top of page

FALL FIELD TRIP, Saturday & Sunday, March 9-10, 2024 

Geology of the Blue Diamond-Mountain Springs Pass area, Spring Mountains, Nevada

Highlights: The rocks and structures exposed in the Spring Mountains record much of the complex geologic history of southern Nevada. On this trip we will visit Paleozoic seas, Mesozoic ergs, and see what happens when large volumes of rock fall ~1 km. 

PLEASE REGISTER BY FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2024 – You can register using the Google Form available at


This trip will focus on aspects of the geology in the Blue Diamond-Mountain Springs Pass area of the Spring Mountains near Las Vegas, NV. We will have four main areas that we will visit during the field trip:

Saturday, March 9, 2024

1. Geology, facies, and history of the Blue Diamond landslide deposit (Sturmer) – The Blue Diamond landslide deposit caps many of the hills and ridges in the Blue Diamond area. The landslide deposit was sourced from Cambrian and Mesozoic units exposed at the top of the Wilson Cliffs. The deposit is exposed over an area of ~25 km2 and it is up to 40 m thick. We will look at the various facies and textures developed across the deposit and will discuss a proposed two-phase emplacement model for the landslide.

2. Sedimentology of the Lower Triassic Virgin Limestone (Woods) – We will examine a variety of features in the Virgin Limestone, including sedimentary cycles within the Virgin Limestone, storm deposits and stromatolites that thrived in the aftermath of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

3. Turtlehead Mountain landslide deposit and Aztec Sandstone (Sturmer) – We will have a ~2.5 km hike to look at the small Turtlehead Mountain rock avalanche deposit, which contains brecciated Mississippian limestone emplaced atop Jurassic Aztec Sandstone. Along the way we will view and discuss some of the sedimentary structures present in block and outcrop of the Aztec Sandstone.

4. Geology and sedimentology of the Indian Springs Formation (Upper Mississippian) and Bird Spring Formation (Upper Mississippian-Permian) at Mountain Springs Pass (Sturmer) – After a short hike we will walk through the Indian Springs Formation and the lower portion of the Bird Spring Formation. We will discuss facies and cyclicity, and broader-scale tectonics.


Vehicle recommendation: All driving will be on paved roads. Carpooling is recommended as a few of the areas have limited parking. Fees:

The following is covered by the registration fee Lunch, Saturday and Sunday: meat or vegetarian sandwiches, chips, cookie Dinner on Saturday (Taco bar) Field trip guidebook


Overnight accommodations: Camping: We have a camp site for up to 50 people reserved near Blue Diamond. This is available on a first-come first-serve basis. If you want to be included in the group camp site, please check the box on the form. Once the group site fills up, additional camp sites may be available in the same campground or on nearby BLM land.


Hotels: Nearby hotels are also available but they must be booked separately by participants (who choose to stay in a hotel) and are not included as part of the trip.


Registration Fees: Professional: $100 Student.$40

Camping at group camp site (no additional fee, only first 50 registrants)_______________(x) PLEASE NOTE: Costs for motels/hotels or other camping locations are not included in the above fees.

PLEASE REGISTER BY FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2024 – You can register using the Google Form available at

Questions? Email Dan Sturmer at

bottom of page