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Meetings

USGS Emeritus Scientist Leads Field Trip to Ancient Submarine-Canyon Fill on Central California Coast


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Glorious fall weather and a striking coastal setting added to participants' enjoyment of a daylong field trip to exposures of submarine-canyon fill in Point Lobos State Reserve, south of Carmel, California. The October 7 field trip was organized by the Pacific Section of SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) and led by Ed Clifton, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Emeritus scientist with the USGS Western Coastal and Marine Geology team. Trip leader Clifton and coleader Larry Rychner, retired from Chevron Production, both volunteer as docents at Point Lobos State Reserve, renowned for its scenic beauty and rich diversity of plants and wildlife (see URL http://pt-lobos.parks.state.ca.us/).

Field-trip leader Ed Clifton explains how complex structures observed in the Carmelo Formation may have formed. Trace fossil in the Carmelo Formation.
Above left: Field-trip leader Ed Clifton explains how complex structures observed in the Carmelo Formation may have formed. Visible in background is conglomerate of the Carmelo Formation. [larger version]

Above right: Trace fossil in the Carmelo Formation. [larger version]

Approximately 70 field-trip participants spent the day walking through the reserve and learning about sandstone and conglomerate outcrops of the Carmelo Formation, interpreted as Paleogene submarine-canyon-fill deposits resting unconformably on Cretaceous granodiorite of the Salinia terrane. Clifton summarized his 42 years of work on the Carmelo Formation, pointing out features of these spectacular, complex deposits that reveal new insights into physical processes of submarine gravity flows and the geometry of potential hydrocarbon-reservoir facies. Clifton's guidebook to the geology of the Point Lobos State Reserve was newly published for this field trip and is available through the Pacific Section of SEPM as Book 105.

 Ed Clifton addresses field-trip participants Field-trip participants examine an outcrop of the Carmelo Formation near its contact with Cretaceous granodiorite
Above left: Field-trip leader Ed Clifton addresses field-trip participants. [larger version]

Above right: Field-trip participants examine an outcrop of the Carmelo Formation near its contact with Cretaceous granodiorite (light-colored rock at far left). [larger version]

The Point Lobos field trip was one of two field trips offered this fall by the Pacific Section of SEPM in the San Francisco Bay area; the other, held October 6, examined the stratigraphy and depositional environments of rocks exposed at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Menlo Park, California. For short descriptions of both trips, visit URL http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/pacsepm/SEPMfieldtrips.htm.

Coastal and marine scientists are encouraged to join and participate in the Pacific Section of SEPM, which offers great-value membership rates ($7.50 per year, or $20 for 3 years). For more details, visit the organization's Web site at URL http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/pacsepm/.


Related Web Sites
Point Lobos State Reserve
California State Parks
Pacific Section, SEPM (the Society for Sedimentary Geology) Field Trips
Society for Sedimentary Geology

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in this issue:

Fieldwork
cover story:
Ocean-Bottom Seismometers Monitor Earthquake Swarms

Assessing Resilience of the Chandeleur and Breton Islands

Outreach Earth Science Day in Menlo Park, CA

Meetings USGS Emeritus Scientist Leads Field Trip

Awards Abby Sallenger Wins USGS Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communication

American Fisheries Society Honors Biologist Walter R. Courtenay

Renee Taksue Recognized by AGU for Excellence in Refereeing

Staff USGS Director Mark Myers Visits the Florida Integrated Science Center

Publications

New Book Includes USGS Sea-Floor Data

December Publications List


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