calendar and events San Diego Association of Geologists - home
SDAG home   |   Meetings   |   Field Trips   |   Announcements   |   Sponsors   |   Jobs   |   Publications   |   Geologic Links


SDAG Events / Announcements


Greetings SDAG!

Glad to see so many turn out to Ron Blakey's talk, such a cool insight to map building!

Our meeting on November 20th brings us a crowd favorite, Monte Marshall! He will be giving a talk on tracing his Viking heritage to Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland while admiring the great geology along the way. Monte has provided great talks over the years and we hope to have him do so into the future! We will be at our old favorite, the Marina Village Catalina Room.

As a reminder, our annual Natural History Museum meeting is a brief 2 weeks after the November meeting so please sign up for that right after our next meeting. The meeting will be on December 4th at 6:00 pm and Tom Demere will be presenting the talk for that evening.

We are also looking for our 2020 Treasurer so if you are interested, we can discuss at our next meeting or shoot me an email at

Send in your 2020 memberships and sponsorships soon! It helps us provide great talks every month as well as student scholarships.

See you on November 20th!

Ken Haase -
2019 SDAG President
Geocon, Inc.

Trip 2019 Group Photo 2019 SDAG Annual Field Trip - Owens Valley, CA
September 27 to 29, 2019

Hi Friends! First off, I would like to send out my appreciation again for getting to lead such a great group of people around the Owens Valley. It was really an honor for me, getting to coordinate a field trip to Owens Valley and Eastern Sierra, and then to have such a great turn out of people really made it exciting and fun. Everyone did a great job hustling to each stop, which allowed us to see everything that was planned and also have a little free time at the end of the day. It could have never been done without all the help from the guest speakers, SDAG and SDGS officers and board members, and other volunteers. It was a huge group effort all around. Below is the group photo taken at Lone Pine Fault Scarp on Day 1. Photos from the trip are posted on SDAG's Facebook page ("San Diego Association of Geologists"). We will be figuring out an online dropbox type drive for SDAG photos soon. Once we do, I will send out the path/invite to that drive so people can access photos and that way we don't have to worry as much about storage issues. Also, just a reminder that once the published guidebook comes out, everyone that was on the trip is entitled to a copy. This was part of your trip fee. I have everyone's email address and will reach out when the guidebook is finished. Give me about a year or so though. I hope to see you all again on future trips!

-Adam Avakian SDAG Vice President
OSW to Fish Creek
Hello all,

For those of you who might not have heard, Richard Cerutti recently passed. I've recieved some emails about his passing and would like to share them with you since he was a local that many of you probably knew either personally or professionally. The first is from Thomas A. Deméré, the curator of the paleontology department and director of the department of PaleoServices at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The second is from Judy Gradwohl, the museum's president and CEO.


Dear Museum coworkers,

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of my dear friend and colleague Richard Cerutti. Over the past 15 years, Richard lived with a very rare blood cancer that with the help of his wife Aida, he successfully kept at bay until this year. He had prepared himself and friends for the eventuality of his death, and slipped away peacefully last night surrounded by his family.

For those of you that had the good fortune to work with Richard over the 30+ years of his association with the Museum, you know what a kind, generous, talented, and tireless person he was. For staff members who are relatively new to the Museum family, you only have to walk through the displays in Fossil Mysteries to catch a glimpse of his contributions in the many fossils that he collected and prepared over his long career. A few of us also remember that it was Richard that spent several months as a "living exhibit" on the second floor of the original Scripps wing of the Museum artistically and accurately assembling the Allosaurus skeleton that today greets visitors entering the Museum's north entrance.

Richard leaves behind an incredible legacy represented by the thousands of fossils he collected and prepared as a Museum paleontologist. These range from tiny marine foraminifers, spiny marine snails, and beautiful estuarine clams, to sharp-toothed river dolphins, tusked walruses, massive baleen whales and sea cows, hulking terrestrial bronotheres, and diminutive arboreal primates. Richard's legacy is also reflected in the many species new to science that were named in his honor, including the Pliocene surf scoter, Melanitta ceruttii; the enigmatic Pliocene porpoise, Semirostrum cerutti; the tiny omomyid Eocene primate, Brontomomys cerutti; and the Eocene early carnivore, Ceruttia sandiegoensis. Of course Richard's most dramatic and far-reaching contribution is his discovery and study of the Cerutti Mastodon Site, which we contend represents the oldest archaeological site in the Americas.

Richard will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

Thomas A. Deméré, Ph.D.
Curator, Department of Paleontology
Director, Department of PaleoServices


Dear Friends,

I am sorry to pass along the sad news that Richard Cerutti died earlier this week. Tom Demere wrote a lovely tribute below that he sent to our staff. The LA Times just posted this obituary, and I'm sure there will be others:

This is a tremendous loss to our community, and our hearts go out to Richard's family. Sincerely, Judy

Judy Gradwohl
President and CEO
San Diego Natural History Museum

Nadja Scholl
Secretary of San Diego Association of Geologists
Igneous is bliss


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!

In the news ...

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!!

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

2020 GSA Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Annual Meeting 25-28 October 2020


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.

home meetings field trips sponsors jobs publications Links