Field Trip Day One: Birch Creek, White Mountains, California
Mark D. Barton, 2000. "Field Trip Day One: Birch Creek, White Mountains, California", Part I. Contrasting Styles of Intrusion-Associated Hydrothermal Systems: Part II. Geology & Gold Deposits of the Getchell Region, John H. Dilles, Mark D. Barton, David A. Johnson, John M. Proffett, Marco T. Einaudi, Elizabeth Jones Crafford
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This Paper provides the log for the first full day of the field trip. Day 1 will be spent in the Birch Creek area, east of Bishop in the southeastern White Mountains. There are several goals to the Birch Creek day:
To see one of the best-exposed examples of a Cretaceous two-mica granite pluton in the Great Basin with its distinctive style of emplacement and hydrothermal alteration;
To examine the relationships among magmatism, structural development, and emplacement;
To examine the links between magmatism and hydro-thermal activity;
To ask the questions: Why are these Late Cretaceous systems in the Great Basin not well mineralized? What differs between these systems and better-mineralized Late Mesozoic examples elsewhere in the circum-Pacific?
To consider how the characteristics of and processes in these granite-related systems compare with other intrusion-related hydrothermal systems, specifically in the Yerington district and in the Humboldt mafic complex.
See the accompanying paper (Barton, 2000) for an introduction to the Birch Creek system as a whole and its broader context. Some local terminology used in this field guide is defined there.
It is important to get an early start as this is the most challenging day of the field trip because of logistics and length and because it is second only to the skarn traverse at Yering-ton in the physical exertion required. If the upper Mollie Gibson road is impassable due to snow, ice, or obstacles, hiking in and/or alternative stops can be considered.