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Volcanoes in Joshua Tree National Park


Investigate the natural architecture and origin of Joshua Tree National Park’s fantastic volcanic geology with Richard Hazlett, co-author of Joshua Tree National Park Geology. Starting in the classroom, participants will be introduced to basic geologic principles and then Hazlett will focus on one of the park’s spectacular features – Malapai Hill. Possibly the throat of an ancient volcano, Malapai Hill is a basalt tower that stands 400 feet tall in the middle of Pleasant Valley. It contains magnificent columnar jointed basalt formed by magma that rose 30 miles through the earth before solidifying at the top. Hazlett will discuss this ancient volcano and how its formation provides a window into the Earth’s mantle. The class will then travel to Malapai Hill for a field session to experience this iconic example in person. Participants will learn about differential erosion on the way to the top of Malapai Hill. For those new to geology or experienced geologists, Hazlett will make learning about this complex and unique landscape comprehensible and fun.

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Joshua Tree Gateway Communities, Palm Springs & Coachella Valley, Las Vegas Area, Southern Utah, Inland Empire & Victor Valley, SoCal Mountains & Pass Areas