Join Southwest Seminars and Vulcanologist, Dr. Kirt Kempter, on a day hike to the scenic Ball Ranch, a seldom visited public land. Learn about the geologic story told here from the Cretaceous to the Tertiary and the eventual demise of the Ortiz Volcanic System. A major east to west arroyo cuts through the ranch area which is located southeast of San Felipe Pueblo. View an entire sequence of Cretaceous to Tertiary strata that are exposed along an arroyo. The strata are tilted approximately 20 degrees down to the east. As we hike down the arroyo toward the west we move through progressively older strata. On its east side the arroyo passes through the Espinoso Ridge composed of volcanic and sedimentary deposits from the Ortiz Volcanic Center which was active between 30 to 26 million years ago. On the west side of the ridge are exposures of older Tertiary strata including the Galisteo Formation and the Diamond Tail Formation. From there we enter the Cretaceous sea deposits including fossiliferous strata with common oyster and reef beds. An extra ‘Kirt carrot’ is the opportunity to see a petrified forest. Participants should be able to hike 5 miles on rocky uneven terrain with an elevation gain of 50 feet.

$165 pp. Includes Study leader honorarium, picnic lunch, our services and fees

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