Visit Nevada’s youngest volcano, geothermal power plant and other geologic wonders for Earth Science Week

College of Science's Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to lead free public tour Saturday

Soda Lakes, one of the stops on the Earth Science Week field trip, is also the site of Nevada’s youngest volcanos. The Soda Lakes are two lakes located northwest of Fallon. They occupy two basaltic maar volcanoes which may have erupted in the last 1500 years. The reflection on Soda Lake was shot by Chip Carron in the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and is featured in the Bureau’s new 2019 calendar.

10/11/2018 | By: Mike Wolterbeek |

Some of the geologic wonders of Nevada will be celebrated as part of national Earth Science Week with a day-long field trip around northern Nevada led by geologists from the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. 

The free public field trip begins at 8 a.m., Sat., Oct. 13. Participants will meet at the Gold Building – the NBMG’s Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library at 2175 Raggio Parkway in Reno, and leave by 8:30 a.m. The last stop will be Soda Lakes at about 4:45 p.m. and then return to Reno. 

Participants coming from Fallon, Fernley or Carson City should meet at 9:15 a.m. at the Fox Peak Gas Station (615 E. Williams Ave. in Fallon), 0.5 miles east of Maine Street on Highway 50, at N. Sherman St. Someone from NBMG will be at the gas station to give a short introduction and hand out guidebooks. The tour will depart from the Fox Peak Gas Station at 9:30 a.m. 

Major stops on this field trip will include the following:
• Salt Wells geothermal power plant
• Rainbow Mountain earthquake fault scarp
• “Nevada Wonderstone” rockhounding locality
• “Big Dig” flood mitigation project in Lahontan Valley
• Rattlesnake Hill, a “young” (<1 million year old) volcanic cinder cone and lava flow complex overlooking Fallon
• Soda Lake volcanoes (youngest in Nevada)

Trip leaders will be NBMG geologists Craig dePolo, Christopher Henry, James Faulds (Director), Andrew Zuza and Rachel Micander.

 The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, a statewide public service unit within the University’s College of Science, coordinates annual geology field trips every year for the public during, or near, Earth Science Week. These field trips are fun, educational, family oriented and always free. Sign-ups are online at

Governor Sandoval has proclaimed Oct.14-20, 2018 as Earth Science Week in Nevada. Join the scientists Sat., Oct. 13 as they explain the geology of the Fallon area in celebration of Earth Science Week 2018 and the importance of earth sciences to the people of the state of Nevada.

NBMG has been an active participant in Earth Science Week since it began in 1998.

 “Since October 1998, the American Geosciences Institute has organized this national and international event to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. This year's Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme "Earth as Inspiration." The coming year's event will emphasize artistic expression as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century.” (Earth Science Week website)

The National Earth Science Week website is


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