 1. Southwest end of ~ Tub Ridge
The phOtO was taken from Itle top of Long
Ridge. Photo by Efse Maroson.
' ~
--"'''' ""
_-:::::::: ...
- "~
Photo 2. View southeast toward segment three 01 Hot Tub Ridge showing step-down relations 01 growth units 1. 2, 3. and 4 from felt to
right. Both ends 01 the segment can be seen wilh partial disintegration occurring the length 01 the segment. Middle portion of long Ridge
can be seen just behind distal end 01 Hot Tub Ridge. White material on grass and soit is sodium bicarbonate efflorescence. Photos by
author, excepf as noted.
A series of coalesced travertine ter-
races forms an extensive planar apron-
like feature upon which smaller traver-
tine landforms. chiefly fissure ridges. are
superimposed or embedded. The ter-
races appear to have formed as succes-
sively younger fringe-like terraces coa-
lesced and extended outward from a
core area. An individual terrace fringe.
up to 45 feet thick and 295 feet wide.
extends 500 feet along the perimeter
of the older core terrace. The travertine
fringe commonly exhibits a scalloped
edge along its outer margin. Travertine
deposited around clusters of springs
coalesces. forming the scalloped perim-
eter of the terrace. This indicates that
some springs are perennial. Other inter-
millent springs and seeps away from the
fringing terrace mounds have deposited
travertine. filling surface irregularities
and eventually producing a relatively
planar terrace surface. These coalesced
mounds are similar in form to the
terracettes of Mammoth Springs in
Yellowstone National Park described by
Bargar (1978. p. 18) but probably devel-
oped differently.
Fissure Ridges
Ridges that rise above the terraces are
termed fissure ridges by Bargar (1978)
for similar features at Mammoth
Springs. Most ridges trend northeast to
east (Figure 3), The smallest ridge.
named Beta. is about 35 feet long and
about 3 feet high. The longest. Long
Ridge. has an overall length of approxi'
mately 850 feet and reaches 15 feet in
height. Ridge widths range from 10 to
80 feet. Features of the ridges include
the body. segments. growth units. and
longitudinal or medial fissure. These
fissures. which range in width from a
few inches to several feet. often separate
the ridges into two halves parallel to the
medial fissure. The porous travertine
that comprises the bulk of the ridge
occurs in crusts that arc around each
end of the ridge to form what is referred
to as a carapace (Photo 1).
A ridge is generally parallel to the
original fracture along which it devel·
oped. Most of the ridge crests slope
gently downward. generally in a south-
westerly dire<:tion. The ridges are com-
posed of layered porous travertine with
coatings of dense vertically-banded
travertine along the medial fissures'
Ridges are often segmented. Gaps
between segments represent places of
non-deposition of travertine rather than
places where ridges have been eroded
and removed. Several of the ridges
exhibit one or two such gaps.
Field evidence indicates that the bulk
of each ridge developed in growth units
(Photo 2). Growth units range in length
from several tens of feet to several hun-
dred feet. Multiple growth units can
occur in a single ridge segment. Geo-
thermal water of varying temperature
ascends the fissure and slowly overflows
the two sides of the growth unit 10 de-
posit travertine in irregular and overlap--
ping crusts. The medial fissure extends
the full length of the growth unit being
formed. The medial fissures are quite
narrow. initially. allowing just sufficient
space along which geothermal water can
ascend to effect ridge growth. At some
time early in the formation of a fissure
ridge, its two halves commonly split by
slight outward tilling enlarging the me-
dial fissure separation to as much as 4
feet. The depth to which an opening
may extend is not known. The fissure in
North Ridge was found to extend slightly
below the ground surface upon which
the ridge rests.
The seemingly smooth surface of the
end of a growth unit is often cut by a
single vertical mediallissure which ex-
tends from the ground upward to the
crest of the ridge. Some fissure ridges.
especially North Ridge, exhibit multiple
vertical fissures that are nearly equally
spaced. fanning outward across the dis-
tal end from the single main fissure.
Photo 3. Grass and other lorms of vegetation growing on a mound of calcareous mush. This
mound is in the process of developing around two small circular vents on terrace travertine,
Scale is indicated by the 12-inch pick handle.
Fissure Mounds
Elongated mounds that rise only a
few feet above the terrace are called
fissure mounds. They are believed to
represent fissure ridges that. for some
unknown reason. failed to attain the
shape, form, and size reached by the
spectacular fissure ridges. Two of the
larger mounds, each about 290 feet
long and together about 30 leet wide,
run between and parallel to Hot Tub
and Long ridges.
A few dozen small mounds composed
of tussocks of grass growing in travertine
mud are widely scattered across the
travertine terrace (Photo 3). The mounds
are rarely more than 3 feet in height or
diameter. Some of the mounds' summits
have one or more pools. All of the
mounds are believed to be composed of
travertine mud, possibly mixed with algal
debris deposited from hot or cold
springs. The lack of a visible pool atop a
mound suggests that material deposited
around a minor spring has sealed an
orifice. thus forming a ~ f o s s i r mound.
Some orifices are sub-circular holes in
the terrace surface. Water may stand in
the hole or flow out through a minor
channel cut into the rim of the hole.
Some holes are filled with mud and veg-
etable debris and are comparable to
"fossil" mounds, where orifices have
been plugged, The largest water filled
hole. referred to as Jupiter, is about
6 feet across (Figure 3). This pool was
probably enlarged by man as evidenced
by large timbers found in the pool. The
largest natural pool. referred to as Pluto,
is several feet across. Pools are com-
monly only a few feet deep, whereas
some exceed 5 feet. Pool bottoms are
usually muddy and covered by algal
Water from springs and seeps found
associated with the travertine deposits
ranges from air temperature to about
F (60
C). The greatest flow. not
especially impressive as hot springs
go. is about 15 gallons per minute.
Photo 4. Layering in porous travertine on south side ot segment three of Hot Tub Ridge.
General strike of steeply dipping layers of porous travertine is almost perpendicular to the
length of the ridge. SCale is indicated by the 12-iflCh pick handle.
Travertine deposition at hot springs
occurs when carbon dioxide is released
from ascending bicarbonate spring water
as it reaches reduced pressures at the
surface. The loss of carbon dioxide,
coupled with high evaporation rates.
increases the saturation level, resulting in
the precipitation of calcium carbonate.
Two types of tr<lvertine, porous and
dense banded, are common at Traver-
tine Hot Springs. Allen and Day (1935.
p. 377) suggested th<lt porous travertine
forms rapidly in crusty layers at a greater
rate than does the dense travertine.
They also suggested that some dense
travertine may have formed either by
slow deposition or by precipitation of
calcite into open spaces of the porous
travertine. The porous travertine exhibits
slight to major variations in texture or
color yielding a subtly banded appear-
ance in comparison to the obvious band-
ing of the dense type of travertine.
Water. channeled away from the springs
in some places, may disappear into the
terrace to mix with other water before
reappearing in other springs and/or it
may evaporate beyond the travertine
complex. In other places a sheet-like
effluent produces a runoff that generally
deposits a crystalline calcite mush across
the terrace and even beyond in the gul-
lies cut into Tertiary volcanic rocks that
surround the hot springs area.
There is a tendency for an alignment
of warm and hot springs parallel to the
trends of the fissure ridges, and cold,
warm. and hot springs are juxtaposed in
some places. The temperatures fluctuate
over a few months' time. This variability
in temperature reflects complex mixing
of geothermal water and groundwater in
a largely unknown plumbing system.
Most springs. regardless of their tem-
perature, are ephemeral. The variation in
water supply may be due either to differ-
ences in recharge volumes or to changes
in the plumbing system. Conduits may
partly or wholly clog either because of
cementation by precipitating calcium
carbonate or by some minor adjustment
caused by ground movements.
Photo 5. Rill structure caused by micro·terraces developed in porous ridge travertine. as
exposed on the north side of Hot Tub Ridge. SCale is indicated by the pencil.
The porous travertine displays a pale
buff color (Photo 4) whereas the dense
banded travertine forms layers that
range from pale gray and cream through
hues of brown and yellow to orange-red.
The porous travertine is. in places.
composed of small parallel terrace-like
and step-like structures. or rill structures.
These rill structures might be considered
micro-terraces where a single micro-
terrace seldom exceeds a few inches in
length and 1/8 inch in width. When
found fully formed they are covered by
thin (1/16 to 1/4 inch), fairly continu-
ous layers of minutely porous travertine
that yield a sandwich-like structure re-
sembling corrugated cardboard (Photo
5). The irregularities in the travertine
surface control the distribution. size. and
shape of the micro-terraces developing
on them.
Photo 6. View eastward to fissure-filling traver1ine in small quarry near eastern end of long
Ridge. The medialtissure ot the ridge here is completely filled with dense. vertically layered
travertine. which at this location is about 5 feet thick. Scale is indicated by the 12-inch pick
The dense travertine generally occu·
pies a part or the whole of the vertical
medial fissures of the mounds and ridges
(Photo 6). Discrete color bands which
are parallel to the fissure walls range in
width from less than 1/16 inch to as
much as 4 inches. They commonly ex-
hibit textural variations which are gener-
ally functions of the degree of crystallin-
ity of the calcite and the amount of im-
purities. generally hydrated iron oxides.
present in the travertine. Coarsely crys-
talline calcite, with grains as much as
1/8 inch across. produces white to pale
bufl-colored layers up to 2 inches wide.
Much of the dense banded travertine,
however, consists of randomly-oriented
calcite grains smaller than 1/8 inch
across. Scattered uniformly among the
calcite grains are clusters of minute red
and brown hydrated iron oxide grains
which impart the various reddish and
brownish colors to the dense travertine.
A third type of travertine, "calcite ice"
(Bargar. 1978, p. 28). is found on the
surface of several hot pools. [t is a deli-
cate. thin. whitish crust of calcite which
breaks up easily and settles to the bot-
tom of the pools on which it develops.
Hot Tub Ridge was studied in detail to
determine how a typical travertine fis-
sure ridge develops, because it contains
an active flowing stream of hot goother-
mal water. The three segments that
compose the ridge have westward-de-
scending steps as shown in Photo 2.
The overall profile of the ridge slopes
gently from a height of 15 feet to a
height of 10 feet near the terminus to
the southwest. This ridge is about 540
feet long including the 15- to 20-foot
gaps between segments. Segments are
numbered one, two, and three from
northeast to southwest and are approxi-
mately 50. 175 and 275 feet long. re-
spectively. Base widths average 15 to 20
Each segment includes a medial fis-
sure, a narrow inner terrace. and a
carapaced end. There is every indication
that the three segments of Hot Tub
Ridge developed along the same bedrock
fracture from a southwestward-migrating
spring-like source of geothermal water.
Segments one and two do not contain
any visible springs and appear to have
been inactive for a long time. They prob-
ably developed earlier, with segment one
being the first to develop. These older.
shorter segments do not now exhibit the
wide opening of the medial fissure that is
so well-developed in the third segment.
The active segment of Hot Tub Ridge,
segment three. is divided into four parts.
or growth units. numbered one through
four from northeast to southwest.
Growth unillengths are 50 feet. 135
feel. 35 feet, and 55 feet, respectively.
A medial fissure extends throughout the
combined lengths of growth units one.
two. and three. It attains a maximum
width of about 30 inches in growth unit
two and thins to less than I inch at the
southwest end of growth unit three. The
presence of a fissure in growth unit four
is indicated only by a narrow ditch-like
feature that conducts hot water to the
distal end of the ridge (Photo 1).
The medial fissure is mostly filled with
fragmental porous travertine upon which
rests vertically-layered dense travertine 01
variable thickness. This sequence of fis-
sure-filling travertine is capped by hori-
zontally-layered dense travertine up to
several inches thick. which is referred to
here as inner terrace travertine. There is
an 8- to lO-inch-wide inner fissure within
the medial lissure in growth units one
and two (Photo 7). Near the midpoint of
growth unit two, the sound 01 bubbling
water can be distinctly heard in the
rubble-filled inner fissure. The water emerges near the south-
western end of growth unit two and flows southwestward
along the floor of the inner terrace,
Apparently several mecha-
nisms. working either together
or separately, effected development of the medial fissure in
Hot Tub Ridge. Bargar (1978. p. 23-25) has suggested that
fissure widening in travertine ridges at Yellowstone National
Park could have been accomplished through pressure caused
by crystallization of calcium carbonate. Crystallization from
supersaturated solutions was a primary mechanism in the
formation of the vertically-banded dense travertine in the
fissure in Hot Tub Ridge. However. the writers believe that
another mechanism involving subsidence may have occurred
along the length of the ridge and that this played an important
role in enlarging the width of the fissure.
Subsequent to the comple-
tion of growth unit three. a
fissure opened along the
entire length of the ridge,
affecting at least growth units
one through three. Precisely
what caused this later fissur-
ing is not known. but it is
assumed to have been a re-
sult of unequal subsidence of
the two ridge halves. This
inner fissure was later filled
by dense layered travertine
extending the full length of
growth units one through
three. The inner fissure is
10 inches wide at its widest
part near the crest of the
ridge and separation de-
creases at depth. It is not
known whether the inner
fissure occurs in growth unit
four because porous traver-
tine covers the projected
extension of the fissure.
An explanation of the
subsidence phenomena may
lie in the nature of the mate-
rial upon which the ridges
rest. rather than in the ridges
themselves. The two halves
of a ridge are normally about
equal in mass and identical in
composition and physical
characteristics. The first cal-
cium bicarbonate waters to
ascend along the fracture in
the bedrock and soil would precipitate calcium carbonate at
and near the ground surface and would locally mound above
the surface. The soil adjacent to the fracture would eventually
become cemented by calcium carbonate. This would result in a
relatively dense material that would be stronger than the partly-
or non-cemented soil out some distance from the fracture. The
difference in compressibility might allow the growing ridge
eventually to tilt outward and down as two halves along a hinge
line medial and parallel to the base of the ridge. In some
examples only one side would tilt. in others. both sides.
Horizontal separation of as much as 20 inches occurred in
the medial fissure in growth units one and two of the third
segment of Hot Tub Ridge. The fissure-forming mechanism
was in all probability the
result of hydrostatic and crys-
tallizing pressures produced
by ascending supersaturated
thermal waters.
Photo 7. View looking southwest along media! lissure in
segment three of Hot Tub Ridge. Maximum ridge separation
here is about 30 inches. The inner terrace on the north wall,
partly in the shadow in the center of the photograph, is
separated from the OpPOsite inner terrace by the inner fissure.
Pick on inner terrace has a 12-inch handle.
Ridge Formation
Opening 01 the Fissure
Hot Tub Ridge developed
along a relatively long fracture.
The principal fissure that led to
the development of Hot Tub
Ridge probably opened at the
northeastern end of each of
the three segments that com-
pose the ridge. The short seg-
ment at the northeastern end
of the ridge was first to de-
velop and probably became
inactive prior to the opening
up of the source fracture of the
middle segment. Similarly, the
middle segment of Hot Tub
Ridge probably ceased to de-
velop prior to the opening up
of the source fissure at the
northeastern end of segment
three. Each segment probably
extended itself in a southwest-
ward direction by the emer-
gence of hot mineralized water
from the bedrock fracture as it
continued to open and
lengthen towards the south-
As illustrated by the descrip-
tion of Hot Tub Ridge, it is
dear that fractures in the bed-
rock played an important role
in the development of the
fissure ridges. and even the
fissure mounds. The original
and principal role of the frac-
tures was to act as conduits
along which calcium bicarbon-
ate waters moved to form the
ridges and mounds.
Photo 8. Mini·terraces of calcareous mush developing on gently sloping soil'covered
surface in southwestern part of thermal area. scale is indicated by the 12-inch pick
We believe that a travertine terrace at Travertine Hot
Springs was likely to have been the first result of spring depo-
sition and that the process is continuing today. Such features
as pools and mounds have come and gone in the overall
evolution of the deposits of the hot springs. Studies of the
apparent overlapping mound and ridge travertines have r e ~
vealed the stratigraphy of the deposits and the sequence of
their formation (Chesterman and Kleinhampl, in prepara-
tion). Other ridges
and mounds may
have developed
almost simulta-
neously, but sev-
eral of these fea-
tures are isolated
from one another.
Their flanks are
partly or com-
pletely overlain by
terrace travertine
so their actual
sequential relation-
ships are difficult
to deduce.
Rate of Travertine
The number
and rate of growth
of crusty layers of
individual fissure
ridges are not
known so they
cannot be used to
estimate the
length of time
involved in ridge
development. In the southwestern part of the area, near the
site of early quarrying operations, one can find small terraces
being formed today (photo 8). These small terraces. or mini-
terraces, are composed of calcareous mush. They were not in
existence in 1983 but others were forming elsewhere in the
area at that time. In October 1985 the mini-terraces had
widths (front rim to back) ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 inches.
On the basis of a 13-month period of development. the rate
of calcium carbonate deposition ranges between about 0.02
and 0.06 inches per month. The mini-terrace material is
quite fragile and porous and evidently developed at a rela-
tively rapid rate. Although the fissure ridges and mounds also
consist largely of porous travertine. they may not have devel-
oped as rapidly as the minHerraces.
The spring deposits at Travertine Hot Springs consist al-
most entirely of travertine. Siliceous sinter. which occurs at
Steamboat Springs. Washoe County, Nevada and other hot
spring areas in the western United States. was not found.
However. there is a sticky and slippery feel when walking on
the wet terrace surface which indicates that clay may be ad-
mixed with some of the wet crystalline mush being deposited
on the terrace surfaces. A relatively pure-looking white sticky
clayey substance is forming around the orifice of one of the
hottest springs (a rare occurrence). This substance was found
by Paul Russell to contain chiefly calcite, minor quartz, and a
minor amount of illite (oral communication. 1984). A minor
amount of illite may be admixed with some of the porous
travertine else-
where in the
terraces, but the
travertine was
not analyzed for
The chemical
composition of
some of the hot-
test waters at
Travertine Hot
Springs has been
determined and it
appears that these
waters must have
a large meteoric
(derived from
rainwater) compo-
nent (Chesterman
and KJeinhamp1.
in preparation).
The presence of
lithium in the
spring waters may
indicate the exist-
ence of a mag-
matic component.
They have at least passed through. if not originated in. a car-
bonate rock terrane judging by the large amount of carbonate
deposited at the site.
The surface of the ground, as well as the blades of grass
and other prostrate forms of vegetation. is quite heavily cov-
ered by a coating of white pulverulent sodium bicarbonate
(Photos 2 and 3). This substance precipitates from spring
water and from groundwater that rises to the surface.
There are a number of places in the western United States
where travertine has been deposited. Although the calcareous
materials deposited in some of these places are similar in
many respects to the travertine at Travertine Hot Springs.
they may have developed under different sets of physical con-
ditions. As mentioned previously, the travertine deposits at
Travertine Hal Springs developed on a land surface when
ascending supersaturated bicarbonate waters lost carbon diox-
ide to the atmosphere, enabling the calcium carbonate to
precipitate as calcite. [n contrast. the lufa deposits (tufa cones)
(Continued on page 182 ...)
A Page For Teachers
he Simplified Geologic Map of
Califomia was compiled by the
Division of Mines and Geology (DMGl
and the United States Geological SUlvey
(USGS). Geologic maps show the
distribution of different types and ages
of rocks with the use of colors. Latitude
and longitude lines, the north arrow. the
bar scale, and the locations of major
cities and geographic features provide a
reference system.
The explanation on the right-hand
side of the map lists the rock types
included in each color-coded map unit.
Contacts are shown as thin black lines
separating map units. Faults. shown as
thick solid or dotted black lines, are
planes or zones of movement between
very large blocks of rock.
There are three major types of
rocks-igneous, sedimentary, and
1. Igneous rocks fonn by the cooling of molten (hot liquid) rock. Igneous - " " " ' \ ~ ~ " : o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
rocks are divided into two broad groups. The first group. made up of igneous l ~
rocks that fooned at the surface. are called extrusive or volcanic rocks. Basalt
and pumice are volcanic rocks. The second group. made up of igneous rocks
that fonned slowly from the cooling of magma deep in the Earth's crust, are
called intrusive or plutonic rocks. Granite and gabbro are examples of intrusive
2. Most sediments and sedimentary rocks are composed of pieces of, or
grains from. pre-existing rocks. These fragments may range in size from
boulders to sand to sub-microscopic clay particles. Most have been moved
away from their source by water, wind. or ice and deposited in Oat layers
called beds. Conglomerate. sandstone. and shale are examples of sedimentary
rocks. Other sedimentary rocks form by precipitation from seawater or other
mineral-rich waters. Limestone. salt. and gypsum are examples of this special
type of sedimentary rock.
3. Metamorphic rocks are formed by recrystallization of pre-existing rocks
as a result of heat and pressure from many kinds of geologic processes. Most
of these processes are related to the movement of massive plates of the
Earth's crust. Marble. slate. schist. gneiss. and greenstone are metamorphic
The rocks of California are divided into two groups: the intrusive igneous
rocks, and the sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The metamorphic rocks are
included with the sedimentary and volcanic rocks because for the most part
they are the metamorphosed equivalents of these rocks. The rocks are placed
in the order of foonation: the oldest at the bottom. successively younger units
above. Map units shown at the same level in the explanation are about the
same age.X
CtnQ,O<C rn."""
"",,,.,.,nl• ..,. mck<
ute Mew,,,,,, (I.,O'S' Jur•..oc.nd
C""<>c"""'l eUi"""'vneliNI rocks
d Fr."",,,,,,, Fo,m."Q<1
ule ...........OH: 11'1"11 lur.'Sic.nd
C""ac""".) wH.nd .lope
,od,••nd ,11"",.1 de""",.
Geologic Map
of California
Me>o.looc ""',menl."! and voIc.n"
'ock, <>Ider ,h.n I.... or"8f'ny;
In pi..," Iltorlg'l M("Iomo,p/IosN
P"",amo"," rod, of .lItyll'" 'ncllld,ng
Pre-<:enozoic mel,"""""", rock.
01 unkrlOWn age
Ullf."",f" fOe.'
01 ",.....,lOic oge
F.uh. done<! .........,.. conce.I«l:
,ndudn 1ow""!II. lau.,;
'nOW' ,nd"'... d","",,,,,,
aI ,.1,1_ on
Ilrike·$l,p f.ult.
P.I oIc ;ed,t'M<1•• ..,. and volcaniC fQCk.; in
pix """'gly mo1."""p""""d: Incl..o.-....,....,
rock, c( Tf","':'ll" in,h Moun1.,no:
,ncludft """" I.le I'>l,." ..-d,me"I'''''
lOCks ,n Cre., lIa..n
Gr.Moe ,ock.
01 M<o\Ozoic .ge
(... Continued from page 179.)
exposed along the north and south
shores of Mono Lake, Mono County,
California. developed below the surface
of the lake waters principally as the re-
sult of cold spring water welling up
through and interacting with the lake
Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs is situated in Ne-
vada approximately 80 miles northwest
of Travertine Hot Springs. Although
these two thermal areas have several
features in common. one of the principal
differences is that the material being
deposited at Steamboat Springs is sili-
ceous sinter, consisting of several silica
minerals including opal and chalcedony.
and minor quartz (White and others,
1964). Minor amounts of travertine are
deposited near certain springs, but be-
cause of the appreciable sulfuric acid
content of the spring water, the traver-
tine dissolves and is also readily removed
by weathering. There are terraces, fis-
sures. springs, pools, and geysers that
discharge intermittently hot or boiling
water at Steamboat Springs. Prominent
fissure ridges. which are so common at
Travertine Hot Springs. are absent at
Steamboat Springs. Cinnabar. pyrite.
and stibnite have been found in the sin-
ter at Steamboat Springs. These metallic
minerals have not been observed at
Travertine Hot Springs.
Elise Mattison
Joins California
Geology Staff
Geologist Elise
Mattison has joined the
GEOLOGY as a techni-
cal editor. She is a
graduate of California
State University,
Sonoma and was
preuiouslyassigned to
the Diuision's Applied
Geophysics Program.X
Mammoth Hot Springs
The spring deposits at Mammoth Hot
Springs. YelloVJStone National Park.
Wyoming, are comparable in many re-
spects to those at Travertine Hot
Springs. In fact. the resemblance be-
tween them is striking. The main geo-
morphic features at Mammoth Hot
Springs include hot spring cones. caves.
tension fractures. collapse features. spec-
tacular terraces and fissure ridges. The
Travertine Hot Springs area is quite
small, only about 9 acres, as compared
with Mammoth Hot Springs, which em-
braces more than 550 acres.
The authors wish to thank several
members of the geological staff of the
California Division of Mines and Geol-
ogy in Sacramento, California for their
many useful comments, especially to Dr.
Rodger H. Chapman for his kind and
continuous encouragement in this work.
Thanks also are extended to Dr. William
C. Bagby (U.S. Geological Survey.
Menlo Park, California) who critically
reviewed the unabridged manuscript
(Chesterman and Kleinhampl, in prepa-
ration) during its late stages of prepara-
Allen. E.T., and Day, A.L., 1935, Hot springs
of the Yellowstone National Pal1o;:
Carnegie Institute of Washington,
Publication No. 466. 525 p.
Bargar, K. E., 1978. Geology and thermal
history of Mammoth Hot Springs,
Yellowstone National Pal1o;. Wyoming:
U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1444.
Chesterman, C.W., and Gray, C.H., Jr.,
1975. Geology of the Bodie quadrangle.
Mono County, California: California
Division of Mines and Geology. Map
Sheet 21, scale 1:48.000.
Chesterman. CW., and Kleinhampl, F.J., in
preparation, Travertine Hot Springs at
Bridgeport. Mono County, California:
California Division of Mines and Geology
Special Report 172.
Russell. Paul. 1984. oral communication.
White, D. E., Thompson, G.A., and
Sandberg. C.H., 1964, Rocks, structure
and geologic history 01 Steamboat
Springs Thermal area, Washoe County.
Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey
Professional Paper 458-B, 63 p.X
The Rock That Made California Famous
. . . . . . The Rock Across America Project . . . . ..
Historian, EI Dorado County Committee on the Bicentennial altha
U.S. Constitution, Placerville. EI Dorado County, Calilornia
So the beautiful mottled
green and white mariposlte
rock was selected to repre-
sent California in the
Fountain of Freedom-
The Constitution Monument.
property of Eugene and
Cathy Barnett (Photo I).
The Barnetts donated the
mariposile boulder for use
in the monument. With this
gift. serpentine lost to the
harder. more weather-
resistant. gold-bearing
mariposite rock.
Occasionally marlposite
rock contains networks of
gold-and iron sulphlde-
bearing quanz velnlets and
stringers (Kistler and others.
1983) (Photo 2). Mariposlte
rock consists of the mineral
mariposlte (a bright apple
green chromium-rich mica)
with a white groundmass of
fine-grained glassy quartz.
Several carbonate minerals
are present In some speci-
mens. In 1868. Benjamin
Silliman. Jr. collected a
sample of mariposite from
the Josephine mine (Figure
1) and named It for Mariposa
County. California. Since
then, it has been identified
throughout the Mother Lode of the
Sierra Nevada (Murdoch and Webb.
1966) and in other locations around the
world. Today, gold is still mined from
mariposlte-bearing ores at several
Mother Lode localities.
Wheeklon located an outcrop of maripo-
site 4 mlles upstream Irom Coloma
which may have produced that gokl.
The outcrop can be seen from the head
of Big Canyon. nonh of Placerville and
east of Highway 193. Several boulders
from the outcrop were found on the
Photo I. Eugene Barnett with the donated mariposite rock
at Big Canyon in Placerville. California. August. 1987.
Photo by Chef Ansley.
he El Dorado County
Comminee on the
Bicentennial of the United
Stales Constitution accepted
the assignment to select and
deliver California's rock for
use in the monument.
"The committee's first
nomination was serpentine,
California's State rock.
However. local geologist
George A. Wheeldon recom-
mended that mariposite. a
rock associated with serpen-
line, be selected to represent
California at the Fountain of
Wheeldon also searched for the
source of the gold that touched off the
California Gold Rush. On January 24.
1848. James W. Marshall discovered
a gold nugget in the tailrace of John
Sutter's sawmill at Coloma. on the
South Fork of the American River.
July, 1987 Wanted:
one 1O,SOO-pound rock
to represent the Golden
State of California in
Phi/adelphia's <;Fountain
of Freedom - The
Constitution Monument"
celebrating the 200th
anniuersary of the United
States Constitution and
the Bill of Rights, to be
delivered to Phi/adelphia,
Pennsyluania by Septem-
ber 17. 1987, the bicen-
tennialof the signing of
the U.S. Constitution.
Mining: Gold ore.
Lapidary: Cabochons, book ends, paper weights, headstones,
ornamental objects (Sinkankas, 1968).
Color and luster: Apple green, white (Murdoch and Webb, 1956). Emerald
green, apple green (Knopf, 1929).
Mode of occurrence: Abundantly distributed in the Mother Lode gold belt of
the Sierra Nevada, foliated in an assemblage known
as mariposite rock. (Knopf, 1929; Considine, 1988).
Environment: Found in schist, as nests and tenses in talc-sericite
schists (Murdoch and Webb, 1966). Also found in
narrow zones to broad belts in association with quartz
and carbonate minerals such as ankerite, dolomite of
magnesite, and resulting from hydrothermal alteration of
serpentine (Considine, 1988).
Composition: Variety of muscovite. Basic potassium aluminum
chromium silicate. (Murdoch and Webb, 1966).
Crystal form: Monoclinic. In hexagonal plates and scales, foliated,
micaceous (Murdoch and Webb, 1956).
Mariposite formed when serpentine
was altered under pressure by mineral-
laden hot (650"F) water. The water.
containing potassium, silica, carbon,
oxygen. and other elements. flowed
upward from sources deep in the
Earth·s crust along fractures, faults
and fissures in the rocks. When these
hydrothermal fluids reacted with the
serpentine. they formed deposits of
quartz, chromium-rich mica. sulphides.
and occasionally gold. At that time
these rocks were completely hidden
under the surface of the Earth. The
ancestral Sierra Nevada began to rise
100 million years ago (Hill. 1975) and
the rock above the mariposite slowly
eroded. The rich veins were exposed
about 45 million years ago (Norris and
Webb, 1990). Continued erosion
released the gold from the rock. and
streams carried it dov.m the slopes.
Mariposite rock and the varied
quartz and gold veins are found along
the Mother Lode's Melones fault
(Kistler and others, 1983; Bohlke
and Kistler, 1986; Evans and Bowen.
1977) which separates the Paleozoic
Calaveras Complex phyllite from the
Late Jurassic Mariposa Formation
graywacke and volcanic rocks (Loyd
and others. 1983).
Photo 2. Mariposite rock. 7 l( 6 l(
2.5 inches. Photo by Max Flanery.
Optical properties:
Specific gravity:
Straight extinction and positive elongation, optically
negative, of narrow axial or uniaxial angle. Index of
refraction: alpha = 1.56 to 1.58, gamma = 1.61 to t .63
(Knopf, t 929); beta::: 1.624 (Deer and others, 1962).
2.5 - 3 (Murdoch and Webb, 1956).
Vitreous (Murdoch and Webb, t 956).
2.78 - 2.81 (Murdoch and Webb, 1956).
Perfect basal (Murdoch and Webb, 1956).
Green plates and flakes. tabular (Murdoch and Webb,
1966). Foliated, micaceous.
Eugene and Kathy Barnett for
donating the mariposite boulder.
Lester Lubetkin, geologist. U.S.
Forest Service. technical editor for this
George A. Wheeldon. geologist,
George A. Wheeldon & Associates.
Geological Consultants, for locating the
mariposite boulder and suggesting its use
in the monument, and for assisting in
editing this manuscript.
BOhlke, J.K. and Kistler, R.W.• 1986, RIrSr,
K·Ar, and stable isotope evidence for the
ages and sources of fluid components of
gold-bearing quartz veins in the northern
Sierra Nevada foothills metamorphic belt,
California: Economic Geology, v. 81,
Calilomia Division of Mines and Geology
DMG Note 10: Chrysolile asbestos and
serpentinite in California.
Deer, WA, Howie, A.A.. and Zussman, J..
1962, Sheet silicates, muscovite: Rock-
forming Minerals, v. 3, John Wiley & Sons
Inc., p. 11-30.
Evans, A.E. and Bowen, O.E., 1977,
Geologic map and sections of the
southern Mother Lode, Tuolumne and
Mariposa counties. California: California
Division of Mines and Geology, Map
Sheet 36.
Hill, M., 1975, Geology of the Sierra Nevada,
California Natural History Guide 37:
University of California Press.
Kis!ler, A.W., Dodge, F.CW., and
Silberman, M.L, 1983, Isotopic studies of
the mariposite-bearing rocks from the
south-central Mother Lode, California:
Catifornia Geology, v. 36. #9, p. 201·203.
Knopf, A., 1929, The Mother Lode system 01
California: U.S. Geological Survey
Protessional Paper 157, p. 38.
loyd, R.C., Anderson, T,P" and Bushnell,
M.M., 1983, Mineral land classification of
the Placerville 15' quadrangle. EI Dorado
and Amador counties, California:
California Division of Mines and Geology
Open-file Report 83-29 SAC, p. 8-13,
MitchelVGiurgola Architects, 1989, Fountain
of Freadom - The Constitution Monu-
ment· schematic report: U.S. Department
of the Interior, National Pari<. Service,
14 p.
Murdoch, J. and Webb, A.W.. 1956, Minerals
of California: California Department 01
Natural Resources Bulletin 173, p.219·
Murdoch, J.. and Webb. A.W.. 1966,
Minerals 01 California: Calilomia
Department of Natural Resources
Bulletin 189, 256 p.
Norris, A.M. and Webb, RW., 1990,
Geology of California. second adition:
John Wiley & Sons, New Yorl<., p. 74,
84-86, 108.
Rice, S.J.. 1957, Asbestos. in Wright. L. A.,
ed., Mineral Commodities of California,
California Division of Mines Bulletin 176,
Rice, S.J., 1957, Chromite, in Wright, LA,
ed., Mineral Commodities of Calilornia,
California Division of Mines Bulletin 176,
Sinkankas, J.. 1968, Van Nostrand's
Standard Catalog 01 Gems: Van
Nostrand/Reinhold, New York, p. 78.
Skinner, H.C.W" Ross, M., and Frondel, C.,
1988, Asbestos and other fibrous
materials: Mineralogy, Crystal Chemistry,
and Health Effects: Oxford University
Press, 204 p.
Wicks, F.J. and O'Hanley, D.S" 1988,
Serpentine minerals: Structures and
petrology, in Bailey, SW., ad., Mineral-
ogical Society of America, Reviews in
Mineralogy, v. 19. p. 91-167.:-t
.... Figure 1. Map of California showing principal
serpentinite occurrences. Modified from
California Division of Mines and Geology
DMG Note 10.
Clark, W.B., 1957, Gold, in Wright, L.A.,
ad., Mineral Commodities 01 California,
California Division of Mines Bulletin 176,
Considine, K. A" 1968, Hydrothermal
alteration at the Pacific mine, Placerville,
EI Dorado County. California: M.S. thesis,
University of California, Davis, 37 p,
. -
outcrops (Rice. 1957)
Gold bearing area
of the Mother Lode
(Clark. 1957)
'" Melones fault zone
" and Mother Lode Belt
(Clark. 1957)

Division of Mines and Geology
Bay Area Regional Office
Returns to San Francisco
The new office is close to Federal and State buildings and
City Hall (Figure 1). It is accessible by various types of trans-
portation including BART and Muni Metro via the Civic Center
Station. Market Street exit. There is also easy access from
Highway 101 with convenient parking at Civic Center Garage
and several other local lots.
Originally established by the State Legislature in 1880 as
the Stale Mining Bureau. DMG has a long history in the city of
San Francisco, From 1880 to 1898 the State Mining Bureau
occupied various office locations in the city. In 1899 the
offices were moved to the newly constructed Ferry Building at
the foot of Market Street (Photo 2). Although DMG headquar-
ters was transferred to Sacramento in 1970. an office re-
mained in the Feny Building until renovations forced reloca-
tion. The Division offices opened in Pleasant Hill in 1984 and
remained there until now.
he Bay Area Regional Office of the Division of Mines and
Geology (DMG) returned to San Francisco on August 12th.
1991 after 7 years in Pleasant Hill, Contra Costa County. The
new location is 1145 Market Street (Photo 1), between 7th
and 8th streets, directly across from United Nations Plaza.
i ~ ; ; : : : : ,..--____ '•
......_- , .
-- -
<'''."•• I ... ', , •
Photo 1. One Trinity Center. at 1145 Market Street In San
Francisco. is the new home 01 DMG's Bay Area Regional Office.
As the stale geological survey of
California. DMGs primary role is to
provide State and local governments.
the private sector. and the public with
earth science information thai will assist
them in making wise land-use and other
policy decisions.
The Bay Area Regional Office
provides geological information to 17
counties in northern and cenlral
California. It is currently staffed by len
technical and support personnel. It Is
anticipated that expansion of the newly
established Seismic Hazards Mapping
Project will add additional technical staff
to this office over the next several years.
A 2,000-square-foot staff/reference
library and an infonnation and publica-
tions sales counter are available to the
Photo 2. The Ferry Building, located at the foot ot Market Street in San Francisco. housed
the offices of OMG (previously the State Mining Bureau) from 1899 until 1984.
1. Division 01 Mines and Geology
1145 Market Street
San Francisco. CA 94103-1513
Office (415) 557·1500
Ubrary (415) 557-1629
E - Embarcadero Station
M . Montgomery Street Station
P . Powell Street Station
C - Civic Center Station
',"",';;"':'.' ''''''n.,...
" ,

f .....,...
14. Ferry Building
12. U.S. Forest service
630 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 705·2674
13. U.S. Geological Survey
504 Custom House
555 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 705-1010
11. TransbayTermlnal
10. Moscone Convention Center
7. Federal Building
8. Brooks Hall (undergrOUnd)
6. San Francisco Main Ubrary
9. Civic Auditorium
2. Federal Building
GPO Bookstore
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
3. State Building
4. State Building
5. San Francisco City Hall
Figure 1.locatlon of DMG's new Bay Area Regional Office and other
buildings around Civic Center and downtown San Francisco.
The Bay Area Regional Office
supports two major DMG programs-
the Geologic Hazards Program and the
Geologic lnfonnation and Support
landslide Hazards Identification Project
The Landslide Hazards Identification
Project staff produce maps that provide
information about slope stability in
urban and rapidly urbanizing areas.
These maps assist local governments in
making Jand-use decisions that win
reduce property loss due to landsliding.
The staff members have prepared
nine Landslide Hazard Identification
Maps of selected areas in central and
northern California. These areas include:
Petaluma Dairy Belt (Sonoma County);
parts of Diablo and Dublin [7.5'J quad-
rangles (Contra Costa County); Benicia-
Vallejo area (Solano County); south·half
of Fairfield North [7.5'1 Quadrangle
(Solano County): Cordelia-Vallejo area
(Solano and Napa counties); Vacaville
and vicinity (Solano County); Clear Lake
and vicinity (Lake County); Cache Creek
area (Lake, Yolo. and Colusa counties):
and livennore Valley and vicinity
(Alameda and Contra Costa counlles).
Fault Evaluation and Zoning Project
(Alquist-Priolo. A-P)
The Fault Evaluation and Zoning
Project staff prepare maps that delineate
zones around active and potentially
active faults throughout the State. These
maps help local governments regulate
development within these "Special
Studies in an effort to protect
the public from the hazards of surface
fault rupture.
Approximately 100 Special Studies
Zone maps have been issued for those
faults in the Bay Area considered to be
active or potentially active as defined by
the State Mining and Geology Board.
__SR106 Geologie features of Death Valley 11010 afld San BemaldlJlo coumiesl.
Cahtomia.1976...................... . $5.00
__SRl 13 GIlOIogk: hazards 10 southwestem Sao Bemald400 County. Califomia. 1976 $\ 7.00
L _
__SP50 Colemafllte depo$Its near Kramer JuncliOl'l. Sao Bernardioo County,
Califorl'\la.1976 . $5.00
__SP72 MII'lOral commodIty report· gypsum. \984 $5.00
__SP74 Mineral commodity report· sulphur. 1984 . $5.00
__SP76 Minerai commodity report· bame 1985... $5.00
__SPl II Minerai commodity report - diatomlle 1991 (NEW) 5500
ComPete address form Ol'l next page.
Indicate number Pnce includes
of copoes. postage and sales lax.

__B183 FraflClSCan and related rocks and their SI(ll'\llieance io !he gooIogy ot
wesllmCaIilomia 1964 . $8.00
__B195 Geology ot lhe Sao Andreils 115·1 quaoraflgle. CalaVlfas Couoty.
California (scaJe. I :G2,500). 1970.. . $5.00
__6206 Geology and ore deposits ot the Bodie mlJllflg dislnct. Mooo County.
Califomla. 1987... . $18.00
The new address is;
Department of Conservation
Division of Mines and Geology
1145 Market Street, 3rd Roor
San Francisco. CA 94103-1513
Office; (415) 557-1500
Ub<a<y, (4151557-1829
DMG's return to San Francisco offers
easier access to its constituents. thereby
increasing public contact and improving
awareness of its programs and functions. )I'
Hours lor the office and library are
8:00 to 5;00 Monday through Friday.
Visitors should be prepared to Slgn in
and out at the security desk.
.................................. ~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.00
................................................................... 55.00
................._, _ 55.00
..........................................._........... _.55.00
__GAM4 Death Valley $hie'
GAM5 Fresno sheet
__GAM8 LosAngele$ sheet
__GAM9 Maf1XlSl sheet
__1 year (121SS08S)
_2years (241SSUl1$)
..... ....-
Sp9afy IIOIl.olN and monlh
Lisl 01 A...adable PublicalIOnS
Aside from \lIOTking on normal day-
to-day project assignments, the library
staff respond to public inquiries that
require specific technical answers and
represent DMG at professional meet-
ings. 'They also provide community and
educational outreach 5eTVice:s such as
participation in career days. job fairs,
and geology club meetings at local
schools and universities. 1bese contacts
help keep the public and the scientifIC
community aware of DMG activities,
with earth science-related subjects. A
computer data base of DMG's library
hokiings. as well as access to the
MELVYL system of State Uhrary
holdings, provides users with powerful
bibliographic search capabilities. Each
year approximalely 1.700 people use
the library.
Geologic In/ormation and
Publications Project (GIPP)
This project disseminates geologic
information and sells DMG publications.
G1PP staff handle routine inquiries and,
when necessary, route technical
questions to appropriate DMG person-
nel. Information staff in the Bay Area
offICe respond to approximately 4,200
telephone calls and in-person publk:
contacts annually.
library 5eMces PrOject
DMG's Bay Area library provides
staff members and the public with
books, perkxljeals. maps, and unpub-
lished theses and dissertations dealing
ReglOflal GeologIc
Mapping Proteet (RGMP)
The RGMP staff prepare smail-scale
(l:25O.000 and 1:750,000) statewkle
geologic maps and intermediate-scale
(l; 100,000) maps of selected urban
areas. A new San Francisco - San Jose
1:250.000·scale quadrangle is In press
and the Monterey 1:100.00Q-scaJe
quadrangle is being prepared. A new
1: 750.0QO-scale fault activity map of
California is also in preparation. Other
RGMP functions include the preparation
of indexes of geologic maps and
graduate theses and dissertations. Also.
an extensive collection of published and
unpublished geologic maps Is also
maintained. RGMP products are often
the starting points for many types of
geologic investigations such as mineral
resource and geologic hazards assess-
These include the San Andreas,
Hayward, Calaveras. Greenville. Green
Valley, Concord. Antioch, San
Gregorio, Rogers Creek· Healdsburg,
and Maacama faults.
Urban seISmic Hazards
Mapping Pro;ecl
The newly established Urban Seismic
Hazards Mapping Project provides local
governments with maps that delineate
and classify those areas that may be
susceptible to earthquake-induced
ground faihJres and amplified strong
ground motion.
GSA Holds Annual Meeting in October 1991
o NEW SUBSCRIPTION; Allow 60 days lor delivery ot firSI issue.
contamination constitule a number of theme
sessions. Case studieS wiU be presenled, and
remediation techniques for coni aminated soil
and groundwater will be addressed. Yucca
Mountain. being considered for lhe nation's
first potential underground repository for
high-level nuclear ",<'ISle. will be lhe sub;ect of
one of these lheme sessions.
• Resources: The Costs and Con__
quences of Use addresses one 01 lhe masl
diffiCult and challenging socioscientifiC issues
of our time: eslimating the magniludes.
local ions, and a«:essibility of various
resources. lhe costs of recovering and
using them. and the possible environmenlal
consequences of doing so.
• Predicting Our Future; How Good
Are the Models? discusses present models.
which prroict an unsuslainable population of
10-15 billion. causing disastrous effects, if the
publiC does not act to preserw our plane!. Do
lhese models adequalely prroict probable
global circumstances. and how can we adjust
to expeclro effects?
• Urban Geologtc Hazards include r'IOl
only natural hazards but also those lhat occur
after development. This session spotlights lhe
evaluation of geologic condilions prior to.
during. and after development In urban areas.
• Venus and Earth; Tectonic and
Volcank: Evolution presents results lrom
the Magellan spacecrah ....oyage and hypoth·
eses concerning the intemaJ and external
evolution of Venus and Earth. Information
gained about Earth's sister planet Venus
should shed light on studies of lhe euoIution of
Earth. as both planets have similar size.
density. and position in the solar system.
Another session on pl;.tnetary geology. New
Views of the Moon. discusses results from
the Gallleo mission.
• GeoRisk Assessment examines ways
10 assess risk 10 human health and welfare
Irom geologic hazards and how to lransmit
this information 10 the public.
• Coalbed Methane Geology and
Recovery focuses on the recovery of natural
gas producal from coal seams (coalbed
methane). Coalbeds in the Unilal Slates are
estimatro 10 contain more than 400 trillion
cubic feel of melhane.
In addition to lhe technical sessions. 30
fIeld trips and 13 short coun;es will be offered.
A 250·booth exhibit hall will feature state.of-
the'an equipmenl and services. liS wen as
current educational resources and programs.
and the lalest publicalions and maps. An
ongoing science theater will present many
informative and colorful programs on
volcanoes. dinosaurs. earthquakes, mountain
building. and other topics 01 broader
geological interest.
For more infonnation conlact:
sandra Rush
GSA Communications Depanmenl
(303) 443-8489 y
(Individual issues are $1.25 each)
America investigates the arid and semiarid
parts of the nation, which aTe among some of
the most climatically sensitive regions on the
continent. A better underslanding 01 how
climate has variro in these drought-prone
regions during past geologic time (to 30.000
years ago) is important lor lhe prediction of
climatic change and the potential effect of
global wanning.
• Geology of the Padflc Rim addresses
the geology 01 Japan and seiSmOlogy of the
Pacific plate. This symposium sets the stage
for the 29th Intemational Geological
Congress in Japan in 1992
• The Cretaceous·Tertiary (KIT)
Boundary. "The first session the
validity of the hypothesis that the impacl of
an asteroid collision wilh Earth is linked 10 the
exlinction of dinosaurs and Olher life fonns.
"The second of these sessions fOC\l!iol.!s on the
nonmarine fossil record (both pl;.tnt and
animal) of 66 mUlion years ago to assess
whether extlnclion was caused by II cat".
strophic event or was the result of gradual
evoIutK>nary processes.
• Hcuardous Waste Site Charactema'
lion Studies relatro to soil and groundwater
o 2 yrs. $20.00 01 yr. $10.00
1.0.• _
will be the theme
of this year's Geological Society of America
(GSA) meeting in San Diego, California.
October 21·24. 1991. Emphasis wiD be on
gIob;lI change. natural disasters, and the
Umlts of natural resources. Presentations will
focus on Earth illS a whole, and discu&SiOnS
will involve solutions to our major environ-
mental problems. San Diego State University
and lhe San Diego Associatm of Geologists
will host this rTlei!ting al the new San Diego
Convention Center. More than 6.000
geoscientists from around the globe are
expected to attend.
TIle following are some ollhe ledlOicaJ
sessions at the meeting:
• Global Climate Change is II two-part
theme session. The first part presents the
global record of climate dynamics. focusing
on the data and methods of analysis that
allow earth scientists to reconstruct what
happened CNeT lime frames of years to
milliOnS of years. The second part of this
session is based on the premise that the
geologic past can be II key to the geologic
future. 1he symposium Quaternary
Climaltc Change in Western North
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P. O. Box 2980, Sacramento. Calilornl8 95812·2960.

Call For Photos Response
hese photographs of the geologic splendor of Califomia
were submitted in response to CAUFORNIA
GEOLOGYs "Call For Photos:'
We encourage you to submit color geologic photographs
lor publication in future issues of CAUFORNlA GEOLOGY.
A stipend of $25 will be paid for each photo used in
The term trondh)emlte was first used formally by
V.M. Goldschmidt in 1916 in his study ollntrusives
of the TrOndhjem. or Trondheim, area of Norway. II is
accepted as an oHicial name for a very light-colored
plutonic rock thai consists largely of sodic plagioclase
and quartz with only minor amounts of biotite ancllinle
or no potassic feldspar. Trondhjemite is interesting
because jts occurrence is often indicative of incorpor-
ation 01 oceanic crust with continental crust.
Castle Dome (left) and snow-covered Mt. Shasta (right). Castle Crags Stale Park, near Castella. Shasta County. California. Castle
Dome is composed of Jurassic (162 to 175 million years old) granodiorite and trondhjemite (see above). lis shape is due to jointing
and to the process of exfoliation (see page 192). Ml. Shasta (14,162 feet) is California's largest volcano. Kodachrome-64. 35mm
lens. 1/125, fill. Photo by James W. Car/bJorn.
SACR.t.MEHTO. CAUfOANIA 95812·2980
USPS". ...
(From Cover) The bald, rounded surlaces 0' most gramtic domes
are the results of a process calkld exfoliation. Differenlial
stresses WIthin the rock cause it to peel ott In curved slabs. The
rock expands and breaks when confining lorces are reduced as
upllh and erOSIOn bring once deeply burled rock masses to the
surlace Variabons in humidity and temperature. and the slow
development and expansion 01 clay minerals by near·wrface
chemcaI weathering may be laetors in this process.
(BelOw) The serrale mOl,mlaln ridge calkld The Minarets is an
example of an arele rllSh bone" in French). Compacted snow
accumulates above the snow line. recrystallizes into glacial ice.
and sIowty tIows downslope. An amphitheater-shaped hollOw
(Cirque) t()(fT1S at the head 01 a glacier as the mass 01 mow-.g ice
carves a valley out 01 tho mountain along its course An arAte
results when two cirques or two rows 01 cirques Iorm back·to-back.
The rocky dMde cut berween two paraDe! glaaated valleys may
also be calkld an arAte.
The Mmarets (12.281 feet) and Minaret lake. Ritter Range, Inyo National Forest. Calilomia. The Minarets are strikll-.gly jagged because
!hey projected above the llow of Pleistocene gladers. 1000000ng an .rite (see above). Their unique craggy spires are due pnmarily to
wedging caused by the treezing and thawing 01 water along venal surface tractures (joints). Kodachrome'54, 35mm lens, 1/125.
111",6. Photo by James W. CarlbkJm. x