Public Release: 

Fractures, fossils and fumaroles: GSA Rocky Mountain section meeting

Rocky Mountain Section Meeting in Casper, Wyoming, USA, 21-23 May 2015

Geological Society of America

Geoscientists to Meet in Casper, Wyoming, USA to Present Ground-Breaking Discoveries in the Rockies: Fractures, Fossils, and Fumaroles The Geological Society of America Rocky Mountain Section Meeting 21-23 May 2015

Boulder, Colorado, USA - Geoscientists from the across the Rocky Mountain region and beyond will convene in Casper, Wyoming, on 21-23 May to discuss hot-topic science, expand on current findings, and explore the region's unique geologic features. The Casper College Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the University of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Geological Association (WGA) will host the meeting.

Organizers have developed a technical program covering a broad scope of topics, including the fields of Cenozoic volcanism; structural geology; paleontology; paleobiology and sedimentology; geomorphology; geophysics and hydrology; applications in GIS; and mining and industry. The meeting's location at the base of Casper Mountain along the North Platte River and the southern margin of the Powder River Basin provides a world-class energy resource and geologic setting and for the conference field trips.

Proposed field trips for this event include one for geoscience educators to Alcova Reservoir, Fremont Canyon, and the Cottonwood Creek Dinosaur Trail; volcanic and tectonic features of Yellowstone and northwest Wyoming; and "Powder River Basin: From Outcrop to Oilfield."

The meeting's Keynote Address will be delivered by Robert B. Smith of the University of Utah titled, "A Career of Yellowstone Research and Discoveries," describing his 57 years of Yellowstone research, including co-authoring Windows into the Earth with Lee J. Siegel.

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into four symposia and 12 themed sessions plus an array of research in general discipline areas. Go to to learn more.


Applications for GIS and Geospatial Data in the Geosciences Abstracts: Sample presentation: Preliminary GIS Evaluation of Ground Movement at Cook Lake, Wyoming: Cook Lake is a recreation area located approximately 15 miles north of Sundance, Wyoming, in the Black Hills National Forest. Massive landslide activity has been documented at Cook Lake multiple years, including 1957, 1963-1964, and most recently in 1997-1998, the latter of which coincided with a record high precipitation year: Lead author: Alyssa Biel, South Dakota School of Mines,


Mineralogy, Petrology, and Mining Abstracts: Sample presentation: Application of High Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography in Economic Geology: High resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT), the industrial equivalent of medical CAT scanning, provides a means for non-destructive studies of the three-dimensional nature of geological materials. Although CT has applications to diverse natural and synthetic materials, it is particularly effective in the study of metallic ores that commonly contain minerals spanning the range of densities of natural materials: Lead author: J. Richard Kyle, The University of Texas at Austin,


The Continental Triassic: Sedimentary and Paleobiologic Records throughout the Rocky Mountain Region Abstracts: Sample presentation: The "Hidden" Biodiversity and Ecology of Early Triassic Organisms Revealed by Trace Fossils from the Moenkopi Formation of Central Utah: The Lower-Middle Triassic Moenkopi Formation in central Utah is devoid of body fossils. However, tracks attributed to reptiles have long been known from the Torrey Member, which was deposited by a large, prograding delta during the Early Triassic. Recently discovered vertebrate track sites from this unit and the invertebrate trace fossils associated with them are beginning to reveal the "hidden" biodiversity of this ancient deltaic ecosystem: Lead author: Tracy J. Thomson, University of California, Davis,

View the complete session schedule by day or search the program by keywords at Click on session titles for a list of presentations, and click on presentations for the individual abstracts.

Local contact information:

Meeting website:


Eligibility for media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide, recognized news media with a press card, letter or business card from the publication.
  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, ISWA, CSWA, ACS, ABSW, EUSJA, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2014 or 2015.
  • PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Present media credentials to Lindsey Henslee onsite at the GSA registration desk to obtain a badge for media access. Complimentary meeting registration covers attendance at all technical sessions and access to the exhibit hall. Journalists and PIOs must pay regular fees for paid luncheons and any short courses or field trips in which they participate. Representatives of the business side of news media, publishing houses, and for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk and pay the appropriate fees.

For additional information and assistance, contact Christa Stratton, GSA Director of Communications, at the address above.


The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 25,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.

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