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Geology Outing With Patrick Rowe Oct. 14

on October 2, 2017 - 6:20am
A Pebble Pup and parent show off what they found while exploring the windmill site with Patrick Rowe last fall. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Local geologist Patrick Rowe will lead an outing to the Cabezon Peak area in search of geological treasures at two sites Saturday, Oct. 14.

Participants can expect to find minerals and marine fossils at the windmill site, and Shark’s Tooth Ridge is aptly named for the fossilized teeth from five species of Cretaceous Period sharks that the group will find. This program is organized by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Space is limited, so register soon to attend.

The windmill site lies roughly between Cabezon peak and the Ojito Wilderness, where the group will be collecting nodules containing calcite crystals and fossil gastropods and ammonites. The nodules in this area often contain open pockets with beautiful calcite and every now and then barite crystals. The calcite crystals are found within some very large, partially buried and highly weathered concretions. To collect them, participants should be ready to do some digging in loose sand to expose the concretions. Once exposed, use prying tools and hammers to take apart the concretions while keeping an eye out for calcite.

It’s hard to imagine New Mexico was once under the sea, but during the Cretaceous Period, between 145.5 and 65.5 million years ago, much of the state was. Because of this, remains of sharks’ teeth can be found at the site named Shark’s Tooth Ridge, the second stop on this trip. Minerals and invertebrate fossils can be collected, but attendees are not allowed to collect the shark’s teeth on BLM land.

The cost per person is $10 for non-members and $8 for PEEC members. For families, the cost is $20 for non-member families and $16 for member families. Advance registration is required. To register or learn more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit www.peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 505.662.0460.

Participants of all ages are welcome to attend, and the inevitability of finding samples makes this an excellent trip for kids.  The group will meet at PEEC just before 8 a.m. to carpool to the site. Those who live in Santa Fe or Albuquerque can alternatively meet the group at 9:30 a.m. in San Ysidro, which is near the site.

Patrick Rowe is an active member of the Los Alamos Geological Society. He regularly leads field trips for the Society, and for PEEC.

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC maintains a nature center, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $20.


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