Arizona Geological Society


Upcoming events

    • 02 Jan 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

    Sponsored by:   Available

      Bringing Peace to the Climate Wars

    by Peter L. Ward, U. S. Geological Survey, Retired

    Abstract:  All four major analyses of average annual global temperatures show little change from 1945 to 1970, a rapid increase of 0.6 deg. C from 1970 to 1998, little change from 1998 through 2013, and a very rapid increase of 0.3 deg. C from 2014 through 2016, making 2016 the hottest year in recorded history. 2017 looks like it will be a little cooler. Meanwhile carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere continually increased with no sudden changes.

    In the 1960s, human manufacture of chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs) increased rapidly. By 1970, the ozone layer began to be depleted and temperatures began to rise. In 1974, scientists figured out how CFCs could cause ozone depletion. After discovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole in 1985, the Montreal Protocol was passed mandating cutbacks in production of CFCs starting in 1989. Increases of CFCs in the atmosphere stopped in 1993. Increases in ozone depletion stopped in 1995. Increases in temperatures stopped in 1998.

    In 2014, Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland extruded basaltic lavas over an area of 85 square km in 6 months, the highest rate of basalt extrusion since 1783. Throughout the Holocene and all of Earth history, major eruptions of flood basalts over areas from hundreds to millions of square kilometers have been contemporaneous with major warming, ocean acidification, and mass extinctions. Major explosive volcanic eruptions, on the other hand, that form aerosols in the lower stratosphere reflecting and scattering sunlight, cause 0.5 deg. C cooling of the ocean surface for 2 to 4 years, affecting ocean temperatures for a century. Several large explosive eruptions per century for millennia are observed to cool the ocean into ice-age conditions. Volcanoes rule climate change.

    To warm Earth, you must add heat, which consists of a broad continuum of frequencies of thermal oscillation of the bonds holding matter together. Carbon dioxide absorbs less than 16% of the frequencies radiated by Earth. Carbon dioxide simply does not absorb enough heat to warm Earth. Prior to humans, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide appear to be a proxy for ocean temperature based on well-known solubility curves. We can burn fossil fuels without overheating Earth, but we must control pollution, currently killing at least five million people each year.

    Bio:  Dr. Peter L. Ward earned a BA in geophysics from Dartmouth in 1965 and a PhD in geophysics from Columbia in 1970. He worked 27 years with the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, where he played a lead role in developing and managing the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, developing a prototype global volcanic surveillance system, and studying the relationship between plate motions and the geology of western North America. He received two national awards for explaining science to the general public. Ward chaired a committee at the White House, worked on a committee for vice president Gore, testified before congress, and his work was featured on Good Morning America. He has published more than 50 scientific papers as first author. In 1998, he retired to Jackson, Wyoming.

    Since 2006, Ward has worked full time trying to resolve several enigmatic observations related to climate change. His work is described in detail at and in his book What Really Causes Global Warming? Greenhouse gases or ozone depletion? Follow him on Twitter at @yclimatechanges. See some of his talks at, including one at TEDx, one at the Geological Society of London and many at national meetings.

    Ward raised four children with his successfully blended family being featured in the New York Times Magazine and on the Phil Donahue Show. He has six grandchildren.

    Ward grew up playing the piano, guitar, and accordion. He founded Svirici, a Bulgarian Yugoslavian folk-dance band, in the 1970s, proposed to his third wife in song at the Jackson Hole Hootenanny in 1995, and likes to lead group singing and sing funny songs ( He climbed all the 4000 footers in New Hampshire, half during the winter, before his 18th birthday. He climbed his first active volcano at age 19. He has rafted most rivers of the west including rowing his own raft twice through the Grand Canyon.

    Note:  There will also be a book signing for those who are interested in purchasing Peter Ward's book, "What Really Causes Global Warming?  Greenhouse Gases or Ozone Depletion?"

    For more information about Ozone Depletion Theory link to the following short abstract:  "Two Game-Changing Observations about Climate."

    • 06 Feb 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

    Sponsored by:   Available

    Causes of Color in Minerals and Gemstones

    by Paul F. Hlava, Access to Gems and Minerals

    Abstract: The colors that one sees when looking at a mineral or gemstone are due to the response of that person’s eye to the energies of the light coming from the mineral, the emission spectrum of the illumination, and, most importantly, physical phenomena in the material that cause some colors to be absorbed while others are undisturbed or enhanced.  It is beyond the scope of this talk to do more than touch on the physiology of the eye that allows us to see colors.  Likewise, we will not dwell on the emission spectra of various light sources.  Rather, we will concentrate on the various ways in which materials, especially minerals and their heights of perfection - gemstones, produce color from white light.

    Hope DiamondLight is a form of energy (electromagnetic energy) and white light is a mixture of all of the visible energies (or wavelengths).  In order for a mineral to cause color from white light it has to somehow perturb the balance of the light energies.  Kurt Nassau has separated the causes of color into 15 mechanisms based on 5 physical groupings.  While there are some color mechanisms that depend on direct emission of certain colors, most of the mechanisms we are interested in depend on the ability of certain ions in minerals to preferentially absorb certain energies of light.  When these energies are removed from the white light, the mineral is colored by the complimentary color as demonstrated by the CIE* Chromaticity Diagram.

    Light absorption by the electrons of transition metal (or rare earth element - REE) ions, either as major portions of the mineral chemistry or impurities, is one of the most important and well known of the coloring mechanisms.  Most common, rock-forming elements have electronic structures that mitigate against causing colors.  On the other hand, transition metal (and REE) ions have electrons that can be excited to open, higher energy levels.  The electrons gain the necessary energy for the excitation by absorbing a particular energy (color) from white light and thus cause the mineral to show the complementary color.  Three prime examples of this mechanism are rubies, emeralds, and alexandrites, but there are many, many more.

    Star of BombayFluorescence and phosphorescence can be explained as a perturbation of the transition metal absorption model.  In most minerals the electrons return to their ground state by losing infrared energies so the emissions are invisible.  The excited electrons in fluorescent / phosphorescent minerals return to ground state by losing some energies that are in the visible part of the spectrum.  They therefore emit a different color of light from the original.  If this relaxation is quick we call the phenomenon fluorescence.  If the relaxation is slow enough to linger, we call it phosphorescence. 

    Many minerals are dichroic or pleochroic meaning they exhibit different colors in different directions.  These are caused by excited energy levels that are closer or farther apart in different directions.  This, in turn, is controlled by the crystal structure of the mineral squeezing the transition metal ion into an irregular shape.

    The accompanying photos illustrate three examples of coloring mechanism.  Even though both of the stones are blue, the Star of Bombay (lower photo) is colored by intervalence charge transfer with the star caused by scattering, while the Hope Diamond (upper photo) illustrates band gap color.  Both are specimens are from the Smithsonian Institution.

    Bio:  Paul Hlava retired from Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2007, after 33 years. He was in the electron microprobe laboratory (as staff member in charge of the lab since 1980) the entire time.  Because the EMP lab is part of the Materials Characterization Department, a centralized analytical facility for Sandia, Paul got to work on a wide variety of prosaic to exotic materials and projects.  He normally analyzed many alloys and joins (welds, brazes, solders, metal/ceramic and glass/metal seals, etc.) but also worked on high tech ceramics, high-temperature superconductors, electronic materials, phosphors, contamination, corrosion, failure analyses, nuclear waste simulants, thermal batteries, et hoc genus omne.  As a result, he has written, co-authored, and/or presented over a hundred papers on a wide variety of materials.  Many of these were given at annual meetings of the Microbeam Analysis Society.  Paul was the Director of the MAS Affiliated Regional Societies and Coordinator of the Tour Speaker Program for almost 28 years, retiring in 2012.

    Paul attended Tulsa University for 2 years and, when the geology program hit a snag, went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison from 1964 to 1967 attaining a BS in geology there.  After 3 years teaching at what is now The U of Wisconsin River Falls campus, he then transferred to the University of New Mexico where he graduated with a geology MS in 1974.  At UNM he worked as a research graduate doing electron microprobe research under Klaus Keil in the Institute of Meteoritics.  He worked on moon rocks, Hawaiian basalts, ultramafic rocks, meteorites, and inclusions in diamonds.  Paul occasionally used his geological and mineralogical expertise on Sandia projects but also did some personal research on minerals.  He has been co-discoverer and co-author on the descriptions of several new mineral species.

    Paul stays active in the area of geology, mineralogy, crystallography, and gemology.  He has been president of the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club three times.  He is the Chair for AGMC’s annual spring show (25 or so years now), he acts as the geological/mineralogical/gemology expert for the New Mexico Facetors Guild, and often gives talks on geological/mineralogical/ crystallographic/ gemological subjects.  About twenty five years ago, Paul started a side business, Access to Gems and Minerals, Inc., dealing in gemstones, jewelry, and related items.  This has not only given him access to wholesale rooms full of gemstones but it has piqued his interest in the research side of this field.  He has given several well-received talks on gem related subjects such as this one on the causes of color.

    He is the only/one of the few who turned down the honor of having a mineral named after him.

Past events

05 Dec 2017 Joellen Russell presents The Ocean's Role in the Climate of the Anthropocene
07 Nov 2017 Eric Sundquist presents Geological Perspectives on Carbon Dioxide, the Carbon Cycle and Carbon Management
03 Oct 2017 Lily Jackson presents Andean River Sediments as a Window into the Tectonic History of Ecuador
05 Sep 2017 Vic Baker presents The Influence of the 18th Century Enlightenment on the Natural Sciences
22 Aug 2017 AGS Meet and Greet, A Networking Event
11 Jul 2017 Andrew Zaffos presents Global Tectonics and Marine Animal Diversity
06 Jun 2017 Dan Johnson presents Introduction to the Florence Copper Project and In-Situ Copper Recovery
02 May 2017 Robert Glennon presents America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It
22 Apr 2017 Spring Field Trip - The Laramide-age Chilito Porphyry Copper Deposit
04 Apr 2017 David London presents The Nature and Origins of Internal Zonation within Granitic Pegmatites
07 Mar 2017 Derek J. Thorkelson presents The Precambrian Tectonic Connection between Yukon and Arizona
07 Feb 2017 Daniel Hummer presents Mineral ecology and evolution: Using large datasets to tell the story of the co-evolution of Earth and life
03 Jan 2017 David A. Sawyer presents Dating Geologic Time in the Cretaceous: Integrating Biostratigraphy, Isotope Geochronology, and Astrochronology in Sedimentary Deposits of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway
06 Dec 2016 John W. Ewert presents USGS Responses to Some Volcanic Crises and Eruptions Around the World
01 Nov 2016 Alexander Schauss presents Minerals, Trace Elements and Human Health
22 Oct 2016 Fall Field Trip - The Peach Spring Tuff and the Silver Creek Caldera, Northwestern Arizona
04 Oct 2016 Hamish Martin Presents Geology of the Resolution Cu-Mo Deposit, Superior Arizona
06 Sep 2016 Keith R. Long Presents No Bonanza from Cheap Oil
02 Aug 2016 Lee Allison Presents The Future of State Geological Surveys: the Arizona Case Study
05 Jul 2016 Don Applebee Presents Genesis of the Chilito Porphyry Copper Deposit
07 Jun 2016 Robert Hildebrand Presents Collisions, Slab Failure Magmatism and the Development of Cordilleran Batholiths
03 May 2016 Peter Modreski will present "Pegmatites: Mineralogy, Gemstones, Economic Geology, and maybe not quite the same Giant-Crystal Rocks you always thought they were"
30 Apr 2016 Spring Field Trip - An Introduction to the Pinal Schist in Southeastern Arizona
05 Apr 2016 Jordon Bright Presents Looking for an Ocean in the Desert, the Enigmatic Bouse Formation
01 Mar 2016 Peter R. Johnson Presents Tectonics and Mineral Deposits of the Arabian-Nubian Shield
02 Feb 2016 Dr. Karen Wenrich Presents The Ga-Ge Rich Apex Mine, Utah - A Tsumeb, Namibia Analogue
05 Jan 2016 Sarah Baxter Presents Calc-silicate Alteration and Ore Characterization, ASARCO Mission Complex, Pima County, Arizona
01 Dec 2015 Peter Smith Presents The Latest News from Mars
14 Nov 2015 Fall Field Trip - Northern Plomosa Mountains and Bouse Formation in Blythe Basin
03 Nov 2015 Karen Kelley presents The Giant Concealed Pebble Cu-Au-Mo Porphyry Deposit, Southwest Alaska
06 Oct 2015 Caleb King presents Eocene Hydrothermal Systems and Contrasting Hydrothermal Alteration in the Battle Mountain District, Nevada
01 Sep 2015 Carl Bowser presents The Genesis of the Kramer Borax Deposit, Rogers Lake, Mojave Desert, CA:
04 Aug 2015 Dan Lynch presents Volcanoes in the Back Yard
07 Jul 2015 Erik Melchiorre presents The Complex Geological History Recorded by Arizona Placer Deposits:
02 Jun 2015 Jan C. Rasmussen Presents - Arizona Mineralization through Geologic Time
05 May 2015 Gordon Haxel Presents - Alpine peridotite in the desert - Arizona's Laramide subduction complex
02 May 2015 Spring Field Trip - Oak Creek - Mormon Lake Graben
18 Apr 2015 Third Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event
03 Mar 2015 Apollo 17 Astronaut and Former Senator Harrison H. Schmitt presents A Geological Visit to a Valley on the Moon
03 Feb 2015 Don Yurewicz Presents Assessing Unconventional (Continuous) Hydrocarbon Resource Plays
06 Jan 2015 Arend Meijer presents: Sulfide-rich Proterozoic Mafic Rocks and Arizona Porphyry Copper Deposits - A Connection?
02 Dec 2014 Victor R. Baker: Megafloods on Earth, Mars, and Beyond
15 Nov 2014 Fall Field Trip - Debris Flows Shape the Sabino Canyon Landscape - look out below!
04 Nov 2014 Isabel F. Barton: Historical Development & Current State of Geological Research in the Central African Copperbelt
07 Oct 2014 Apollo 17 Astronaut and Former Senator Harrison H. Schmitt presents A Geological Visit to a Valley on the Moon
02 Sep 2014 Lewis Land presents Evaluation of Groundwater Residence Time in a Karstic Aquifer System
05 Aug 2014 Jamie Molaro presents Thermal Stress Weathering in the Inner Solar System
01 Jul 2014 Jim Leenhouts presents Surface-water/groundwater Interactions in Arizona
03 Jun 2014 Arend Meijer presents Pinal Schist of So. Arizona--A Paleoproterozoic Fore-Arc Complex
06 May 2014 John C. Lacy presents The Genesis of Mining Law
26 Apr 2014 Spring Field Trip - Geology of the Christmas Porphyry Copper Deposit
24 Apr 2014 Second Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event
01 Apr 2014 Eric Seedorff presents, Structural Dismemberment of a Porphyry Molybdenum System, Spruce Mountain District, Northeastern Nevada
04 Mar 2014 John Dreier presents, Copper Deposits of the Coast Ranges of Chile; A trip through time, space, and ore deposit nomenclature
04 Feb 2014 Ralph Stegen presents The Morenci Porphyry Cu-Mo Deposit, Greenlee County, Arizona: A Geologic Summary with Emphasis on Hypogene and Supergene Mineralization
07 Jan 2014 Steve Castor presents, Mountain Pass and other North American Rare Earth Element Deposits
03 Dec 2013 Stephen Jackson, USGS, Looking forward from the past: Ecological impacts of climate change through the lens of history
05 Nov 2013 Malcolm Siegel, PhD, MPH, LJS Consulting, Inc and School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. 87047: Uranium Mining in the American Southwest: Can Medical Geologists Ask the Right Questions?
04 Oct 2013 Field Trip - H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station
01 Oct 2013 Mark Logsdon, Principal Geochemist, Geochimica, Inc.: What Does “Perpetual” Management and Treatment Mean? Toward a Framework for Determining an Appropriate Period-of-Performance for Management of Reactive, Sulfide-Bearing Mine Wastes
01 Oct 2013 Mark J. Logsdon, Geochimica, Inc., Does acid-rock drainage lead to waste-rock instability? Geological, hydrological, and geochemical framework for the Questa Mine
03 Sep 2013 Pete Reiners, UA, Geosciences Dept., Geochronology of secondary Fe & Mn oxides in bedrock
30 Aug 2013 Field Trip - University of Arizona Tree-Ring Research Laboratory
06 Aug 2013 Bill Stavast, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, The Safford Mine: What we have learned since production began
02 Jul 2013 Lukas Zurcher, USGS, presents: "Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Central Tethys Region"
04 Jun 2013 Steve Van Nort presents, "Gold Fever! The BRE-X/Busang Story
07 May 2013 Federal lands and mineral resources: Colorado Plateau uranium deposits and the Sonoran Desert Heritage
18 Apr 2013 First Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event

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