Arizona Geological Society

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AZGS New Video on Fissure Damage in Apache Junction

On 9 Aug. 2018, ~ 2 inches of rain fell on Apache Junction in northern Pinal County. An existing earth fissure there reopened and undermined a section of Houston Avenue that had collapsed in the summer of 2017 (see aerial photo above).

The recent collapse was triggered by a van driving across the undermined section of road. Fortunately, the driver was not injured (Figure 2); a tow truck hauled the van to safety. Today’s Arizona Geology blog post has more details.

Joe Cook and Brian Gootee examined the road collapse and used a drone to capture aerial video of the fissure between E. Baseline Ave and Houston Ave.

AZGS AZ Mining Review Superior, Az., 1930-1950

Author and sociologist Joaquin Trujillo, Ph.D., discusses the life and times of a copper mining town, Superior, Arizona, during the Great Depression, WW II, and the post-War years. For a summary of Dr. Trujillo’s 300+ page book, see the Arizona Geology Blog post:Living Superior, Arizona: The life and times of a copper mining town.


AZGS AZ Mining Review Tours Florence Copper

On 24 July 2018, the Arizona Mining Review team joined Dan Johnson, Vice President & General Manager of Florence Copper, and Stacy Gramazio, Manager of Communications & Public Affairs, for an early morning tour of the pilot in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) facility outside Florence, Arizona. 

Florence Copper is in the final stage of deploying a $25 million production test facility, designed to harvest 1.5 million pounds of copper annually for several years. Following successful proof of concept, Florence Copper has plans for a larger plant to recover 55 million pounds of copper annually for the first 6 years, and 85 million pounds annually for another 14 years. Over a 20-year lifespan, Florence Copper estimates the recovery project will yield ~$3.4 billion dollars in revenue. 

In-situ copper recovery is a 3-phase process: Phase 1 - injection of the active fluid (99.5% water with 0.5% sulfuric acid) with a pH similar to household vinegar; Phase 2 - extraction of the pregnant, copper-rich solution; and, Phase 3 – using electrowinning, a process first pioneered in the Globe-Miami area in the late 1960s, to produce ~ 100-pound copper cathodes that are 99.999% copper. 

The Arizona Mining Review is funded in part by the Mining Foundation of the Southwest.

AZGS Hires an Economic Geologist

We are delighted to announce that the AZGS offered the position of Research Scientist in Economic Geology to Carson Richardson this week, and he has accepted the offer. Carson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Dept. of Geosciences, University of Arizona. He is finalizing his Ph.D. research and will join our staff in January 2019.


We received ~35 applications, interviewed 7 candidates, and brought in 4 finalists for presentations and interviews. Each of the finalists has strong qualifications for this position, and we appreciate their willingness to share their ideas with us.


Carson’s chief task will be to build an economic geology program to support our mission to ‘provide technical advice and assistance to industry while encouraging the wise and prudent use of Arizona lands and mineral resources.’ He will join our geologic mapping efforts, focusing on mapping and assessing mineralized zones. He will also track mining trends in Arizona and will be the Survey’s primary liaison to the mineral exploration and mining community.

Carson on Outcrop of Breccia


Bio. Carson Richardson grew up near Peru, Indiana – the amateur circus capital of the world. He received his BS in Geology and Anthropology from Ball State University in 2012, and his MS in Geosciences from the University of Arizona in 2014. He has continued at UA working on a PhD, with an anticipated graduation date of Spring 2019. Carson’s research interests span economic and structural geology, but with particular emphasis on understanding the magnitude and timing of post-ore extensional faulting and its implications for the modern distribution of mineral resources.

U of A Gem & Mineral Museum

Bob Downs, Univ. of Arizona Mineral Museum Curator & Prof. of Geosciences, is leading the effort to build out a University of Arizona Gem & Mineral Museum (UAGMM) at the former Pima County Courthouse in downtown Tucson. Building renovation is well underway with the museum scheduled for a soft opening at the Courthouse in Jan. 2020.

Two of the museum’s chief organizers, Eric Fritz (Mgr.) and Les Presmyk (Mining Engineer & mineralogist), approached AGS’s Jan Rasmussen (former Curator of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix) and AZGS’s Mike Conway about helping design an exhibit focusing on the geology of Arizona.

Jan and Mike have begun pulling together ideas for an Arizona geology narrative – one idea involves building a digital display showcasing Ron Blakey’s marvelous paleogeographic reconstructions of the Colorado Plateau and environs, complemented by geologic scenes, lithologies, and interviews as the cornerstone of the exhibit. 

HELP! But we want your help in gathering ideas on the elements of narrative (with visuals) expounding on Arizona’s geologic history. In short, we want your ideas, sketches, brainstorms, and musings to help us rough out a draft design by mid-July 2018 – 3 weeks away!  This is an important opportunity for you to influence a future wide audience about Arizona geology.


Arizona Geology Exhibit. Approximately 75 square feet is set aside for an Arizona Geology exhibit. An additional 15 square feet is provided for a porphyry copper display. (Will Wilkinson. FMI retired, is taking the lead here.)  

Audience. UAG&MM organizers anticipate a largely non-science audience of considerable age range and with limited knowledge of geologic concepts.

Timeframe. Time is short. AGS & AZGS representatives meet with the UAG&MM design team in mid-July, so the sooner you share your ideas the sooner we can begin evaluating them.  

Financial Resources.  Bob Downs, Eric Fritz and others in the management will pursue the financial resources for final exhibit design and construction.

How to help! Please send your ideas, sketches, and experiences gleaned from other mineral or natural history museums to Mike and Jan at the e-mail addresses below. We can meet to brainstorm ideas before the July 3 AGS meeting to discuss ideas.

 Mike Conway
 Jan Rasmussen
 AGS Treasurer and AZGS
 AGS Member and Consultant

Paul Lindberg Receives a Honorary Life Membership in Arizona Geological Society

On Saturday, April 21, 2018, the Arizona Geological Society awarded Paul Lindberg a Honorary Life Membership for his exceptional contributions to Arizona Geology.  Paul was presented with a certificate at the conclusion of his presentation on the United Verde deposit at the AGS 2018 Spring Field Trip to Jerome.

Born in 1931 in Iron Mountain Michigan, Paul Lindberg received a Bachelor of Geological Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota in 1956.  As an undergraduate, he supported his schooling by running magnetometer surveys on the Bibwabik iron formation in Minnesota for the U. S. Steel Corporation.

Upon graduation Paul was hired as a project mineral exploration geologist for the Anaconda Copper Company (1956-1976) and worked as a mineral exploration manager for McIntyre Mine Ltd. from 1976 until 1978.  Since 1978, Paul has worked as a consulting geologist, spending much of his time on projects in the western United States, Alaska and western Canada.

Paul Lindberg has spent much of career unraveling the complex geology of Arizona's Transition zone.  He has authored and co-authored more than 30 professional articles, presentations and field trips dealing with various aspects of the geology and tectonic history of this region.  Paul has been a member of the Arizona Geological Society since 1974.

2018 AGS Spring Field Trip to Jerome

Overview of the United Verde Pit

On Saturday, April 21, 2018, the weather was excellent as approximately 60 members and guests of the Arizona Geological Society visited Freeport-McMoRan's United Verde volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit, located in Jerome, Arizona.   Participants included a number of professionals; both active and retired, as well as university facility and students.

Participants listen to Presentation on the History of the Verde Mining District

Following a brief orientation by our hosts, David Briggs gave a brief presentation on the history of the Verde mining district from an elevated area near the General Office, where attendees could view many of the important historical landmarks in and around the United Verde pit.   For those who wish  to learn more about Jerome, a comprehensive article on the history of the Verde Mining District, can be downloaded from the Arizona Geological Survey's web site.

Paul Lindberg Presentation at United Verde Pit Overlook

Participants hiked from the General Office to an overlook at the United Verde open pit, where Paul Lindberg discussed the volcanogenic massive sulfide model that describes how the United Verde ore deposit formed.  He also employed a block model to describe the structural evolution of the Verde mining district and its impact on the development of supergene enriched zones at the United Verde and United Verde Extension deposits.

Dave Briggs presents Honorary Life Membership to Paul Lindberg

At the conclusion of Paul's presentation, the Arizona Geological Society awarded Paul with a Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his exceptional contributions to Arizona Geology over nearly five decades.

Particpants Enjoy Lunch at United Verde Pit Overlook

The field trip participants enjoyed lunch at the overlook of the open pit, where many examined the altered Cleopatra Rhyolite in the footwall of the massive sulfide ore body and collected representative samples.

Jerry Waegli and Ralph Stegen Discuss Geology of the United Verde Ore Body

After lunch, participants hiked back to the General Office, where Jerry Waegli and Barbara Neilsen made their presentations.  Jerry Waegli discussed various aspects of the United Verde massive sulfide ore body and various exploration programs that have occurred since the mine's closure in 1953, while an interesting presentation on Freeport-McMoRan's reclamation activities in the district was made by Barbara Neilsen. 

Museum at Jerome State Historic Park

The formal field trip ended around 1:30 PM, giving those participants who wished learn more about the area an opportunity to visit the museum at the Jerome State Historic Park and the Jerome community.

2018 Spring Field Trip Acknowledgements

The success of our 2018 Spring Field trip to Jerome on Saturday, April 21, 2018, would not have been possible without the volunteers, resources and assistance provided by Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.  The Arizona Geological Society is grateful for their generous support.

Any successful event of this type, requires a lot of hard work and planning by many individuals.  The Arizona Geological Society applauds Ralph Stegen, Jerry Waegli, Barbara Neilsen, Paul Lindberg and David Briggs for their excellent job of planning and leading this event as well as preparing an excellent field trip guidebook for its participants.

Freeport-McMoRan personnel, who volunteered their time to help out with field trip logistics included: Duff Sorells, Robert Miller, Eric Lorret, Bruce Crane and Stan Walkup.  Chief Rusty Blair of the Jerome Fire Department also helped make the outing safe for all participants.

The Arizona Geological Society thanks everyone, who helped make our 2018 Spring Field Trip a success.

September 2018 Newsletter

Dinner Meeting Sponsor for September 2018


The Arizona Geological Society is grateful for RockWare's sponsorship, which helps us offset the costs of our dinner meetings and other activities of the society.

If you are interested in sponsoring one of our dinner meetings, please contact:

For Cancellations or Changes Please Contact

Student Dinner Sponsor for 2018

Arizona Geological Society is grateful to Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. for their generous support of our student members!

Freeport-McMoRan is sponsoring student dinners for the 2018 AGS monthly meetings.

Upcoming events - Register Here!

02 Oct 2018 6:00 PM • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712
06 Nov 2018 6:00 PM • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712
04 Dec 2018 6:00 PM • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

Other Events

September 19, 2018 - Arizona chapters of the Geoinstitute and Association of Engineering and Environmental Geologists September meeting between 5:30 AND 8:00 PM at McFate Brewing Company located at 1312 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale AZ.  Dr. Julian Tao, Associate Professor at Arizona State University will be presenting on "Bridge Scour and its Countermeasures:  Monitoring, Streamlining and Biocementation".  

Register for the G-I/AEG September Meeting Reservations here.

October 16, 2018 - The Geoinstitute will host its 2018 Southwest Symposium "Slope Stability and Earth Retaining Structures" between 7:30 AM and 4:15 PM at the Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ.

Take advantage of the early bird registration fee by registering before September 28, 2018. 

RSVP 2018 Southwest Symposium here.

Sponsorship spots are still available for this event.  Registration for sponsorship can be done on the RSVP line above.

Three Members Recognized for their 50-year Membership in Arizona Geological Society

James Briscoe

James Brisco

James Briscoe has a BS and MS in Geology from the University of Arizona. He is a Registered Professional Geologist in the States of California and Arizona since 1969 and 1972 respectively. James is one of the founders of Liberty Star Uranium & Metals Corp. He has been involved in mineral exploration and discoveries for the past 50 years. He is credited with expanding porphyry copper ore reserves at Silver Bell, Arizona and identifying major gold deposits in the Randsburg District in California. He also aided in the discovery of the McDermitt open-pit mercury mine in Nevada. Mr. Briscoe co-discovered and co-owned the Wind Mountain gold-silver mine in Nevada. In Alaska, he identified the Big Chunk caldera and the copper-gold-moly potential continuation from the Pebble mine and alteration zone. James Briscoe also identified the Tombstone Caldera in 1988. He has served as either an officer and or director of three other publicly trading exploration and development companies.

Ted Eyde

Ted Eyde

Ted Eyde is an Engineering Geologist for Pedregosa Basin Resources LLC. He also owns the Gadsden Sonora Holdings Company LLC with his wife. Ted grew up in Butte, Montana, where he received an MS in Geological Engineering from Montana Tech. Afterwards, he worked for the Union Carbide Corporation on specialty and performance industrial minerals. Ted moved to Arizona in 1959 to assist the company with locating natural zeolite deposits. He eventually discovered a large cabazite deposit, which is still being used today. He was the president of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) national chapter in 1991. He is also the cofounder of the Mining Foundation of the Southwest. The Foundation promotes public understanding and education related to mineral resources and the mining industry, and funds educational projects each year in the southwest and Mexico.

Peter Kirwin received his BA in Geology at Dartmouth College in 1957, and his MS in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Minnesota in 1963. He started his career in Tucson in the summer of 1960, following two summers in the Canadian bush. He lived in Arizona towns such as Tucson, Wickenburg, Kingman, and Cottonwood. He worked for 40 years in metals exploration in ten U.S. states, 3 Canadian provinces, all Australian states but Tasmania, Sinaloa, and New Guinea. He worked for many companies, including Kennecott (BCMC), NJ Standard (Exxon/Humble), Inco, Cy-prus, Copper Range, Lac, and Siskon, in management positions up to district manager and U.S. exploration manager prospecting for various deposits (copper, molybdenum, gold, poly metallic, etc.). His last consulting job in Arizona was in the Globe-Miami District for Cyprus Mines, which led to a new recognition of the structural setting and mode of emplacement of the Miami-Inspiration deposits.

Arizona Mining Review April 26, 2018

America’s infrastructure is built of sand, gravel, and crushed stone; collectively referred to as aggregate. 

Eric Mears, VP of Haley & Aldrich, addresses aggregate quarrying from the Phoenix area's Agua Fria River on the latest Arizona Mining Review episode. 

For a short summary and a link to the video, please see today’s Arizona Geology blog post:Talking aggregate with Eric Mears .  Or go directly to the video: Aggregate, the building blocks of Arizona .

AGS By-Laws Change Effective March 6, 2018

Effective March 6, 2018, the AGS membership has voted to change Article IX, paragraph 2(d) of the AGS Bylaws from: 

(d) 50-Year Members – members in good standing who have maintained continuous membership for a minimum of 50 years shall have the privileges of a full member of the Society and will be excused from further payment of dues.


(d) 50-Year Members – members in good standing who have maintained membership for a minimum of 50 years shall have the privileges of a full member of the Society and will be excused from further payment of dues.

USGS 2019 Budget takes a Shellacking

If President Trump's 2019 budget becomes law, the U.S. Geological Survey budget will fall 20% to $859.7 million.  Full-time employees in turn, will be reduced from the current 4,876 to 3,677; a diminution of about 25%.

Learn more about this at Arizona Geology Blog Post.

Arizona Mining Review March 26, 2018

On 26 March 2018, Arizona Mining’s Don Taylor, discoverer of the world-class Taylor zinc-lead-silver deposit in the Patagonia Mountains of southeastern Arizona, spoke with AZGS for the 44th episode of the Arizona Mining Review e-Video Magazine. You can view that 11-minute interview at our AZGS Youtube channel.

Arizona Mining Review February 15, 2018

Michael Conway of the Arizona Geological Survey interviews Bob Comer, President of the American Exploration and Mining Association at the AEMA's Winter Reception at the Double Tree Tucson.  I recommend viewing this interesting video about Arizona's mining industry.

Peter Ward Presented an Alternative View on Climate Change at January 2018 Meeting

On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Peter L. Ward presented "Bringing Peace to the Climate Wars."   In the linked video, he presents an alternate view on what controls climate change. Ozone depletion theory provides a better explanation of scientific observations than the Greenhouse Gas model.  Depletion of the ozone layer by gases released by volcanic activity provides a clear, direct and comprehensive explanation for climate changes during recent years and throughout earth's history.

Anyone who wishes to learn more about Peter Ward's research on climate change may visit his web site at What Really Causes Global Warming?  Greenhouse Gases or Ozone Depletion. It you have any comments or questions about this presentation or his research, you can contact Peter at

2017 Scholarship Recipients Recognized at December Meeting

Jessie Pearl (right) Awarded M. Lee Allison Scholarship by Ann Pattison.  You can learn more about Jessie Pearl and her professional accomplishments at the M. Lee Allison Scholarship page of this web site.

Michael Kessela (right) Awarded J. Harold Courtright Scholarship by Ann Pattison.  You can learn more about Michael Kessela and his proposed Master's research on the Austin pluton in central Nevada at the J. Harold Courthright Scholarship page of this web site.

AGS Digests Now Available On-line

Articles contained within the Arizona Geological Society Digests 1 through 22 are now available on-line at our publications page.  Our out-of-print Digests are available to the public, While our in-print Digests are only accessible to AGS members. 

Anyone who is interested in purchasing Printed Copies of In-Print AGS Digests can do so on-line or contact the AGS Secretary for more details.  Copies of current AGS Guidebooks and Digests are also for sale at a reduced price at AGS monthly dinner meetings.

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