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SDAG Events / Announcements


Greetings SDAG!

Our summer meetings wind to a close this month with our own Rob Hawk presenting "A Tale of Two Subdivisions. From Hell. Desert View Drive and Soledad Mountain Road: A Case History of Lingering Geologic Hazards in Land Development in Southern California from a Regulatory Geologist's Perspective." I hope to learn a few valuable things about his experience in regulatory work! Come on by the Geocon Lounge on Wednesday August 28th! (The 4th Wednesday). Get your signups in early.

Our 2019 Field Trip sign-up forms are attached to this announcement email. Looks to be a great trip Adam has prepared, get those sign-ups in!

See everyone on August 28th, the 4th Wednesday, at the Geocon Lounge!

9/9/19 - Registration for this year's field trip is closed.

Ken Haase -
2019 SDAG President
Geocon, Inc.

Hi Geology Friends,

Here is a quick update on the Owens Valley Field Trip. Right now I have a total of 66 people who have confirmed their attendance through either personal communication (still waiting on their fees and forms) or I have received their registration forms and fees (the attached sheet shows these people). Due to permit restrictions and camping availability and general logistics I am going to cap the total attendance to 75 people. If you have already put your registration in the mail but don't see your name on the attached list then you should be okay. If you have not put your registration in the mail yet and have not verbally confirmed your attendance (you are not on the attached list) then please email me today or tomorrow at I will manage the forms I get in the mail this week and see who still wants to go and let you know if there is still room on the trip. Thank you to everyone for your diligence on getting your registration in early. I am very excited about the trip and looking forward to seeing you all out there. I am doing one more recon mission for the trip this weekend. If you are a confirmed signup, be on the lookout for an email confirming trip itinerary and the Friday September 27th 10 am meeting location.
9/9/19 - Registration for this field trip is now closed.
Adam Avakian
SDAG Vice President/Field Trip Chair

2019 SDAG Annual Field Trip - Owens Valley, CA

Update June 2019
This year's trip will take us up Highway 395 through the Owens Valley and along the Eastern Sierras. The trip will take place from September 27 to 29, 2019 (Fri, Sat, Sun). We will be camping both nights at Pleasant Valley Campground located about 8 miles ENE of Bishop (see attached map). The trip will be planned as a full day Friday and Saturday and a half day Sunday. The trip will be focused on stops between Lone Pine and Convict Lake (exploring approx. 95 miles of the valley). Being in the rain shadow of the Eastern Sierras, the geologic exposures in this region are excellent and the diversity of geologic features is second to none. We will be discussing and putting our hands on fault scarps, volcanic deposits (basalt flows and rhyolite tuffs), glacial moraines and other unique evidence of the geomorphology of the Owens Valley and Eastern Sierras. The map on Page 4 of the Sign-Up packet (see PDF attached to the announcement email) show a preliminary schedule of stops with the day of the field trip in parentheses. The itinerary is being refined and you don't want to miss this trip! The Owens Valley is a California gem that all geologists must experience at least once in their lifetime. For those not interested in camping, hotel accommodations in the Bishop area are available but are not included in the registration cost and must be reserved independently. We have 17 camp sites reserved for the trip. Each camp site is allotted 6 people and 2 vehicles (carpooling is critical for this trip!). A couple of these camp sites can accommodate an RV or trailer so please let me know if you plan on bringing either an RV or trailer as space is limited. The campground is located in beautiful meadow lands at the mouth of the Owens River Gorge. The river meanders through the campground with scenic views of the Eastern Sierras and White Mountains. The local fishing is quite good and you can literally cast a line from your tent! Fishing is catch and release only, so come prepared with the right equipment if you do plan on fishing in the morning or evening. It is your own responsibility to have a fishing license and abide by the local fishing laws. I can't wait for this trip and am excited to see everyone there! Also you can submit your reservation form during a meeting (paying by credit card with $5 fee, cash or check) or you can mail in your reservation form and check to myself (Adam Avakian). See the PDF attached to the announcement email for more details. Please send responses to

Cheers! Adam

Update 9/9/19 - Registration for this year's field trip is closed.


Have an idea for a one-day or half-day field trip?
Want to share your favorite aspect of San Diego geology?
Contact SDAG to schedule your One-Stop Wonder!
Your OSW may be chosen to be included in SDAG's One Stop Wonder Guidebook!

Contact Monte Murbach for scheduling!

Igneous is bliss

In the news ...

Data request to support drilling a borehole for an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico

Groundwater Relief has received an information request from a hydrogeologist who is currently volunteering at an orphanage located close to Tijuana on the US/Mexico border (Approximate Latitude: 32.2 Longitude: -116.9)

The orphanage receives water via water trucking. The hydrogeologist is seeking to assess the feasibility of drilling a water well for the orphanage. One borehole has been attempted unsuccessfully in the past however other sucessful boreholes do exist within the local area.

The hydrogeologist is requested for information or local data that might be available to help support the siting and tendering of drilling works.

If anyone has data or experience working in or near this locality then please get in touch.

Best wishes,

The Groundwater Relief Team

Groundwater Relief (Charity Number: 1167458)
Providing hydrogeological support to humanitarian and development organisations

2018 SDAG Field Trip October 12th to 14th 2018

Geology Education Rule Making Notice - Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists

On November 30, 2018 the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (Board) published the Geology Education Rulemaking Notice. The Board proposes to adopt Title 16, California Code of Regulations sections 3022, 3022.1, 3022.2, and amend Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 3031.

Hint for first-time use of AmazonSmile: enter "San Diego Geological Society"
because the system will probably default to some other charity

Photo of the month CALL FOR PHOTOS!
That's right!...It's back, the SDAG monthly photo competition, featuring the very best of member photo submissions from around the County and beyond. The prize is one free drink at the next meeting, so if you're a winner, just see our resident bartender extraordinaire, Cari Gomes at the next meeting.....or myself (The Secretary) if it's not a SDAG libation supplied event.

Volcanology Speaker Wanted!

Wavelength Brewery (our last meeting venue) in Vista is looking for a geologist or volcanologist to give a voluntary talk on the recent volcanic activity going on in Hawaii. If anyone is interested in doing this please contact the brewery. Here is a link to their webpage:

Free Back Issues of California Geology

Free back issues of California Geology will be brought forth at this month's meeting. Several years are organized in binders, going back as early as 1967! Also, some paleontology texts, yours for the taking. See Todd Wirths at the meeting. Rock on!!

2017 SDAG field trip, Julian-Banner Mining District - A Road to Gold

A link to more field trip pictures taken by Rob Hawk here: SDAG 2017 Field Trip Pictures

UCSD Robotics

John Minch book

NEW Interactive Fault Map for San Diego

As part of the update for the San DiegoTijuana Earthquake Planning Scenario, Working Group No. 1's "Fault Map Subcommittee" completed the first publicly available bi-national active and potentially active fault map ( This interactive GIS map includes the first publicly available active and potentially fault map locations from the City of San Diego. The map also integrated the faults south of the border for a bi-national cross border view. This map is an on-going project as our knowledge increases about local active and potentially active faults.

You can expand the map legend on the left side to select layers that can be turned on or off for the map view. You can also select from 1 of 12 base maps at the base map icon. You can click on the fault line in your map layer view to see the meta-data source. In addition, the City of San Diego Seismic Safety Study Geologic Hazards & Faults Maps are available in the layer titled "GeoHaz SD City." Please note that the City "Zone 12 Potentially Active" fault layers was not included in this data, therefore you will need to use the City Maps to find Zone 12.

The Fault Map link is available at:

I would like to thank Carolyn Glockhoff for her endless GIS work, Jim Quinn and the City for providing their data and time, Jerry Treiman with CGS for his time preparing the Surface Rupture and providing their new State fault data layer, and Luis Mendoza at CICESE for providing the faults south of the border. Please contact Diane Murbach ( 619-865-4333), Chair for the SDTJ Earthquake Scenario Working Group #1 - Earth Science, if you have any questions, or see any errors on this new fault map.

Diane Murbach
(619) 865-4333
Engineering Geologist, C.E.G.

CALL FOR ARTICLES! SDAG invites members to submit articles on their current research or an interesting project they are working on for publication in the monthly newsletter. The article should be no more than 1 page in length. Photos are welcomed, too! Please submit articles to the SDAG secretary via email.

The "Lindavista" Fm: Marine Terraces to Terrestrial Terraces and all Plants in Between

by Eleanora (Norrie) Robbins, PhD (USGS-retired; SDSU-retired)

I have several specialties, one of which is iron bacteria. So anytime I see red rocks I wonder if iron bacteria had a role in their formation. Recently I've been fixated on the red sandstones at the top of the cliffs at Cabrillo, Torrey Pines, Crest Canyon, and along Highway 52. Tom Rockwell teaches that these red rocks were all Pleistocene marine terraces that have been uplifted to become terrestrial terraces in the past 1.5 or so million years. He and his predecessors have mapped seven old terraces and thirteen very old terraces. In general, the red sandstones on these terraces are called "Lindavista" Fm.

If you drive to Torrey Pines, you've seen the large vertical structures that start in the Lindavista and continue down into the Torrey Sandstone. I am fascinated with Pat Abbot's hypothesis that these large structures might have been mineralized tree roots. That got me thinking about the plant communities that would have colonized the marine sediments when they were uplifted into the terrestrial environment. The first plant community growing on uplifted marine sands had to have been coastal salt marsh; then I presume fresh water marsh, forested wetland, grassland, and now the rocks are colonized by coastal sage scrub and Torrey pines. Using this as my model, I am trying to unravel the post-depositional history of these rocks.

Lithified but never buried, the "Lindavista" is cemented with iron oxide. What was the source of reduced iron that could be oxidized? My working hypothesis is that the sediments contained iron monosulfides and pyrite that formed during the marine and coastal salt marsh phases. I am thinking that with uplift, the iron sulfides were oxidized by iron bacteria to ferrihydrite. If the sediments then went through a salinity phase (i.e., sea level rise), ferrihydrite would dehydrate to hematite; but using reflected light, I rarely see hematite in any of the rocks.

Another fascinating characteristic of the "Lindavista" are Mn-rich soil concretions and nodules. In Virginia, I worked in a wetland that was actively forming these; there, iron bacteria were active in the subsurface where the concretions formed. In places, the "Lindavista" concretions form vast accumulations at the surface, where we call them rollers because they are easy to slip on (ask Joe Corones). I presume that they are residual lag deposits from sediments and rocks that have eroded away.

Thinking as a paleoecologist, I've started tromping around our coastal salt marshes: Tijuana, Sweetwater, South Bay, Los Penasquitos, and all the coastal lagoons. In these, I'm searching for sedimentary structures, distinctive shells, and sediments with iron sulfides.

There's more to the story, such as the abundance of magnetite in the rocks. The magnetite is perfectly black under the microscope, not rimmed red. I don't understand its provenance and its role. And where are the shell fossils from the marine history? The only shells that have been collected are from the base of the Lindavista, only inland, where it sits on calcareous rocks.

I've been taking the students I mentor out in the field with me, seeing if I can interest some of them in these rocks. But they need a funded professor to move forward with XRD and thin sections; I'm retired. I do welcome anyone who wants to tromp with me on the red sandstones or in the stinky marshes.

Absolution by the Sea - Now Open For Business!!
Long time SDAG member and past president, Cari Gomes, has assisted in opening a new brewery-restaurant called Absolution by the Sea, from Absolution Brewing Company. The restaurant is located at 7536 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037. Phone 619-202-4152. Come enjoy great craft beer and food with your fellow geologists!

Looking For A Sample of Ardath Shale

I am curating an exhibit for the La Jolla Historical Society about Canyons. We would like to include a specific exhibit - a chunk of Ardath Shale. It ties in to so many of our other items: how La Jolla was formed, ecology and native plants, as well as the issue of landslides. For example, the Soledad Mountain Road slope failure of a few years ago was related to the geology: heavy soils over Ardath Shale...according to the reports I've been reading. I'd like to show our visitors what exactly Ardath Shale looks like.

Does your organization have a sample of this type of rock? If not, can you suggest where I might find a sample large enough to put on display?

Susan Krzywicki
(619) 318-4590
California Native Plant Society, Ocean Friendly Gardens

Yosemite Conservancy Outdoor Adventures featuring custom adventures.

Got too many rocks? Are you (or specifically, your spouse...) interested in giving them a good home *away* from your house and garden? Mesa College is looking to collect some rock samples for an inaugural Earth History course. We are specifically looking for sedimentary rocks that include examples of different energy environments (varying grain sizes and shapes) and structures (ripples, cross bedding, planar bedding, graded bedding, etc.). We are also looking to beef up our fossil collection and are looking for all the major phyla: Echinoderms, brachiopods, mollusks (bivalves, cephalopods, gastropods), arthropods (trilobites and more!), corals (Cnidaria), Porifera, Bryozoa, vertebrates (Chordata), etc. Looking for both actual standalone specimens or in the rock still (showing different environments of deposition). We are looking for fossil preservation examples, and also for good trace fossil evidence. Got any sediment grain samples from cool locales? We'll take them! If you have anything else you think provides a good 'story' in the rock, we are willing to check it out! We are collecting ASAP to assess how much needs to be ordered for the fall course. Please contact Jill Krezoski at or Don Barrie at with queries or samples.

ROCK DONATIONS NEEDED: Amy Romano, one of our former student members, is looking for rock donations. Amy is currently attending Humboldt State University and majoring in Geology. She is very involved with Humboldt's Geology Club, and every year the club holds a rock auction to support their activities. If you have any rocks to donate, please contact Amy at

Annual Scholarship Awards by the San Diego Association of Geologists, a program of the San Diego Geological Society, Inc.

A primary function of the San Diego Association of Geologists (SDAG) is to support academic opportunities in geology and related sciences. By-laws of the San Diego Geological Society (SDGS) specify the support of academic opportunity ranging from elementary through graduate levels. The SDAG scholarship program has supported academic research in higher education by awarding scholarships annually to students from two-year and four-year undergraduate and master's level programs. Awards are for outstanding research in geology and related sciences. Nominations are solicited from individual faculty and from geology or related science departments at accredited academic institutions. Evaluation of the relative merit of each nominee is based on an abstract describing the objectives and results of the research being conducted by the student and on the letter of recommendation by the student's mentor or nominating committee.

The annual timeline is as follows:
  • Request for nominations occurs in September.
  • Nomination letters and research abstracts are received by the Scholarship Coordinator in mid to late October.
  • Awardees and their nominators are invited to attend the December SDAG dinner meeting. Scholarship awards are distributed to the student during the December meeting.
  • Students accepting awards are required to give a presentation of their research results usually at a spring dinner meeting of SDAG.
For further information contact SDGS Board at through the Contact Us option


A comprehensive listing of all papers published by SDAG, whether as annual field trip guidebooks or special publications, is available on our website. Entries are sorted by primary author, or chronologically by date of publication, from our first guidebook in 1972, up the San Luis Rey River in 2013, from Coast to Cactus in 2014, and finally over the edge to the Coyote Mountains in 2015. These can be accessed or downloaded as .pdf files. They are fully searchable in Adobe Reader or Acrobat, so if you are researching a topic, "tsunami" for example, you can search for that keyword. This listing will be updated as new books are published. Thanks to Greg Peterson and Hargis + Associates, Inc., for making this possible. See the links below:
SDAG publications sorted by senior author.
SDAG publications sorted chronologically.

Request for Sponsors: 2019 SDAG/SDGS and Publication SPONSORS

On behalf of the San Diego Geological Society, Inc. (SDGS), a public benefit 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation, we would like to request tax deductible Donations at our San Diego Association of Geologists (SDAG). The list of paid Sponsors and the forms to become a Sponsor are located on the SDAG web site at:

Your donation will further the SDGS mission to promote geology and related fields in the greater San Diego region, operating through the San Diego Association of Geologists (SDAG), a committee of SDGS. To achieve our primary educational objective, we organize frequent field trips and maintain a program of monthly meetings featuring speakers on current geological topics. We also publish field trip guidebooks and other publications related to geology and natural history. We encourage scholarship and research by awarding scholarships from the elementary through graduate levels. With your $100 "EMERALD" donation, your name/business will be listed as a sponsor on the SDAG web site ( and in the monthly SDAG meeting newsletters. With your $500 "RUBY" or $1,000 or more "DIAMOND" level donation, your business card will also be included on the SDAG web site and in the monthly SDAG meeting newsletters. In addition, as a "$1,000 or more DIAMOND" level donation you will be presented with a thank you plaque.

Should you have any questions regarding a Sponsorship, please contact our non-profit SDGS Secretary (Diane Murbach) at 619-865-4333.


As many of you are aware, the San Diego Geological Society (SDGS) was formed in early 2010 as an official non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, and SDAG is now an organization under this corporation. The reasons for doing this were many and they are spelled out in an informational sheet, the Business Plan of SDGS. The officers of SDGS should be very familiar to you, as they are all past presidents of SDAG. For those of you that would like to read more about SDGS and what it means to SDAG, check out the informational page on the website. Also check out the website

GSA meetings

2019 GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona

Annual Meeting 22-25 September 2019
Abstracts Deadline: 25 June 2019


If you want to complete your collection, or just see what SDAG was up to in the 1970s, check out our website's publication page, and scroll all the way down: In addition to our very first publication in 1972, a field trip to Otay Mesa, you'll find our 1973 Geology and Hazards of San Diego volume, the first of two guidebooks to the Coronado Islands, in 1978, and our 1987 field guide to the gold mines of Julian. Happy reading!

Short-term rental or long-term lease. Warehouse from 3125 to 6250 sq. ft. Two remodeled offices. Mix and match to meet your needs. Ideal for geotech operations; best possible rates, and we are geology friendly. Contact Lowell Lindsay at Sunbelt Publications 619-258-4911 x110.

SDAG Wear - Monte (Murbach) has a variety of shirts, hats, visors and even a nice vest with the SDAG logo. A small selection is available for purchase at the meetings; all SDAG wear can be ordered from Monte.

DO YOU HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT?? Do you have an event, job opening, field trip or other announcement you would like to share with our members?? Just call or email our SDAG Secretary.

San Diego State University

Wednesday seminars, 1 - 2 pm, SDSU in the Chemistry-Geology Building, room CSL-422. Check for details.
Department of Geological Sciences
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-1020
FAX (619) 594-4372           VOICE (619) 594-6394
*****Parking near campus is limited. There are two lots of meters on the SE side of campus off College, for example and it would be about a 5 minute walk from there. The first lot is meters, and the deeper lot is less expensive ticket machine. *****
The Gordon Gastil Endowed Scholarship Fund continues to seek donations of any amount. Gifts of $ 500.00 or more will be recognized on a plaque to be placed in the remodeled Geology Building. Donations can be sent through SDAG, or contact Pia or Marie, Department of Geological Sciences, SDSU, at (619) 594-5586.

AAPG Student Chapter
American Association of Petroleum Geologists - San Diego State University

Jennifer Luscombe (current student M.S. student at SDSU) and the SDSU-AAPG student chapter officers are beginning the 2016/2017 academic year. Their intention is to support student interest in petroleum and geology related fields. The AAPG student officers are currently organizing an event to stockpile the students with geology supplies and funds to attend the AAPG event in Las Vegas and GSA event in Denver. Details of the event will be forthcoming.

Association for Environmental Health and Sciences

Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists
AEG San Diego Chapter
AEG Inland Empire Chapter

Coast Geological Society

Inland Geological Society

Los Angeles Basin Geological Society

Meetings are generally held the 4th Thursday of the month at 11:30AM at the Grand at Willow (check their website for their newsletter, for more details, and to make a reservation). Reservations Are Essential.

Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.,
Southern California Mining Section

South Coast Geological Society

The SCGS usually meets on the first Monday of every month, in Orange County. For more SCGS information, visit their website at:

West Coast PTTC

Check the West Coast Petroleum Technology Transfer Council website for workshop date and location.

Our website manager, Carolyn Glockhoff, can create a link from any Corporate Sponsor's listing on the SDAG website to its company website, if one exists. Also, please send the URLs of your favorite geology sites to for listing on the Geologic Links page. These could be data resources, schools, useful government contacts, geologic software, contractors, laboratories, your own company's website, or anything you think would be useful to your colleagues.

DO YOU HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT?? Do you have an event, job opening, field trip or other announcement you would like to share with our members?? Just call or email Nadja Scholl - 2019 SDAG Secretary. Any news regarding upcoming events that may be of interest to the Association or news of your business can be submitted.

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