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High Sierra Nevada Backpacker and Hiker Geology Sources, Information, NEWS, and Resources sticky icon

This is the "go to" general page for geological sources, resources, and information.  For now we can use it to store information before it's sorted any further or lost to indexing.

High Sierra Geology Introductory Texts, Links, & Resources

On the Trail Guide

Weather is the Speed of Life.
We consider the interrelationship between geological and biological processes.


Volcanic Tomb for a Granite Range.
We observe the slow reemergence of ancient hard granites as thousands of years of erosion scour the soft volcanic material off the buried High Sierra granite landscapes underneath.


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Big Quakes can Trigger Big Quakes on opposite side of Earth


Bi-Polar Quakes

Research finds quakes can systematically trigger other ones on opposite side of Earth,
Oregon State University, August 2, 2018.

"New research shows that a big earthquake can not only cause other quakes, but large ones, and on the opposite side of the Earth."

"...looked at 44 years of seismic data and found clear evidence that temblors of magnitude 6.5 or larger trigger other quakes of magnitude 5.0 or larger."

"It had been thought that aftershocks – smaller magnitude quakes that occur in the same region as the initial quake as the surrounding crust adjusts after the fault perturbation – and smaller earthquakes at great distances – were the main global effects of very large earthquakes."

"...analysis of seismic data from 1973 through 2016 – an analysis that excluded data from aftershock zones – using larger time windows than in previous studies, provided discernible evidence that in the three days following one large quake, other earthquakes were more likely to occur."

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Pieces of mantle found rising under north and south ends of Cascadia fault


How the Earth Conducts Quake-Stresses

Mantle Composition Affects Fault Behavior

Pieces of mantle found rising under north and south ends of Cascadia fault,
University of Oregon, July 24, 2018.


"...researchers have found anomalies in the upper mantle below both ends of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. They may influence the location, frequency and strength of earthquake events along the U.S. Pacific Northwest."

Scope of Cascadia

"The 620-mile subduction zone, which hasn't experienced a massive lengthwise earthquake since 1700, is where the Juan de Fuca ocean plate dips under the North American continental plate. The fault zone stretches just offshore from northern Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino in northern California."

More Locking

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Genesis of The Yellowstone Super-volcano: It's a Sinking Plate, Not a Plume


Genesis of a Super volcano

It's a Sinking Plate, Not a Plume

Yellowstone super-volcano has a different history than previously thought,
Virginia Tech, July 25, 2018.

"Scientists have long thought that Yellowstone Caldera, part of the Rocky Mountains and located mostly in Wyoming, is powered by heat from the Earth’s core, similar to most volcanoes such as the recently active Kilauea volcano in Hawaii."

"...Yellowstone volcanoes were produced by a gigantic ancient oceanic plate that dove under the Western United States about 30 million years ago. This ancient oceanic plate broke into pieces, resulting in perturbations of unusual rocks in the mantle which led to volcanic eruptions in the past 16 million years.”

"The sinking section of oceanic plate slowly pushed hot materials upward to form the volcanoes that now make up Yellowstone."


USGS Yellowstone Observatory


Yellowstone Caldera


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Rapid Safety Analysis of Yosemite Rockfall Consequences




Yosemite Rockfalls

Rapid Safety Analysis of Potential Rockfall Consequences

Rapid 3D analysis of rockfalls in Yosemite,
Geological Society of America, June 28, 2018.

Everything in Motion

"Although the cliffs of Yosemite Valley may appear static, rockfalls from these cliffs are common, with a rockfall occurring every four to five days on average."

Big Moves

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New Quake Mechanism ID'd in CA: "Slow" Earthquakes Change San Andreas Risks




New Earthquake Mechanism ID'd in CA

'Slow earthquakes' on San Andreas Fault increase risk of large quakes, say ASU scientists,
Arizona State University, June 18, 2018.




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Longest Orbital Cycles Proven and Measured; Half-Billion Year Super-Milankowitch Cycles


Longest Orbital Cycles Proven and Measured

Super-Milankowitch Cycles a Half-Billion Years Long

In ancient rocks, scientists see a climate cycle working across deep time,
The Earth Institute at Columbia University, May 7, 2018.


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GEOLOGY NEWS: Kilauea 2018 Eruption Update



Kilauea Eruption Update

Sulfur Dioxide Leaks from Kilauea,
NASA Earth Observatory, May 9, 2018.


"Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983..."

The article above offers a range of resources tracking various aspects and expressions of this current event. Earthquakes, deformation, chemicals, lava flows & behavior are all observed.


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GEO NEWS: Magnetic Chaos Unlikely, Poles Not Switching


Magnetic Chaos Unlikely, Poles Not Switching

Survey & Analysis Points to Recovery

Earth's magnetic field is not about to reverse,
University of Liverpool, April 30, 2018.


The Point
" is unlikely that such an event will take place anytime soon."

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GEOLOGY NEWS, West Texas Permian Basin: MORDOR is SINKING


West Texas Permian Basin


Radar images show large swath of Texas oil patch is heaving and sinking at alarming rates,
Southern Methodist University, March 21, 2018.

"Two giant sinkholes near Wink, Texas, may just be the tip of the iceberg."

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Geology News, Using the Earth to Identify Itself: Yellowstone Hotspot Confirmed


Using the Earth to Identify Itself

Yellowstone Hotspot Confirmed

Missing hot mantle plume detected beneath Yellowstone,
Ars Technica, March 21, 2018.

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High Sierra Geology: The Genesis of Lake Tahoe: Ancient Lava Dams


High Sierra Geological History
Geological History of Lake Tahoe

The Genesis of Lake Tahoe

Ancient Lava Dams

Shifting Shorelines At Lake Tahoe Caused By Ancient Lava Dams,
The Geology Society of America, February 13, 2018.

Lake Tahoe occasionally fills way up, to six hundred feet above its present Level:

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Geo Tour: Moon, Sierra, and the Alabama Hills


Geology News
Geo Tour Extrodaire

Moon, Sierra, and the Alabama Hills

A spectacular display of Earth science in the Alabama Hills,
AGU Blogosphere, February 8, 2018.

A Tour of the Geological Worlds revealed in a Glance.


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Geology News

Yosemite Records 85 Rockfalls

Yosemite records 85 rockfalls during 2017,
Sierra Sun, February 5, 2018.



2017 Yosemite El Capitan Rockfalls



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Geo News: Last Ice Age Ended, & Extended, with a Bang, Younger Dryas Cosmic Impacts


Last Ice Age Ended, & Extended, with a Bang

Younger Dryas Cosmic Comet Impact ~12,800 Years Ago

New research suggests toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killers,
University of Kansas, February 1, 2018.

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Geology News, Crapquakes: Toxic Injection Quakes


Stop Pumping Poisons into the Earth!

Stopping Stupid Behavior Stops Consequences! Amazing!

Further reducing injections of oilfield wastewater can prevent larger earthquakes,
Virginia Tech, January 10, 2018.

Brilliant! Stopping the activity stops the consequences!

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Geo History: Yellowstone Supervolcano, To Plume or not to Plume?



Geo History

Yellowstone Supervolcano

To Plume or not to Plume?

Heat from below Pacific Ocean fuels Yellowstone, study finds,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, December 18, 2017.

" a revised tectonic scenario," emerges.

Conventional theory ascribed Yellowstone Supervulcanism to a plume of hot, molten material coming upward from deep in our planet's interior through a "hotspot" in the mantle located below the Yellowstone Caldera. Another example of a hotspot is the Hawaiian Islands. This research above eliminates the plume and hotspot as the mechanism feeding heat into the Yellowstone Supervolcano.

"...little support for the traditional mantle plume hypothesis."

This research cites the subduction process working a section of thin mantle off the West Coast of the Pac NW as the source of heat for the Yellowstone Supervolcano. The research indicated the subduction of this thin section of mantle provides Yellowstone's heat.

"This directly challenges the traditional view that most of the heat came from the plume below Yellowstone."


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Geology News: Geo Electro-Magnitism: 3D mapping of the Crust and Mantle




Geo Electro-Magnitism

3D mapping of the Crust and Mantle

Space weather, EarthScope, and protecting the national electrical grid,
EarthScope National Office, December 12, 2017.

Studying the effects of the, “...electromagnetic characteristics of the ground surrounding power lines when assessing risk to the power grid from space weather events."

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Geo News: Ring of Fire, High Sierra Style, 4.1 earthquake strikes Mammoth area




Geo News

Ring of Fire

4.1 earthquake strikes Mammoth area,
Lake Tahoe News, December 8, 2017.

California as Ring of Fire

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Geology News: Our Evil Shakes the Earth as it Warms the Skies



Human Activity as Good for the Earth as it is for the Skies

Our Evil Shakes the Earth as it Warms the Skies

SMU seismology research shows North Texas earthquakes occurring on 'dead' faults,

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