This two-day fieldtrip will visit the Imperial Valley, home to the world renowned Salton Sea geothermal field. The tour begins with a stop at Painted Canyon in the Mecca Hills to observe the San Andreas Fault up-close where discussion of local structures will explain the unique geologic setting of the Salton Trough. The trip will also include a stop at Red Hill (one of the Quaternary volcanos that make up the Salton Buttes), and nearby fumaroles and hot springs to discuss the geothermal activity and future potential for the Salton Sea area (including mineral extraction). A tour of Hudson Ranch’s geothermal power plant and CalEnergy’s wellfield will round out the discussion at the Salton Sea. The fieldtrip will also include a drive along the US/Mexico border (and nearby solar farms) on the way to Ormat’s Heber geothermal power plant for a tour. The final stops on the way back to Palm Springs will include a visit to “slab city” (just outside of the town of Niland) to see Salvation Mountain and a flowing hot well, and a stop at the Wister mud pots along Highway 111, where the movement of a mud pot has created a dangerous situation for the integrity of the highway and Union Pacific railroad. We look forward to having you join us on this trip to the Imperial Valley, which has become a significant hot spot for renewable energy – with production from geothermal, solar, wind and biofuel – and possibly soon to be one of the most important regions for lithium mining. Cost includes transportation, some meals and Wednesday night lodging (double occupancy).
9/18/2019 2:00 PM - 9/19/2019 6:00 PM