Arizona Geology Blog

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blog of the State Geologist of ArizonaLee Allisonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11520300956249160005noreply@blogger.comBlogger3889125
Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

Small aftershock from Duncan quake

Wed, 2014-07-30 09:11
 A M=2.8 aftershock hit the area of June's M=5.2 Duncan earthquake in southeastern Arizona, just after midnight last night.   This is the largest event in over a week, although we continue to record many smaller shocks.  [Right, orange star marks epicenter.  Credit, USGS]

Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Small quake west of Page

Mon, 2014-07-28 20:13

A small earthquake, magnitude 2.3, struck 24 miles west of Page, Arizona, at 4:46 pm on Sunday.   [Right, orange star marks epicenter.  Red line is an active fault. Credit, USGS]
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Groupo Mexcio to buy rest of Silver Bell copper mine

Sat, 2014-07-26 10:36
Grupo Mexico, parent company to Asarco, is reported to be buying the 25% of the Silver Bell copper mine that it doesn't already own.   Mineweb refers to a Wall Street Journal story that says Grupo will pay about $120 million to buyout Mitsui & Co's share.  [Right, Google Earth view of Silver Bell mine complex]

The mine is west of Avra Valley, near Marana, northwest of Tucson.

Asarco provides the following information about the Silver Bell mine:
Location:23 miles west of Interstate 10 on Avra Valley Road.
Operations: The mine operates four open-pits (North Silver Bell, El Tiro, West Oxide and East Oxide). All copper in these pits will be extracted from the ore utilizing either of two hydrometallurgical processes: dump leaching or rubblization. Approximately 50% of the ore will be mined and hauled to dumps for leaching. The remaining 50% will be rubblized. Rubblization is the process where material is drilled, blasted, and then leached in place. Each month 1,800,000 tons of ore and waste are mined, and 700,000 tons of ore is rubblized. The four open-pits and other plant facilities are situated on 19,000 acres. Mining affected areas of the facility total 3,900 acres.
Copper-bearing solutions from the dump leach and rubble areas are collected and pumped to the solvent extraction plant where the copper in solution is concentrated over 30 times before being pumped to the tank house. In the tank house, the copper is recovered from solution using the electrowinning process and plated on stainless steel starter sheets as high-purity cathodes. The current cathode production rate is 67 tons per day. Cathode copper produced in the solvent extraction / electrowinning (SX/EW) operation is sold to producers of copper rod, tubing and wire.
Product: Electrowon cathode copper
December 31, 2012 Employment:
Total: 175 employees; 138 hourly / 37 salaried.

Production Statistics:
Copper in SX-EW Cathode:
45.9 million lbs. (2012)
46.8 million lbs. (2011)
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Request for info on Critical & Strategic Materials Supply Chain

Sat, 2014-07-26 10:00
Maeve Boland at the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) passed along this notice that the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy has issued a Request for Information on Critical and Strategic Materials Supply Chains, with a deadline for submissions of August 31, 2014.  [Photo credit, National Mining Association]
The RFI focuses mainly on the downstream side of things but Maeve offers that this would be a good opportunity to point out the importance of the upstream part of the supply chain, that we need geological research plus  information on materials flow through the full life cycle of materials , and that new materials and substitutes don’t work if we don’t have the raw materials to make them.
Full information is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/07/22/2014-17192/critical-and-strategic-materials-supply-chains. Please pass on the RFI to anyone who might be interested in responding.
The summary in the Federal Register states:
The U.S. economy's requirements for raw materials have and will change over time, especially with the introduction of new products and processing technologies. Furthermore, as the global economy grows, there are increasing concerns regarding the availability and access to the raw materials that will be necessary to sustain U.S. economic growth and advance other national policies. As the criticality of materials shifts over time, studying the early warning signs and the underlying forces of potential material supply disruption can inform proactive policy development for emerging critical materials. One of the roles of the Critical and Strategic Minerals Supply Chain Subcommittee (CSMSC Subcommittee) of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability is to develop a methodology for identifying critical materials and monitoring changes in criticality on an ongoing basis, providing “early warning” to policymakers and other stakeholders. The views of U.S. industry and other stakeholders are important to inform both an understanding of current conditions and the characterization of anticipated future demand for critical materials.
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

AZGS book sale to celebrate new Tucson trolley

Thu, 2014-07-24 17:02


The AZGS-run Arizona Experience store is holding a 25% off sale on University of Arizona book titles beginning Friday, July 25 and running through Friday, August 1 to celebrate the launch of Tucson’s new street car. 
We will also be giving away free bottled water and city maps to riders. Come down and grab a great deal on a great book and help spread the word!
The store carries all AZGS publications, but also a wide array of Arizona products as well as maps and publications from the USGS, Forest Service, BLM, Arizona Game & Fish, State Parks, and many others.
Plus, we have a wonderful section of Arizona rocks and minerals for sale from a number of our premier mineral collectors and dealers.   Free parking in the rear, off of Congress St in the middle of the street car route.
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Rep. Kirkpatrick calls for permanent ban on new uranium mining near Grand Canyon

Mon, 2014-07-21 13:52
U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ, 1st Congressional district) tweeted this morning "Will you help me call for a permanent ban on new uranium mining near the Grand Canyon?"



The link takes you to a re-election campaign website which shows a picture of the Grand Canyon [right] and says "Uranium mining is a real threat to the Grand Canyon. We have to preserve this wonder of the world for future generations. Please sign our petition to protect the Grand Canyon."






Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Large drilling program announced for St. John's CO2-helium field

Sun, 2014-07-20 19:03
A Kinder Morgan  representative told the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission on Friday that the company is on track to complete their current evaluation drilling in the St. John's, Arizona carbon dioxide and helium filed [right, credit, Kinder Morgan] by year's end.  Then they anticipate filing permits for 14 additional wells.

Kinder Morgan propose a roughly $1 billion investment in the field, with three-quarters of it for drilling and field development and one-quarter for a pipeline to move the CO2 to an existing pipeline in New Mexico that moves CO2 east to oilfields for enhanced oil recovery.

The Oil & Gas Commission was holding their regular quarterly meeting in Phoenix.
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Latest M 3.0 Duncan aftershock close to New Mexico border

Sun, 2014-07-20 17:58
I seem to have missed another magnitude 3.0 aftershock last Thursday from the June 28 magnitude 5.2 Duncan earthquake. This latest event occurred at 2:12 am, and was almost on the New Mexico border, further east than the other large aftershocks.  [Right, orange star marks the epicenter.  Credit, USGS]



Categories: AZGS Web Posts

UA plots of Duncan earthquake seismograms

Sat, 2014-07-19 10:11
The University of Arizona's Global Seismology and Tectonics group in the Geosciences Dept. created a webpage for the magnitude 5.2 Duncan (southeast Arizona) earthquake of June 28. One of the graduate students in the research group, Jon Delph, put together plots of the earthquake record from the Tucson permanent station [right] as well as several other North American permanent stations.
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

HudBay Minerals acquires 92% of Augusta Resources stock; management changes coming

Thu, 2014-07-17 21:12
HudBay Minerals announced today that stockholders tendered 92% of Augusta Resources stock to the company. August is the parent of Rosemont Copper which is permitting a large open pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains in southern Arizona, that could produce 5% of US copper for 40 years. [Right, proposed mine site.  Credit, Rosemont Copper]

HudBay Minerals Inc. and Augusta Resource Corporation announced today that Hudbay has taken up 116,233,761 common shares ("Augusta Shares") of Augusta that were validly deposited under Hudbay's offer to acquire all of the outstanding Augusta Shares not already owned by Hudbay or its affiliates for consideration per Augusta Share of 0.315 of a common share of Hudbay and 0.17 of a warrant to acquire a common share of Hudbay (the "Offer"). The Augusta Shares taken up under the Offer, together with those already owned by Hudbay, represent approximately 92% of the issued and outstanding Augusta Shares.
 
Hudbay has extended the Offer until 5:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on July 29, 2014 (the "Expiry Time") to enable Augusta shareholders who have not yet tendered their Augusta Shares to accept the Offer.

As I predicted earlier this week, HudBay plans on putting their own people in key positions in Augusta Resources (and Rosemont Copper as well?):

 It is anticipated that members of Hudbay's current management team will assume management positions with Augusta and replace Augusta's current senior management team and certain members of the Augusta Board of Directors will be replaced by nominees of Hudbay. In particular, David S. Bryson, Alan T. C. Hair, Patrick Donnelly and Patrick Merrin will be appointed to the Augusta Board of Directors, joining current directors Lenard F. Boggio, Timothy Baker and W. Durand Eppler. Gilmour Clausen, Christopher M. H. Jennings, Robert P. Pirooz, Robert P. Wares and Richard W. Warke will resign from the Augusta Board of Directors.
The two companies also announced a loan of C$40 million from HudBay "intended to provide short-term working capital amounts to Augusta."
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Slide wildfire video describes firefighting strategy

Thu, 2014-07-17 20:50
The Southwest Fire Science Consortium posted a video report on the Slide wildfire on Vimeo.   They described it:

The Slide Fire ignited on May 20, 2014, 2014 in Oak Creek Canyon between Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona. Firefighters first raced to keep the fire from destroying over 300 homes and cabins in the canyon, and later prevented the fire from moving into residential areas outside of Flagstaff. While the strategy chosen to manage the Slide Fire using large, low-intensity burnouts on the perimeter of the fire was primarily aimed at increasing firefighter safety and taking advantage of natural terrain features, it had the added benefit of providing benefits for the forest and landscape. The management of this fire reflects the changing nature of wildfire in the western US. This video was narrated by Tim Harrison and written and produced by Josh McDaniel for the Southwest Fire Science Consortium.

You can find out more about wildfire science in the Southwest by visiting swfireconsortium.org.
The Slide Fire from Josh McDaniel on Vimeo.

We've been monitoring the area for heavy rains that could cause debris flows ("mudslides").
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Participate in EarthCube governance

Wed, 2014-07-16 17:04


The Arizona Geological Survey has been running the NSF EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance project for the past year, gauging community requirements for cyberinfrastructure in the geosciences. We now have a community-driven plan and design that we are sharing publicly.  Participation in EarthCube is open and we'll describe opportunities to be involved.  [Right, Susan Winters, Brian Wee, and Jennifer Arrigo strategize at one the EarthCube workshops organized by AZGS earlier this year. Credit, AZGS]
 Join us as we move into the next phase of building EarthCube!
Interested in participating in EarthCube's Demonstration Governance? Mark your calendar for one of the upcoming EarthCube Community Webinars on Thursday, July 17 at 9am MST/12PM EDT, or Monday, July 21 at 12pm MST/3pm EDTCall-in details are posted here.

The purpose of these webinars is to discuss priorities, expectations, and next steps for all of those interested in participating in EarthCube Demonstration Governance standing committees and teams.These groups, the Technology/Architecture Standing Committee, Science Standing Committee, Engagement Team, and Liaison Team, will be responsible for carrying out specific critical functions for EarthCube and EarthCube Governance. Therefore, the EarthCube community will be empowered to decide how they will accomplish these functions by defining decision-making processes and leadership roles.

We encourage all members of the EarthCube community who have already expressed interest, have an interest, or just want to learn more about how to participate in these groups to join us. As always, these sessions are open to all. 
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

HudBay acquisition of Augusta Resources on verge of completion

Tue, 2014-07-15 19:59
HudBay Minerals could complete its friendly acquisition of Augusta Resources, parent company of Rosemont Copper, sometime tomorrow, Wednesday, July 16.

Augusta's "poison pill" stockholder protection plan expires today.    First thing Wednesday, the stock shares tendered by current owners will be sold to HudBay by brokers and before the end of the day, HudBay is expected to own the company.

The final deal agreed to unanimously by Augusta's Board of Directors, provides that "in addition to 0.315 of a Hudbay common share as provided in Hudbay's original offer, Augusta shareholders will also receive 0.17 of a warrant to acquire a common share of Hudbay for each Augusta common share, representing consideration with a value of approximately C$3.56 per Augusta common share. The Revised Offer represents a total equity value of C$555 million based on 100% of the fully-diluted, in-the-money common shares of Augusta (including those already owned by Hudbay)."

HudBay executives and technical staff have already been in Tucson for weeks assessing the Rosemont property and preparing for the takeover.  It's expected that HudBay will honor the commitments made by Rosemont as part of the permitting process, but will transfer staff from their Canadian headquarters and facilities to fill key slots at the Rosemont operation.   


Categories: AZGS Web Posts

US 89 landslide repairs to begin

Tue, 2014-07-15 07:28
The Arizona Dept. of Transportation issued the following press release on Monday:

Damaged highway south of Page set to reopen before next summer travel season

PHOENIX —The reconstruction of US 89 between Bitter Springs and Page will begin later this month after the State Transportation Board approved a $25 million project to repair the landslide-damaged highway at Friday’s board meeting in Cottonwood, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.








The roadway, which suffered catastrophic damage following a landslide on the early morning of Feb. 20, 2013, has remained closed after a 500-foot section of roadway buckled in Echo Cliffs, approximately 25 miles south of Page.

The repair will include moving the roadway approximately 60 feet away from the landslide area toward Echo Cliffs and using rock material removed for the roadway realignment to construct a downslope buttress to stabilize the area.

The closed section of roadway is scheduled to reopen prior to next summer’s busy travel season. The construction contract will also include a monetary incentive for the contractor if it is able to complete the project ahead of schedule.

Work on the project will begin in a couple of weeks, but major work is expected to start in late August when crews begin drilling and blasting operations to build the rock buttress. Nearly 1 million cubic yards of rock material is expected to be removed and a 1,500-foot section of US 89 will be realigned with new pavement.

The ultimate repair of US 89 is the final step in fulfilling ADOT’s three-pronged approach to the US 89 landslide incident, which included providing immediate emergency access, conducting a geotechnical investigation and restoring essential traffic to the area.

Last summer ADOT paved Navajo Route 20 (Temporary US 89), which was a mostly dirt road stretching from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee.

“Once a long-term solution was identified, ADOT worked diligently to complete all the federally required clearances needed prior to construction,” said Steve Boschen, ADOT deputy state engineer of project delivery. “This process can sometimes take years, but with help from many of our Navajo Nation partners, the Federal Highway Administration and other regulatory stakeholders, we are ready to begin the US 89 landslide repair.”

Prior to breaking ground on the project later this month, ADOT had to clear several hurdles. After an extensive geotechnical investigation identified the necessary repairs last summer, ADOT retained an engineering design firm and developed plans for the eventual repair.

Following that, the team finalized all federally required environmental reviews that include cultural, biological and water quality measures, completed the plans for the required right-of-way easements, and finalized negotiations with the contractor.

The final step prior to Friday’s board approval was completing negotiations on a guaranteed maximum price for the project construction with FNF Construction, the same contractor that completed the paving of US 89T.

The US 89 landslide repair project is eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program, which provides funding to state and local agencies for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads and bridges that are damaged in natural disasters and catastrophic failures.

For more information, visit azdot.gov/us89.   Note, there are 15 videos posted there covering various aspects of the landslide, community impacts, engineering, and construction plans,

Read more at: azdot.gov/media/News
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Small quake northwest of Kingman

Tue, 2014-07-15 07:21

Most of our attention has been on southeastern Arizona where aftershocks continue from the June 28 magnitude 5.2 Duncan earthquake.   But yesterday the opposite side of the state had a minor M 1.9 earthquake at1:13 p.m. local time, midway between Kingman and Boulder City.

[Right, orange star marks epicenter.  Credit, USGS]
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Biggest aftershock yet from Duncan quake - M 4.1

Sat, 2014-07-12 08:13
A magnitude 4.1 aftershock last night at 7:48 p.m. local time, is the biggest since the main 5.2 Duncan earthquake struck on June 28.  [Right, southern-most orange circle is the M 4.1 event.  Credit, USGS]

There was another M 3.0 aftershock at 12:53 a.m. this morning.  That makes 7 events in a day and half of about magnitude 3 or larger, most of which were felt by local residents and some at least 30 miles away.



Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Map of largest aftershocks from the Duncan M 5.2 earthquake

Fri, 2014-07-11 16:33
We posted a map [right] this afternoon of all of the magnitude 3.0 and larger aftershocks from the June 28 magnitude 5.2 Duncan earthquake [shown in red]. Five of the 13 events have occurred in roughly the last 24 hours.

The seismic stations used to record the aftershocks are far enough away that there may be significant errors in their initial locations.  The five portable stations deployed by AZGS in the past few days should give us more detailed subsurface velocity information so we can recalculate these events and more accurately determine their locations.


Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Studying the Duncan M5.2 aftershocks: What can we learn?

Fri, 2014-07-11 16:24


The Arizona Geological Survey deployed 5 temporary seismic stations [Right.  Photo credit, Jeri Young, AZGS] in the Duncan area of eastern Arizona to better monitor the aftershocks following the June 28th, M 5.2 earthquake.

Monitoring earthquakes in the months following a moderate to larger sized event is an opportunity to gain knowledge about the how the Earth’s crust behaves in the area of the main quake. Measureable aftershocks can number in the several hundred.  Additional seismometers in the general area surrounding the main earthquake are needed to correctly estimate the number, size and location of the aftershocks.

Determining aftershock location and timing can provide information on fault rupture geometry (or shape), fault mechanics (type of movement) and provide insight into regional stresses. All of this information can be used to estimate the seismic hazard, and therefore help communities prepare themselves for future events.

Guest post by Jeri Young, AZGS
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Duncan quake aftershock rocks Clifton

Fri, 2014-07-11 11:13
We are getting reports that another aftershock, M3.6,at 10:33 a.m. this morning shook buildings in Clifton, about 30 miles to the north-northwest.

[Right, orange star marks latest aftershock to the June 28, M5.2 Duncan earthquake.  Credit, USGS]
Categories: AZGS Web Posts

Duncan area hit by four larger aftershocks

Fri, 2014-07-11 08:54
The Duncan area experienced four more aftershocks in an 18 hour period  [right. credit USGS], with local residents reporting feeling them.   There was a M3.6 event at about 3 p.m. Thursday and a M3.2 at 11:15 p.m.   A M2.8 occurred at 1:38 a.m. this morning, followed by a M3.5 quake at 5:41 a.m. The Arizona Geological Survey is developing an interactive online map viewer to show all the aftershocks we are recording.    We installed 5 portable seismometers around the main shock epicenter area earlier this week which should be accurately recording not only these larger events but many other shocks that are too small to be felt.   
The Duncan M5.2 main shock hit on Saturday, June 28.
Categories: AZGS Web Posts