Gas, Geese & Gryphons: Natural History of the Salton Sea

Sunday, January 18, 2015 - 8:00am to 4:00pm

Instructor: Paul Johnson
$70 / $60 for ABF Members
$40 for ABDSP and ABF Volunteers (Call to register)

On this tour we will see thousands of snow geese and many other migratory waterfowl, geothermal power plants, vast salt and mud flats, 50 million barnacles, and some strange and mysterious geologic features which are making quite a splash. Over the past couple of years the level of the sea has been dropping, and a new field of mud pots and mud volcanoes have been uncovered. Unlike the mud features which we have visited in previous years, these new ones are extremely active, with substantial columns of steam, large exploding gas bubbles, and dramatic surges of boiling-hot mud. Their presence is a reminder of the volcanic activity which is widespread in this part of south-eastern California. By the way, gryphon is the geologic term for the small conical structure above a mud volcano.

Driving: While four-wheel-drive vehicles are not required, there will be a couple of rough dirt roads where high-clearance vehicles would be preferred. Total driving distance is approximately 120 miles. Please have a full gas tank when you arrive.

Hiking: There will be 3 or 4 easy, short walks.

Bring: Bring cameras, binoculars, warm clothing, water and lunch.  Our lunch stop will include picnic tables, restrooms and a small visitor center.

Meet: ABDSP Visitor Center Flagpole