Tag Archives: death valley

Death Valley National Park Revisited

I first visited Death Valley National Park in California a couple of years ago on an undergraduate geology field trip. Since then it’s been one of my favorite national parks for a number of reasons. First, it’s a vast, remote expanse … Continue reading

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Textbook Alluvial Fans

Alluvial fans are common geologic features in basin and range provinces like the one in the American southwest.  They’re composed of sand and gravel that has been eroded from mountains, transported by water, and then deposited in enormous fan-like shapes … Continue reading

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Death Valley: The Devil’s Cornfield

One interesting location in Death Valley is The Devil’s Cornfield.  The plants here aren’t corn, they’re arrowweed (Pluchea sericea, Asteraceae). From what I understand, this plant gets its name because native Americans used its straight woody shoots in the construction … Continue reading

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Death Valley: Mosaic Canyon

One of the many stops on my final undergraduate geology field trip this March was at Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley National Park, California.  This canyon is fascinating because it illuminates the history of this location over the last 700 … Continue reading

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Lessons From the Field #4: Elevation matters

In a continuation of my previous discussion about my trip to Death Valley this March, I wanted to bring up the profound impact elevation has on temperature.  When we arrived at Furnace Creek the first night it was in the … Continue reading

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Lessons From the Field #3: Don’t feed the !@(*&# wildlife

This past March I went on a great geology field trip across northern Arizona, eastern California, and southern Nevada and Utah.  The biggest stop on the trip involved two days in Death Valley National Park.  This park is huge, and … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Desert holly

Although this plant is called desert holly (Atriplex hymenelytra, Amaranthaceae), it’s unrelated to true hollies (Ilex sp., Aquifoliaceae).  The common name comes from the resemblance of the leaves and red fruit to those found on true hollies.

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