Wednesday, July 18, 2007


when they flood irrigate out here in the IV, its interesting to watch, the flood is slow enough that a lot of the bugs (mostly morman crickets) run before it, that's where all the snowy egrets come in, flying down to enjoy an insectile buffet.

Monday, July 16, 2007

its gold, im rich, im rich

here is a pic of some iron pyrite. Seeing as i deal exclusively with hydrothermal systems (as opposed to petroleum), secondary mineralization are indicators of the presence of hot water and pressure (primary is during the rock formation, secondary is emplaced at a later date), fools gold is the second most abundant hydrothermal alteration we find (calcite is first), it is a good indicator of hot water being there at least for a while, it(pyrite) forms in association with buried organic material (in this case plant fragments transported in from the inundations of the Colorado River, iron and sulfur are not stable in proteins in these conditions, and bond to form pyrite in the presence of water (which enables the ion mobility), we see a lot of pyrite in sand stone here, occasionally in shale bits, sometimes disseminated, often aggregate like in this case. the pic was actually hard to take, this is pic number 8, its the only one to turn out with the right exposure and focus, have to hold the camera about an inch from the eye piece, and get the focus of the light on the ccd, instead of reflecting off the lens of the camera, and time it right so the auto exposure adjust to the amount of light coming up through the microscope, challenging, but interesting.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New River?

The following is a series of pics of the New River, in SoCal, it is now the primary drainage for an intermontain basin created by the San Andreas Fault system, the fault has been quiescent the last few weeks, must be getting ready to party, it normally has 3 or 4 small quakes a day out here, any way, the new river and its channel are named appropriately(there is a reason for that), periodically, the Colorado River would breach the barrier between its current drainage and the imperial valley, the basement rocks of the IV are many thousands of feet below current ground level, and each flood into the iv would bring sediments and water, leaving mud and sand, and then an evaporite deposit as the inland sea dried out, in 1900 they started the canal systems out here to irrigate this VERY dry desert area, raising most of the US's current winter veggies, in 1905 a flood breached the head gates of the canal system and it took engineers, and railroad money, and two years to get it back under control, by that time the Colorado flooding into the valley had formed the Salton Sea, also, the water created its own drainage channel to do this, ie, the "New River" was formed, the New River now provides drainage for the irrigation systems, and effluent from Mexicali, Mexico(about 1 million people), and leachate from several landfills, needless to say it is currently one of the most polluted rivers in the US, you can see people fishing in the canals all the time around here, but NEVER in the river.

Friday, July 13, 2007

a view out of my office door

here is a view of ormat's new rig, it may be chinese, but its a nice rig, almost totally self erecting, all you need is a heavy forklift (thier's is a ten ton lift truck) to lift the parts in place, and hydraulics erect the mast and lift the rig floor to operational height (27 feet in this case), three 750KW generators power the rig, enough power to light up a small town ~2000 homes), the big blue thing is the draw-works, the hoist part of they rig, it can lift over 300,000 pounds, and lift it fast(of course that is with 12:1 reduction through the traveling blocks and pulleys), with the right tools, this rig can drill over 20,000 feet down.

ive been lazey for a long time, here are several pics of different subjects

mommy and jacque playing guitar hero on the playstation

a pic out of my hotel window in the imperial valley, its May, and its raining.... it NEVER rains in may in the IV, hardly rains at all, much less than 3 inches a year, of course, nature had probable cause to rain.... i had just taken the top off of my jeep

sunset in the imperial valley of california, pretty, until you realize its still over 100 deg F