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On November 8th, 2012, the Southwest Fire Science Consortium hosted a field trip to the Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona.

Lee Allison's blog

Selecting highlights from Lee Allison’s Arizona Geology blog of the past year was a daunting task. First, there is the number of blog entries to contend with, 419 and counting.

The Arizona Geological Survey brought its technical expertise to a new arena in 2012 when it volunteered to head the Arizona Experience website centennial project.

Dwight Hoxie on Pirate fault

A new Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report by Dwight Hoxie, Exhuming the Remains of the Inactive Mountain-Front Pirate Fault, Santa Catalina Mountains, Southeastern Arizona, describes the Pirate fault system of the western Santa Catalina Mountains.

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2012 was a banner year for AZGS publications. We published 47 reports and 20 geologic maps, for a total of 67 publications in six different publication series.


The National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 established the STATEMAP program to expedite production of geologic maps for the Nation.

Doug Shakel (1938-2012), geologist, teacher and activist, passed away on the evening of 20 November 2012 after a short battle with liver cancer.

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Mining at sunset

The decade-long rise in the price of gold from less than $400 per troy ounce to over $1,600 has resulted in the renewal of gold mining and increased exploration activity in Arizona. Lode properties are receiving the most significant activity due to their large number of contained ounces of gold. A few, small placer properties are also being sampled or operated on a limited scale.

As of June 2012 nearly all new data collection projects have cleared the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and are currently conducting new data collection efforts across sixteen states.  

In 2008, MIT’s Earth Systems Initiative team of 25 researchers generated 200 terabytes of data exploring marine microbial communities as part of the Darwin Project.

Point Cloud Processing

Ninety-five miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona, and partway up the steep slope of Montezuma Peak, lies Coronado Cave.

Thirty four drilling permits were issued and 16 wells were drilled through June 30, 2012. All but three permits and one well drilled were stratigraphic tests for potash east of Holbrook.

On January 4th, 2012, AZGS geologists Ann Youberg and Joe Cook traveled to Emigrant Canyon at the north end of the Chiricahua Mountains to assess post-fire erosion following the 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire 

Seventy five drilling permits were issued, which set a record for the number of permits issued in a single year (see graph), 67 wells were drilled, and two wells were plugged in 2011.

In 2011, 131 instrumentally detected earthquakes were recorded in Arizona. Most of the seismicity occurred in the north-northwest quadrant of the state.