Geol451 | College of Science | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Studnets in Death Valley


The group picture was taken during GEOL451 Field experience in Geology.  Dr. Eric Ferre led the 8-day field class, providing students hands-on experience.  Field students learned how Owens Valley in California shaped the Sierra Nevada Range through movement along the Sierra Nevada system of normal faults, including some faults that are still active and that ruptured in the last 20 years causing major earthquakes. The students also learned how the rise of several magma chambers underneath Mammoth Lakes and the Mono Lake area still has affected Long Valley through periodic catastrophic volcanic explosions. Finally, students visited Death Valley (photo) and investigated the Basin and Range morphology resulting from the collapse of an orogenic plateau similar to the Tibet Plateau. These students experienced two ice storms in the same week, kept on mapping and doing their projects despite adverse conditions. Dr. Ferre decided to give them a break and visit the warmer area of Death Valley where temperatures were in the lower 40's.