Department Field Trip Visits CA Volcanoes

At the start of each academic year the Geology Department takes a multi-day trip to renew friendships, share stories from the summer, and indulge our love of geology. This year, after a long drive north, we had the pleasure of visiting the Mt. Shasta and Medicine Lake volcanoes, located just shy of the California-Oregon border.

In addition to appreciating the iconic topography of these stratocone (Shasta) and shield (Medicine Lake) edifices (see below), we were grateful to our host, Dr. Bill Hirt, for exposing us to a wide array of volcanic landforms and processes. In two days we put our hands on low- and high-silica lava flows, lahar and pyroclastic deposits, several kinds of small hydrovolcanic constructs, the insides of lava tubes and spatter cones, materials emplaced during a giant debris avalanche, and we got to crawl into an array of 50′ deep ground cracks that formed above a shallow dike. Toss in lunch on the second day by a lovely lake in the caldera of Medicine Lake and a bunch of other great meals, some pleasant camping, and lovely weather, and you begin to understand why we were all reluctant to head home! It was a great trip with a fabulous group of students, one that will be tough to beat!