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UTPB Geology Field Trips


Rocks

It's been said that "the best geologist is the one who has seen the most rocks."

Weekend field trips from UTPB can easily reach areas of active sand dunes, active faulting, Tertiary calderas, well-displayed astroblemes, a Paleozoic fold and thrust belt, outstanding exposures of the world's largest reef complex, Laramide tectonic features, Basin and Range tectonic features, and exposures of a vast array of Precambrian through Recent stratigraphy.

Professional geologists are welcome to accompany us on any of these trips. It provides a good way to get to know students who might be prospective future employees. If interested, please contact any of the faculty for information on dates and times for each semester's trips.

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The Monahans sand dunes and Odessa Meteor Crater are only a half-hour drive from campus. Within a half-day drive, or less, in any direction are classic geologic localities. To the east is the Llano Uplift where students and faculty have conducted mapping in Precambrian, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic rocks for more than a quarter century.

To the north are the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyon State Parks where the Red River slashes through the Llano Estacado exposing Permian and Triassic red beds.

To the west are the Guadalupe Mountains with their spectacular exposures of the Capitan Reef and its associated facies.

Farther west is the Basin and Range Province with all of its attendant features of Quaternary faulting, basin fills, basalt volcanoes, and salt playas.

To the southwest in the Chihuahuan Desert is the Trans-Pecos Volcanic field with numerous, Tertiary calderas that spewed out voluminous and varied volcanic material.

To the South is the Marathon fold belt and The Solitario which are interpreted to be an extension of the Ouachita orogenic belt. Farther to the south is Big Bend National Park where Tertiary deformation of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks created folds, normal faults, thrust faults, monoclines, grabens, and strike slip faults. Big Bend also contains a variety of igneous rocks including laccoliths, large dikes, a plethora of volcanic flows, calderas, sills, stocks, plutons, and plugs.

These areas are some of the more famous nearby geology locales in Texas. However, parts of Mexico and New Mexico also fall within that half-day-drive radius and also contain exciting geology.