Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Information Office

Contact: David A. Davis, Geologic Information Specialist
Phone No.: (775) 682-8767
Contact: Ron Hess, Chief Information Officer
Phone No.: (775) 784-6692
Location: Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library at the Desert Research Institute campus on Raggio Parkway
Fax No.: (775) 784-1709
E-Mail: nbmginfo@unr.edu
Hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm; Monday-Friday


Opportunities for Volunteers in the NBMG Information Office

CONTENTS

Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing Imagery
    Aerial Photography
    Remote Sensing Imagery

Archaeology, Genealogy, and History

Jay A. Carpenter Fund

Earth Science Information Center (ESIC)

Educational Materials

Engineering Geology Files

Fossil Collection and Identification
    Identification
    Kinds of Fossils
    Fossil Localities
    Restrictions on Collecting
    Maps and Literature
    Samples

Geologic and Environmental Hazards
    Abandoned Mine Dangers
    Earthquakes
    Environmental Impact Statements and Assessments
    Floods
    Landslides
    Leviathan Mine
    Liquefaction
    Mercury Contamination
    Mining Related Contamination
    Radon
    Subsidence
    Swelling Clay
    Water Contamination

Geothermal Resources
    Geothermal Developments - Historical Summary
    Geothermal Cuttings and Core
    Geothermal Well Records
    Warm and Hot Springs

Meteorite Collection and Identification
    Collection
    Identification

Mining
    Abandoned Mines
    Active Mines and Current Mineral Exploration
    Claim Staking, Mining Laws, Regulations, and Permits
    Commodity Reports
    Environmental Hazards
    Environmental Impact Statements and Assessments
    Laboratory Analysis
    Minerals Exploration Assistance Records Index (USGS OF03-94)
    Mining Company Annual Reports
    Mining District and General Geology Files
    Mining Company Stocks
    Mining History
    Mining Scams

Nuclear Activities: MX Project, Nevada Test Site, Project Faultless, Project Shoal, and Yucca Mountain Project
    MX Project
    Nevada Test Site
    Project Faultless
    Project Shoal
    Yucca Mountain Project

Oil, Gas, and Coal
    Coal
    Natural Gas
    Oil and Gas Developments Through 1986 - Historical Summary
    Oil and Gas Developments Since 1986
    Oil and Gas Well Cuttings and Core
    Oil and Gas Well Records
    Oil Shale

Publications, Open-File Reports, and Maps
    Geologic Maps and Data
    Geophysical Maps and Data
    Magnetic Declination
    Miscellaneous Maps, Reports, and Publications
    Open-File and Water Resource Investigation Reports
    Southern Pacific Railroad Maps and Reports
    Topographic Maps

Registration of Geologists and Geological Engineers

Rock and Mineral Collection and Identification and Recreational Prospecting
    Identification
    Kinds of Rocks and Minerals and Restrictions to Collecting
    Recreational Prospecting and Restrictions
    Collecting and Prospecting Localities and Maps and Literature
    Samples

Rock, Mineral, Core, and Cuttings Collections
    Keck Museum Rock and Mineral Collection
    Leached Outcrop Collection
    Mineral Exploration Core and Cuttings
    Nevada Mineralized Rock Sample Collection
    Nevada Rock Collection
    Nolan (Tonopah) Sample Collection
    Oil and Gas and Geothermal Cuttings and Core

Soil

U.S. Bureau of Mines
    Contacts and Publications
    Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and U. S. Bureau of Mines

Water Resources
    Dam, Ditches, Springs, Canals, Reclamation, Flood Control, etc.
    Geothermal Resources
    Nevada Division of Water Resources and Water Rights and Records
    Water Reports and Maps



AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND REMOTE SENSING IMAGERY

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

The Information Office has a large aerial photography collection. The vast majority of the photographs have been donated over the years and include projects from the Nevada Air National Guard, Nevada Department of Transportation, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Natural Resource and Conservation Service, and various private companies plus several internal projects. The Information also has a set of aerial photographs covering most of eastern Nevada taken as part of the MX Project. The Information Office does take in donations of Nevada-specific and near-Nevada aerial photographs when offered.

The various projects are not always complete, and the most extensive statewide coverage are several Army Map Service projects (1:60,000) from the 1950s and several USGS projects (1:80,000) from the 1970s. The bulk of the projects, however, are much more local in extent with various scales and dates. The Reno-Sparks area is generally but not completely covered by aerial photography for 1939, 1946, 1948, 1956, 1959, and multiple years for decades afterwards. The Carson City-Carson Valley area is generally but not completely covered for 1938, 1939, 1953, 1954, 1956, and multiple years for decades afterwards. The Las Vegas Valley and Pahrump area is generally but not completely covered for 1950, 1952, 1958, and multiple years for decades afterwards. The earliest aerial photography the Information Office has for other select areas are: Austin 1954, Battle Mtn. 1954, Caliente 1953, Carline, 1953, Elko 1953, Ely 1954, Eureka 1950, Fallon 1947, Fernley 1954, Gardnerville 1938, Goldfield 1952, Hawthorne 1954, Henderson 1950, Incline 1939, Lake Tahoe basin 1938-39, Lovelock 1946, Mesquite 1954, Minden 1938, Pioche 1953, Searchlight 1954, Stateline 1938, Tonopah 1954, Virginia City 1948, Wendover 1954, Winnemucca 1953, and Yerington 1938. The Information also has small files of a few small-scale aerial photographs for Susanville, the west side of Lake Tahoe, and Truckee.

The indexes are largely on paper and/or microfiche. Several projects are missing indexes or have cursory indexes hand drawn on topographic maps. Most of the more local Nevada Department of Transportation projects have a brief written geographic description. The Information Office may someday have digital indexes but presently lacks the funds and manpower for that project.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) part of the collection starts in 1959 and includes everything generally to within the last ten years flown by NDOT. For later projects, one should contact Imagery Services at NDOT in Carson City at (775) 888-7161. The Information Office can sell NDOT photography out of the drawer, but the charge is $30 per frame. See below for alternatives.

For the latest statewide coverage, the USGS flew most of Nevada as part of their National High Altitude Photography (NHAP) program in 1980 at 1:80,000 in black and white and 1:58,000 in color infrared. They flew southern Nevada in 1990 and most of the state again in 1993-94 and 1999 as part of their National Aerial Photography Project (NAPP) at 1:40,000 in black and white. The NHAP and NAPP projects generally do not cover the Nellis Air Force Range and the Nevada Test Site. The Information Office only have some photographs from these projects covering the Reno-Carson City urban corridor and many of the small towns. The Information Office has the NHAP and NAPP indexes on microfiche. However, it is best to contact the USGS (see address below) and view their electronic index and ordering instructions there.

The Information Office generally does not sell aerial photographs. As noted above, NDOT is one exception. For the Reno area, the Information Office has the negatives for several internal projects ("Slemmons Low Sun Angle" for the Reno-Stead to Garnerville area 1972, 1981 at 1:12,000; "Bell Low Sun Angle" 1979-80 for the Reno AMS sheet at 1:40,000; Nevada Air National Guard 1991 [also for Las Vegas Valley] at 1:60,000 from which standard 9"x9" prints can be made on campus for $10 each plus a $10 service fee. For other projects, one would have to contact the originating agency. Some contacts for archival aerial photography are:

IntraSearch:
Phone No.: (303) 759-0400 (Denver, CO)
Website: www.intrasearch.com

Nevada Department of Transportation Imagery Services:
Phone No.: (775) 888-7161 (Carson City, NV)
Website: None specific to NDOT Imagery Services

Spencer B. Gross, Inc.
Phone No.: (775) 826-4240 (Reno, NV)
Website: None

U.S. Bureau of Land Management NARSC Aerial Photo Lab:
Phone No.: (303) 236-7991 (Denver, CO)
Website: /www.co.blm.gov/gis/blmphoto.htm

U.S. Department of Agriculture Aerial Photography Field Office:
Note: Includes U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resource and Conservation Servicephotography after 1950. See National Archives for older photography.
Phone No.: (801) 975-3503 (Salt Lake City, UT)
Website: www.apfo.usda.gov/orderingimagery.html#anchor324087

USGS:
Phone Nos.: (800) 252-4547 (Sioux Falls, SD) or (888) ASK-USGS (Reston, VA)
Websites: http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov or http://edc.USGS.gov

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration:
Phone No.: (301) 713-6800 (College Park, MD)
Website:
www.nara.gov/publications/leaflets/gil26.html#aerial1

Whittier College, Fairchild Aerial Photography Collection:
Phone No.: (562) 907-4220 (Whittier, CA)
Website: www.whittier.edu/fairchild/home.html

The private companies listed above are included because they have an aerial photography archive, and this is not an endorsement of their services or products.

The Information Office collection is open for public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull aerial photographs. A voluntary $20 daily user's fee is requested to help cover staff time and maintenance of the collection. The Information Office can also do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. A search of one locality commonly takes about two hours to conduct and write up. The Information Office can make black and white photocopies of aerial photographs. The cost is 20¢ each for the customer and 60¢ each for us to do it for the customer. Our copier has a good photo setting. The Information Office does allow most aerial photographs to be borrowed for a few days for copying. The exception to this is hard-to-replace older aerial photographs of which the Information Office does not have duplicates, and any aerial photographs of which the Information Office does not have duplicates over heavy use areas. The cost is a $4 per print fee plus collateral of $20 per black and white print and $40 per color print.

REMOTE SENSING IMAGERY

The Information Office has a very small collection of remote sensing imagery. This consists of prints of Skylab and 1970s era ERTS MS scenes and over Nevada. The Information Office also has microfiche indexes for Landsat imagery through the early 1990s.

A statewide collection of 1984-86 and 1992-93 Landsat Thematic Mapper data is available on-line from the University of Nevada, Reno, at keck.library.unr.edu. These data sets have had minimal processing and are available for free download. These images are in single band files and very large. If you do not have a high speed internet connection, you can download these files from computers located at the DeLaMare Library at the University of Nevada, Reno. However, you must supply your own media.

Some other contacts for archival satellite imagery are:

Spin-2 (Russia):
Phone No.: (800) 448-7397 (Raleigh, NC)
Website: www.spin-2.com

Spot Image Corporation (France):
Phone No.: (703) 715-3100 (Reston, VA)
Website: www.spot.com

USGS:
Phone No.: (800) 252-4547 (Sioux Falls, SD) or (888) ASK-USGS (Reston, VA)
Websites: http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov, http://edc.USGS.gov, and http://landsat7.USGS.gov

The private companies listed above are noted because they have a satellite imagery archive, and this is not an endorsement of their services or products.



ARCHAEOLOGY, GENEALOGY, AND HISTORY

NBMG is the state GEOLOGICAL survey and has neither an archaeologist, a genealogist, nor a historian on its staff. However, the historical information in the Mining District Files, the aerial photograph collection, and some of the other materials in the Information Office have been used often in archaeological and historical research but are of limited genealogical use. NBMG is neither a regulatory agency nor is required to archive the records of other agencies except for copies of oil and gas and geothermal records, and Nevada Department of Transportation aerial photographs.

As an added note to genealogists, NBMG does not have files on individual miners or personnel records of mining companies. However, some potentially useful publications are the annual or biennial Report of the State Mineralogist which covers 1866-1878 and reviews districts and mining operations, the annual or biennial Nevada State Inspector of Mines Report which covers 1910-1940 and lists injured or killed miners among other things, and Nevada, Mines, Mills, and Smelters which covers 1943-1971 and lists mines and some statistics about them. These can be researched at the Nevada State Library and Archives (see below) and the DeLaMare Library (see below). Another useful source of information are the mining claim location records, which are kept by the individual county recorders and after 1976, also by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The materials in the Information Office collections are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files. The Information Office can also do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10c per letter- and legal- and 20c per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30c per letter- and legal- and 60c per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length.

There are a number of other agencies, however, that may be useful for archaeological, genealogical, and/or historical research. These include but are not limited to:

Anthropology Department, University of Nevada, Reno
Phone No.: (775) 784-6704
Website: www.unr.edu/artsci/anthro

Business and Government Information Center, Getchell Library, University of Nevada, Reno
Phone No.: (775) 784-6500 x257
Website: www.library.unr.edu/depts/bgic

Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society
Phone No.: (702) 225-5838
Website: www.lvrj.com/communitylink/ccngs

DeLaMare (Mining and Engineering) Library, University of Nevada, Reno
Phone No.: (775) 784-6945
Website: www.delamare.unr.edu

Nevada Division of Museums and History
Phone No.: (775) 687-4340
Website: http://dmla.clan.lib.nv.us/docs/museum

Nevada Historical Society
Phone No. (775) 688-1190
Website: http://dmla.clan.lib.nv.us/docs/museums/reno/his-soc.htm

Nevada State Genealogical Society
Phone No: None
Website: www.rootsweb.com/~nvsgs

Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
Phone No. (775) 684-3448
Website: http://dmla.clan.lib.nv.us/docs/shpo

Nevada State Library and Archives
Phone No. (775) 688-1190
Website: http://dmla.clan.lib.nv.us/docs/nsla

Nevada State Museum and Historical Society
Phone No. (702) 486-5205
Website: http://dmla.clan.lib.nv.us/docs/museums/lv/vegas.html

Northeastern Nevada Genealogical Society
Phone No.: None
Website: www.rootsweb.com/~nvnengs

Special Collections, Getchell Library, University of Nevada, Reno
Phone No.: (775) 784-6500 x327
Website: www.library.unr.edu/specoll

White Pine Historical and Archaeological Society
Phone No.: None
Website: www.webpanda.com/white_pine_county/historical_society



EARTH SCIENCE INFORMATION CENTER (ESIC)

The Information Office is one of two Earth Science Information Centers (ESIC) for Nevada. The other is located at: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Government Publications Department, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154, (702)895-4966 (voice), (702)895-3050 (fax).

The USGS operates a network of over 75 ESIC's in the United States. Some are operated by the USGS, but most are in other State or Federal agencies. Each ESIC responds to requests for information received by phone, letter, e-mail, or personal visit. The ESIC's are known to many customers as the map stores. USGS topographic maps, which are also available from thousands of private dealers, can be purchased at many of the ESIC's. The Information Office is next to the NBMG Publication Sales Office which sells topographic maps and other USGS products. ESIC's, however, are much more. An arm of the USGS National Mapping Division, they are the primary source of public information on all the cartographic activities of the Division as well as the earth science products of the Survey's Geologic and Water Resources Divisions. For detailed geologic and hydrologic information, ESIC personnel will refer inquiries to information offices in the appropriate divisions. Along these lines, the Information Office contains many USGS publications, open-file reports, and water resources reports and information on finding and ordering aerial photographs and other imagery. Most topics on the Information Office website will answer most questions commonly directed towards most ESIC's.



EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS



ENGINEERING GEOLOGY FILES

The Information Office has a small collection of engineering studies and reports. Many are site specific reports done by private companies and donated by their clients. Most such reports commonly held in confidentiality by the company and client, but the Information Office is open to the donation of such reports that are released for public viewing. The collection also contains the data and reports that went into the creation of some of our urban folio maps and some other regional studies. The collection is presently indexed on paper and not electronically. The collection is open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files. The Information Office can also do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length.



FOSSIL COLLECTION AND IDENTIFICATION

IDENTIFICATION

People can bring fossils to Information Office for identification, and it costs nothing for us to look at them. However, NBMG does not have a fossil expert on its staff. The Department of Geological Sciences on the University of Nevada, Reno campus can also be contacted at (775) 784-6050 for the name of their paleontologist. Their website is www.mines.unr.edu/geology/.

KINDS OF FOSSILS

Nevada has within its boundaries many types of fossilized plants and animal remains, from single-celled plants to giant reptiles and trees. Most abundant are the corals and shell fossils, including brachiopods, pelecypods, gastropods, and cephalopods.

FOSSIL LOCALITIES

Generally, the mountain ranges of the eastern part of the state are most rewarding for the collector of shells. Volcanic and metamorphic rocks are more prevalent in the western half of the state, which makes for poor collecting for all but Tertiary gastropods, leaves, fish, diatoms, and small mammals. A few exceptions do exist which includes Ichthyosaur State Park near Berlin and the shores of Rye Patch Reservoir north of Lovelock. These sites have yielded large mammals and reptiles.

Mammalian vertebrate remains, including bones and teeth of ancestral horses, camels, rhinoceros, and occasional mammoths have been found in large valleys in the state which were sites of lakes during the Pleistocene Epoch. Some localities have yielded remains of early rabbits, beavers, and other small mammals.

RESTRICTIONS ON COLLECTING

One should always contact the owner before collecting on private property. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management oversees most of Nevada's public lands, and the following is from their brochure Collecting on Public Lands:

"Vertebrate fossils such as dinosaurs, mammals, fishes and reptiles, and uncommon invertebrate fossils may be collected only by trained researchers under BLM permit. Collected fossils remain the property of all Americans and are placed with museums or other public institutions after study.

Common invertebrate fossils such as plants, mollusks, and trilobites may be collected for personal use in reasonable quantities, but may not be bartered or sold.

Petrified wood may be collected up to 25 pounds plus one piece per person per day, with a maximum of 250 pounds per person per year. Permits are required for pieces over 250 pounds. Petrified wood may not be traded, bartered or sold without permit.

Cave resources, including plant, animal and geologic features, are federally protected and may not be altered, damaged or removed."

The same general rules apply to land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, but collectors should check with that agency for additional restrictions. Collecting fossils are generally prohibited in National Parks, and trespassing and collecting is illegal on Indian Reservations without permission from the tribal authorities. Trespassing and collecting are illegal and dangerous on lands controlled by the Military.

MAPS AND LITERATURE

There are few publications dealing with popular paleontology in Nevada. The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology has published Special Publication No. 5, Child of the Rocks, the Story of Berlin - Ichthyosaur State Park (cost is $3.00). Most other papers to date have been scientific and technical. The best sources of these detailed papers are the USGS and the Journal ofPaleontology. Bulletins of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology deal with the geology, paleontology, and mineral resources of particular counties in the state. These contain useful information on what rock formations contain fossils. Some reports are also indexed with the open-file reports in the Information Office. If a library near you does not have these publications, they can probably obtain them for you through inter-library loan. A great fossil identification book has been published by the National Audubon Society and is available in most large book stores.

Topographic maps at various scales are published by the USGS and can be found in our NBMG Publication Sales Office; blueprint stores; bookstores; and in hiking, hunting, and fishing stores. A free index to USGS maps is available by writing to the USGS, Box 25286, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 or calling (888) ASK-USGS .

SAMPLES

If you have need of a certain rock, mineral, or fossil, the Information Office suggests that you contact nationally recognized commercial supply houses. A few are listed below:

D. J. Minerals, P.O. Box 761, 1001 S. Montana Street, Butte MT 59703-0761
Phone No.: (406) 782-7339

Ward's Natural Science Establishment, Box 24, Rochester, NY 14601
Phone No.: (800) 962-2660
Website: http://www.wardsci.com

Geological Enterprises, Box 925, 308 Stolfa Street, SE, Ardmore, OK 73401-6098
Phone No.: (580) 223-8537



GEOLOGIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

All materials in the following collections are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files. The Information Office can also do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. Many publications listed below are available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office, but otherwise the copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length.

ABANDONED MINE DANGERS (MODIFIED FROM NBMG SPECIAL PUBLICATION P-2)

No one should attempt to explore an abandoned mine as there are many dangers. When an accident does occur at an abandoned mine, please call the county sheriff. No inexperienced person should attempt to rescue the victim of a mine accident. The county sheriff is in the best position to organize a rescue operation. Attempting to rescue a person from a mine accident is usually difficult and dangerous for both the victim and the rescuer. Even professional rescue teams face death or injury, though trained to avoid all unnecessary risks. It makes no sense to kill one person to rescue another. Anyone, adults as well as children, should consider the extreme dangers even to highly trained rescue teams, when tempted to enter mines for any reason.

Do not vandalize. Fences, barricades, and warning signs are there for your safety. Disturbing or vandalizing them is dangerous. Mine owners have constructed these safeguards at their expense for your protection. Please cooperate with their efforts. Those who remove tools, equipment, building materials, and other objects from mines and buildings around mines do not go home with souvenirs, but with stolen property. Many mines that look abandoned are private property they are only idle, and waiting to be reworked.

Also, the Nevada Division of Minerals has an Abandoned Mine Lands Program that deals with the hazards of abandoned mines (see . The following is modified from NBMG Special Publication P-2, which can be obtained for free from the NBMG Publication Sales Office and lists some of the dangers to be found around old abandoned mines.

BAD AIR: "Bad air" contains poisonous gases or insufficient oxygen. Poisonous gases can accumulate in low areas or along the floor. A person may enter such areas breathing the good air above the gases but the motion caused by walking will mix the gases with the good air, producing a possibly lethal mixture for him to breathe on the return trip. Because little effort is required to go down a ladder, the effects of "bad air" may not be noticed, but when climbing out of a shaft, a person requires more oxygen and breathes more deeply. The result is dizziness, followed by unconsciousness. If the gas doesn't kill, the fall will.

CAVE-INS: Cave-ins are an obvious danger. Areas that are likely to cave often are hard to detect. Minor disturbances, such as vibrations caused by walking or speaking, may cause a cave-in. If a person is caught, he can be crushed to death. A less cheerful possibility is to be trapped behind a cave-in without anyone knowing you are there. Death may come through starvation, thirst, or gradual suffocation.

EXPLOSIVES: Many abandoned mines contain old explosives left by previous workers. This is extremely dangerous. Explosives should never be handled by anyone not thoroughly familiar with them. Even experienced miners hesitate to handle old explosives. Old dynamite sticks and caps can explode if stopped on or just touched.

LADDERS: Ladders in most abandoned mines are unsafe. Ladder rungs are missing or broken. Some will fail under the weight of a child because of dry rot. Vertical ladders are particularly dangerous.

RATTLESNAKES: Old mine tunnels and shafts are among their favorite haunts-to cool off in summer, or to search for rodents and other small animals. Any hole or ledge, especially near the mouth of the tunnel or shaft, can conceal a snake.

SHAFTS: The collar or top of a mineshaft is especially dangerous. The fall down a deep shaft is just as lethal as the fall from a tall building-with the added disadvantage of bouncing from wall to wall in a shaft and the likelihood of having failing rocks and timbers for company. Even if a person survived such a fall, it may be impossible to climb back out. The rock at the surface is often decomposed. Timbers may be rotten or missing. It is dangerous to walk anywhere near a shaft opening-the whole area is often ready and waiting to slide into the shaft, along with the curious. A shaft sunk inside a tunnel is called a winze. In many old mines, winzes have been boarded over. If these boards have decayed, a perfect trap is waiting.

TIMBER: The timber in abandoned mines can be weak from decay. Other timber, although apparently in good condition, may become loose and fall at the slightest touch. A well-timbered mine opening can look very solid when in fact the timber can barely support its own weight. There is the constant danger of inadvertently touching a timber and causing the tunnel to collapse.

WATER: Many tunnels have standing pools of water, which could conceal holes in the floor. Pools of water also are common at the bottom of shafts. It is usually impossible to estimate the depth of the water, and a false step could lead to drowning.

EARTHQUAKES

Nevada is the third most seismically active state in the United States (after Alaska and California. Two on-line publications concerning earthquakes in Nevada are NBMG Educational Series E-16 Earthquakes in Nevada and How to Survive Them and NBMG Special Publication SP-27 Living with Earthquakes in Nevada. E-27 Terremotos en Nevada y como sobrevivirlos is a Spanish version of E-16, and it along with E-16 and SP-27 are available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office.

Other NBMG publications on earthquakes available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office include:
NBMG Map M-79 Quaternary Fault Map of Nevada - Reno Sheet (1:250,000-scale Reno AMS quad),
NBMG Map M-119 Earthquakes in Nevada 1852-1998,
NBMG Open-File Report 98-6 Proceedings of a Conference on Seismic Hazards in the Las Vegas Region; and NBMG Special Publication SP-20 Planning Scenario For a Major Earthquake in Western Nevada.

The NBMG Publication Sales Office also sells NBMG Urban Area Maps for earthquake hazards. These use the 7.5' topographic maps for a base and contain the known faults color coded as to age of last movement (if known) and zones of relative potential shaking. They do not have the Uniform Building Code zones designated. The maps available are: Carson City 1Ai, Genoa 1Ci, Mt. Rose NE 4Bi, New Empire 1Bi, Reno 4Ai, Reno NE 4Ci, Reno NW 4Di, South Lake Tahoe 2Ai, and Washoe City 5An (listed as a geologic hazards map). These maps do imply areas of potential liquefaction, but the Information Office has no liquifaction maps per se.
The Urban Area Maps are the most detailed earthquake maps available for the state. Most of the rest of the state is covered by USGS maps:
MF-2174 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Vya 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada, Oregon, and California;
MF-2175 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Winnemucca 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada;
MF-2176 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Millett 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada;
MF-2177 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the McDermitt 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho;
MF-2178 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Lovelock 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada;
MF-2179 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Elko 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada and Utah;
MF-2180 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Lund 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada and Utah;
MF-2181 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Ely 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada and Utah;
MF-2182 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Las Vegas 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada, California, and Arizona;
MF-2183 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Goldfield 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada and California; and
MF-2184 Reconnaissance Photogeologic Map of Young Faults in the Wells 1° by 2° Quadrangle, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho.

These maps use the 1:250,000-scale AMS topographic base map and contain the locations of Quaternary faults and lineaments.

The Information Office also contains a file of other Nevada-related reports and maps. Most are indexed in the Open-File Reports Database, which contains at least 30 entries relating to earthquakes.

Some earthquake hazard information and data are also available in the Engineering Geology Files. For more information concerning earthquakes please check the Nevada Seismological Laboratory website and the USGS earthquake website.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS

The Information Office commonly receives environmental impact statements and assessments for projects involving Federal land. Those specific to mining operations are filed in the Mining District Files and are indexed as part of that system. Those not specific to mining are filed separately, and as yet are not indexed. These include ones for land transfers or withdrawals such as for military use or wilderness and conservation areas, pipelines, and land use planning. Environmental impact statements for the Yucca Mountain Project and Nevada Test Site are filed separately and indexed with open file reports. The Information Office does not have a copy of the environmental impact statement for the proposed Reno train trench. The collection is not complete, and one should also contact the appropriate Federal agencies whose land is involved or with libraries carrying Federal documents such as the Business and Government Information Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, Getchell Library at (775) 784-6500 x257. The collection is open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files.

FLOODS

Periodic flooding should be a major concern of property owners along Nevada's rivers and creeks and dry washes. The 1997 New Year's flood was the latest reminder of this for the people of northern Nevada, and the sporadic flash floods down the Las Vegas Wash are reminders for the people of southern Nevada. The numerous dry washes and arroyos across the state are commonly the sites of flash floods, especially during thunderstorms.

The Information Office has a set of Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Maps covering the State of Nevada. These show the areas affected by 100-year and 500-year floods. These maps are indexed on paper but not electronically. The NBMG Publication Sales Office sells NBMG Urban Area Maps for flood and debris-flow hazards and slope, which use 7.5' topographic maps for a base. Flood and debris-flow hazards are available for Carson City 1Al, Genoa 1Cl, Las Vegas SE 3Al, Las Vegas SW 3Bl, South Lake Tahoe 2Al, and Washoe City 5Al. The NBMG Publication Sales Office also sells NBMG Special Publication SP-23 The 1997 New Year's Floods in Western Nevada, which details the 1997 New Year's flood and discusses earlier floods in western Nevada.

The USGS has information on floods and flooding, and the Open-File Report Database has a few publications on floods and flooding. For information on a particular site, one may also check with the local county engineer's office or hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a site study. For information on flood control projects, one may also check with local county engineer's office, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

LANDSLIDES

The Information Office has no comprehensive list or map of landslides or areas of potential landslides. Some, but not all, geologic maps do show landslides. The NBMG Publication Sales Office also sells NBMG Urban Area Maps for flood and debris-flow hazards and slope, which use 7.5' topographic maps for a base. Flood and debris-flow hazards are available for Carson City 1Al, Genoa 1Cl, Las Vegas SE 3Al, Las Vegas SW 3Bl, South Lake Tahoe 2Al, and Washoe City 5Al. Slope maps, which color code percent slope, are available for Boulder City 3Eb, Boulder City NW 3Fb, Carson City 1Ab, Elko East 6Bb, Elko West 6Ab, Ely 7Ab, Griffith Canyon (see Spanish Springs Valley NW), Henderson, 3Gb, Las Vegas NE 3Cb, Las Vegas SE 3Ab, Las Vegas SW 3Bb, Mt. Rose NE 4Bb, New Empire 1Bb, Reno 4Ab, Reno NE 4Cb, Reno NW 4Db, South Lake Tahoe 2Ab, Spanish Springs Valley NW 4Eb, Steamboat 4Fb, Verdi 4Gb, Vista 4Hb, and Washoe City 5Ab. Of course, the percent slope can also be calculated from a topographic map for a given area.

Aerial photographs can be useful in determining areas of past and potential future landslides, and some of the Earthquake Hazards maps in the NBMG Urban Area Maps (see Earthquakes above) imply some areas of potential landslides. The USGS has some landslide information, and the Open-Files Report Database has several generalized publications on landslides. For information on a particular site, one may also check with the local county engineer's office or hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a site study.

LEVIATHAN MINE

The Mining District Files include a small file on the Leviathan Mine. The Leviathan Mine in Sections 15 and 22, T10N, R21E in Alpine County, California, was operated as an open-pit sulfur mine by the Anaconda Co. from 1953 to 1962. The sulfur was used to make sulfuric acid used in leaching secondary or oxide copper ore at Anaconda's copper mine near Yerington, Nevada. Since its closing, the Leviathan Mine has been the site of acid mine drainage into the local creeks that feed into the West Fork of the Carson River and eventually into Nevada. The Leviathan Mine is a Superfund Site.

LIQUEFACTION

The Information Office has no liquefaction maps. Liquefaction may occur in fills, swamps, sloughs, or bogs, or other areas of loose, unconsolidated, poorly drained material that have a high water table or are prone to flooding. Soils and geologic maps and aerial photographs can be useful in determining areas of potential liquefaction, and some of the Earthquake Hazards maps in the NBMG UrbanArea Maps (see Earthquakes above) imply some areas of potential liquefaction. The USGS has some liquefaction information, and the Open-Files Report Database has several ge·eralized publications on liquefaction. For information on a particular site, one may check with the local county engineer's office or hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a site study.

MERCURY CONTAMINATION

Before the invention of the cyanide heap leaching method of extracting gold from ore in the 1890s, the mercury amalgamation method was used. With mercury amalgamation, crushed gold and silver ore was mixed with liquid mercury. The mercury leached the gold and silver out into a sometimes doughy solution called amalgam. The amalgam was commonly heated in retorts to vaporize the mercury and leave the gold and silver behind. Mercury was sometimes recycled through the process and sometimes not. However, in the 19th century, both the apparatus and the process was "leaky" even when the mercury was carefully recycled. Steam engines to run milling machinery were expensive to acquire and maintain, so many if not most of the mills using the mercury amalgamation method were located along streams and rivers to take advantage of cheap water power. This has resulted mercury contamination in the soils and watersheds of some areas of the state.

The worst area for mercury contamination is the Carson River downstream of New Empire and the main drainages such as Six Mile Canyon and Gold Canyon leading into it. During the Comstock Era (1859-1880), about 7 million pounds of mercury are believed to have been lost through this drainage area, most of which went out into the Carson Sink. This is considered a Superfund Site. NBMG studied the Carson River, and following bibliography lists the resulting reports.

Lechler, P.J., 1998, Modern mercury contamination from historic amalgamation milling of silver-gold ores in the Carson River, Nevada and Jordan Creel, Idaho: Importance of speciation analysis in understanding the source, mobility, and fate of polluted materials, in Ebinghaus, R., Turner, R.R., Lacerda, L.D., Vasiliev, O. and Salomons, W., eds.: Mining Contaminated Sites: Risk Assessment and Remediation, Springer Environmental Science, Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, p. 337-355.

Lechler, P.J., Miller, J.R., Hsu, L.C., and Desilets, M.O., 1997, Mercury mobility at the Carson River Superfund Site, west-central Nevada, USA: Interpretation of mercury speciation data in mill tailings, soils, and sediments: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 58, p. 259-267.

Miller, J.R., Rowland, J., Lechler, P.J., Desilets, M.O., and Hsu, L.C., 1996, Dispersal of mercury-contaminated sediments by geomorphic processes, Sixmile Canyon, Nevada, USA: Implications to site characterization and remediation of fluvial environments: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, v. 86, p. 373-388.

Miller, J.R., Lechler, P.J., Rowland, J., Desilets, M.O., and Hsu, L.C., 1995, An integrated approach to the determination of the quantity, distribution, and dispersal of mercury in Lahontan Reservoir, Nevada, USA: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, Special Issue, p.45-55.

Lechler, P.J., Miller, J.R., Hsu, L.C., and Desilets, M.O., 1995, Understanding mercury mobility at the Carson River Superfund Site, western Nevada, USA: Interpretation of mercury speciation results from mill tailings, soils, and river and reservoir sediments: Proceedings 10th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment, Hamburg, Germany.

Lechler, P.J., and Miller, J.R., 1993, The dispersion of mercury, gold, and silver from contaminated mill tailings at the Carson River Mercury Superfund Site, West-Central Nevada: Proceedings Perspectives for Environmental Geochemistry in Tropical Counties, Niteroi, Brazil.

Lechler, P.J., 1993, Mercury vapor sampling at the Carson River Superfund Site: Proceedings Heavy Metals in the Environment, Toronto.

Lechler, P.J., 1992, Mercury contamination of the Carson River: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Newsletter, no. 17.

The USGS has both general and specific site information on mercury contamination, and the Open-File Report Database has a couple of entries concerning mercury contamination in the Carson River.

It is important to note that not all areas of potential mercury contamination in Nevada have been studied or even identified. If you have concerns about a particular site, you should hire a consulting geologist or an engineering firm to do a study. It is also important to note that you may be held liable for the clean-up of any land you acquire or stake that has a mercury contamination problem.

MINING RELATED CONTAMINATION

Many mining areas over the years have suffered various forms of contamination from the activities that have occurred there. Mercury contamination is noted above. Acid mine drainage is another that occurs when sulfide minerals such as pyrite within the rock is exposed and weathered. This results in the formation of sulfuric acid and the lowering of the pH in water that seeps into the mine and may eventually drain out. The Leviathan Mine noted above is an example of this happening on a large scale at an abandoned sulfur mine. Water seeping through the rock may also become contaminated by leaching out metals and other minerals such as arsenic, copper, and lead.

NBMG Open-File Report 95-4, Water Quality at Inactive and Abandoned Mines in Nevada, reports a study of the water in 12 pits and 72 abandoned mines around the State. It is available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office and is free on the NBMG website. The following brief bibliography lists other publications dealing with NBMG studies of mine water.

Connors, K.A., Shevenell, L.A., Lyons, W.B., Graham, E., Welch, K.A., and Huey, S.K., 1997, Experimental investigation of pit water-pit wall interactions in Nevada precious metal mines; Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 97-4, 126 p.

Shevenell, L., 2000, Water quality in pit lakes in disseminated gold deposits compared to two natural, terminal lakes in Nevada; Environmental Geology, v. 39, no. 7, p. 807-815.

Shevenell, L., Connors, K.A., and Henry, C.D., 1999, Controls on Pit Lake Water Quality at Sixteen Open-Pit Mines in Nevada; Applied Geochemistry 14(5): 669-687.

Shevenell, L.A., C.D. Henry, and L. Christensen, 1997. A ranking scheme developed to assess the relative potential of abandoned mine sites in Nevada to result surface water and groundwater degradation; Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 97-3, 49 p.

Also, the USGS has a large number of general and site specific publications dealing with acid mine drainage and other mining related contamination issues.

It is important to note that not all areas of potential acid mine drainage or mine related contamination in the State have been studied or even identified. If a person has concerns about a particular site, then they should hire a consulting geologist or an engineering firm to do a study. It is also important to note that a person may be held liable for the clean-up of any land they acquire or stake that has an mine related contamination problem.

RADON

Radon, specifically radon isotope-222, is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that is produced as a natural decay product of uranium. Uranium and radon occur in varying amounts in all rocks and soils, and radon gradually seeps from the Earth into the atmosphere and may find its way into buildings. Radon, can build up indoors, especially in lower levels of the home. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that the lowest living area (basement or ground floor) of all homes and other buildings with frequent human occupation should be tested for radon. Radon is present in outdoor air as well, but the concentrations outdoors are usually substantially less than those found indoors.

According to EPA, radon-222 is responsible for up to 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. EPA recommends that remedial action be taken if radon concentration exceeds 4 picocuries of radon per liter of air (4 pCi/L). Studies indicate that radon will cause between one and five lung cancer deaths per 100 people living for 70 years in homes with this concentration. The radon concentration of outside air is generally less than 0.5 pCi/L.

In 1990, NBMG in conjunction with the Nevada Division of Health and the EPA, conducted a yearlong survey of radon in the indoor air of homes in Nevada. The results from over 2,000 measurements were compiled and published NBMG Bulletin 108, Radon in Nevada, which is available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. Bulletin 108 contains an Indoor Radon Potential Hazard Map of Nevada, discusses the measurement procedures and how the survey was done, shows the results of different towns and cities, and shows what can be done to mitigate problems. NBMG Educational Series No. 18, Radon in Nevada - a Natural Hazard, is a much condensed version of NBMG Bulletin 108 as a free brochure also available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. The Open-File Report Database has several reports dealing with radon. Also, the USGS and the EPA both have a number of publications dealing with radon.

For more information on radon and radon detectors, please contact the following:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 744-1045 or 744-1046

Nevada Division of Health, Radiological Health Section
505 East King Street
Carson City, NV 89710
(775) 687-5394

American Lung Association of Nevada
P. O. Box 7056
Reno, NV 89510-7056
(775) 829-5864
or
P. O. Box 44137
Las Vegas, NV 89116-2137
(702) 454-2500

SUBSIDENCE

Subsidence is a lowering of part of the Earth's crust including the surface. This can result from a number of causes including tectonic downwarping or faulting, settling of fill, the collapse of a cave or mine workings, and fluid withdrawal from an underground reservoir.

Tectonic processes are natural and tend to be very slow and generally unnoticed, except during the formation of a fault scarp during an earthquake, on a human time scale. However, the other causes of subsidence are another matter.

The settling of landfill can be a major problem. When an area is filled, especially for construction purposes, the material should be properly compacted. Otherwise, any structures built on the fill will sag and risk structural failure as the fill material naturally compacts. Fill such as that covering an old dump or naturally unconsolidated soils in swampy or boggy areas where rotting vegetation in the soil naturally compacts should also be viewed with caution. Few geologic maps show areas of fill, and NBMG does not have a database of such areas, artificial or natural, for the state. If you have concerns about fill or the use of fill, you should check with the local county or city engineer or hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a study.

Sagging or collapse of the surface due to the collapse of an underground cavity can be another major problem. Parts of eastern Nevada are commonly underlain by carbonate formations and locally underground caverns form such as Lehman Cave in White Pine County. When underground caverns collapse, the surface expression is a sinkhole. Few geologic maps show sinkholes, though carbonate is always mapped when present. Also, NBMG does not have a database of caves or sinkholes for the state. If one has concerns about sinkholes in a particular area, then they should hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a study. The USGS does have a number of general and site specific publications concerning caves and sinkholes, though few are Nevada specific.

In areas where underground mining was conducted, the collapse of underground workings can be a problem. In the 1990s, in Virginia City on the Comstock, fill over the 3000-foot-deep Obistan shaft collapsed one night. The Obistan shaft is near the high school. Also in Virginia City, part of the middle school parking lot collapsed into an old mine shaft. NBMG does not have a comprehensive database of all mines and underground workings in the state, and miners especially in the early days were never required to turn over detailed plans of their operations. However, NBMG does have a number of surface and underground mine maps in the Mining District Files, and NBMG Open-File Report 96-4, Nevada Abandoned Mined Database Compilation Project, consists of a database of all mining symbols plotted from the nearly 2,000 topographic maps that cover the state of Nevada. Many mines are also described in various NBMG bulletins and reports, and all NBMG publications are available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. Numerous mining related publications, especially including those of the USGS and the now closed U.S. Bureau of Mines discuss various mining operations in Nevada, and these can be found through library searches. Also, the Nevada Historical Society, Special Collections in the Getchell Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, and the Nevada State Archives in Carson City have some mining related materials. If you have concerns about collapsed mine workings or the potential of such in a particular area, you should hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a study.

Subsidence due to underground fluid withdrawal can be another problem. The main area of the state suffering from this is Las Vegas Valley. Las Vegas (Spanish for "the marshes") naturally contained areas of a high water table and artesian springs, and was a stopping off point on the Old Spanish Trail. After an aborted effort by the Latter Day Saints to settle the area in the 1850s, ranches were reestablished by the late 19th century. Las Vegas was founded in 1905 as a railroad town and has since grown into a gambling mecca of almost a million people and continues to grow explosively. Las Vegas Valley receives less than 8 inches of precipitation annually, and despite receiving a share of the water from Lake Mead, gets most of its water from wells. The large removal of groundwater from the generally unconsolidated alluvial sediments underlying Las Vegas has resulted in surface subsidence of locally as much as 6 feet since the 1930s. This has also resulted in local fissuring of the ground.

NBMG has studied the problem and produced a number of reports dealing with it such as Bulletin 95, Subsidence in Las Vegas Valley, and Open-File Report 93-4, Subsidence in Las Vegas Valley, 1980-1991. These publications are available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. The Open-File Report Database also contains a couple of dozen reports on water, subsidence, and fissuring in the Las Vegas Valley. Also, the USGS has a number of publications dealing with water, subsidence, and fissuring in the Las Vegas Valley and elsewhere. If you have concerns about subsidence from underground fluid withdrawal whether in Las Vegas Valley or not, you should also check with the local county or city engineer or hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a study.

SWELLING CLAY

The soils of many areas of Nevada are derived from volcanic and plutonic rocks and commonly contain a high percentage of clay. Some clays such as montmorillonite swell when wet and can cause structural damage to buildings with improper foundations. Except for the mapping of the Quaternary geology, NBMG deals little with the specifics of soil. The Information Office has an incomplete set of the soil surveys published by the Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), which discuss the clay aspects of the soils in the areas covered. Please see SOIL on this website. If you have concerns about the swelling potential of soils in a given area, you should check with the local county or city engineer or hire a consulting geologist or engineering firm to do a study.

WATER CONTAMINATION

Water can become contaminated from both natural and artificial sources. Natural sources can include generally mineralized areas that have naturally elevated concentrations of elements such as arsenic, copper, lead, sulfur, and more. These are leached from the rock under certain conditions and become concentrated in the water supply. Such element may not even have to be from a concentrated source, but under the right conditions can still be leached and concentrated in the water supply. Alkali and salts are also commonly leached from rocks and soil and concentrated in the water supply in some areas. The whitish crusts commonly seen in and near playas is alkali and salts left behind from the evaporation of surface water containing these substances. Artificial sources of contamination, of course, include improperly disposed of sewage and industrial and commercial wastes and runoff of agricultural wastes and fertilizer.

If you suspect water contamination, you should contact the Nevada State Health Laboratory on the University of Nevada, Reno campus at (775) 688-1335. NBMG has some reports on some aspects of water contamination. These are electronically indexed in the Open-File Report Database. The USGS also has a number of general and site specific publications dealing with water contamination.



GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES

GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPMENTS - HISTORICAL SUMMARY

The use of geothermal sources dates back to prehistoric times when Native Americans used hot springs for bathing, scalding ducks and geese, and removing the pitch from pinyon cones and seeds. Early explorers and the wagon trains of the '49ers used the hot springs for drinking, bathing, and watering stock. Because of the State's arid climate, water, even if mineralized and hot, has always been an important resource. The waters of almost all the springs in the State, whether hot or not, have been appropriated for some beneficial use. The mines of the Comstock Lode at Virginia City were famous for the great quantities of hot water encountered. At Tonopah, 3 million gallons of hot water were pumped every day from the workings; the flow from the Tonopah mines was used to operate greenhouses. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, resorts grew up around many of the hot springs, though most are now gone.

By the late 1970s, Steamboat Hot Springs, just south of Reno, had been used for several commercial purposes, including bath resorts, processing asphalt emissions, and the melting and casting of plastic explosives. The hot water from Moana Hot Springs in Reno had been used for a swimming pool and to melt ice and snow from the streets. A number of homes in the southwestern part of Reno were being heated by simple heat-exchange systems that utilize the heat from hot water encountered in wells. In the Stillwater area near Fallon in west-central Nevada, steam and hot water were encountered while drilling water wells in an area where there were no hot springs, and were put to use heating dwellings in this farm area.

Serious attempts to exploit Nevada's geothermal resources began in the late 1950s. Exploratory drilling in 13 geothermal areas first took place in the period between 1959 and 1965. Although most of these wells were less than 1,000 feet deep, temperatures of 300° to 400°F were encountered at several areas. Only about four wells were drilled to depths to greater than 3,500 feet. Drilling largely ceased in the mid-1960s due in part to problems of leasing Federal land. Also, Nevada's geothermal resources appear to be mainly in hot-water systems rather than dry steam, and interest in this type of field was low in the early part of the 1960s.

With the Arab oil embargo and escalation in oil prices beginning in the early 1970s, the energy supply and investment attitudes changed. Starting in the 1970s, wells were commonly drilled deeper than 1,000 feet and at locations outside of known hot-spring areas. They were also being located on the basis of sophisticated geological, geochemical, and geophysical techniques. A large number of temperature-gradient drill holes were also drilled in Nevada in the mid-1970s by private geothermal exploration companies and government agencies. In addition, geophysical exploration (gravity, magnetics, seismic, electrical resistivity, etc.) was being used to site major exploration wells in a number of areas.

The first geothermal power plant came on line in 1984 at Wabuska, and 12 more came on line between 1985 and 1992. In the 1990s, interest in geothermal waned, and exploration continued on a much reduced scale. In 1999, Nevada's 13 geothermal power plants with a production capacity of 211.5 megawatts produced almost 1,600,000 megawatt-hours of electricity with an approximate sales value of $90,000,000. Since the Nevada Division of Minerals has taken over permitting of geothermal wells in 1985, about 300 wells have been drilled.

The activity of the geothermal industry in Nevada has been summarized in the NBMG annual report The Nevada Mineral Industry since 1979. These are available through the NBMG Publication Sales Office and the 1994 through 1999 issues are free on the NBMG website under Online Documents. The above historical summary has been taken from these publications and also NBMG Bulletin 91, Thermal Waters of Nevada (1979) also obtainable from the NBMG Publication Sales Office.

GEOTHERMAL WELL CUTTINGS AND CORE

Companies drilling geothermal wells are required by state law to give the state one set of cuttings. As with the well files, these cuttings and core are kept confidential for 5 years. For more information this, please contact the Nevada Division of Minerals in Carson City (775-684-7040). The Information Office is the repository for these cuttings, which are housed in the SEM building. The collection is indexed separately in Core and Cuttings. The cost to view the collection is $5 per hole. The cost of sampling, if there is enough to sample, is a $100 per hole refundable fee. The fee is returned upon receipt of a copy of the sampling results, which will be held confidential for 5 years. Usually no appointment is necessary to view the cuttings. When released, the sampling results are eventually entered into an electronic database and filed in the appropriate well record file.

GEOTHERMAL WELL RECORDS

The Nevada Division of Minerals (775-684-7040) is the state permitting and regulatory agency for the geothermal industry in Nevada, and all the original records held by the state are archived there. The Information Office has copies of all the geothermal records archived with the NDOM. These records date back to 1985 and commonly contain the completion reports, drill stem test, geologic reports, logs, permit applications, plugging reports, and sundry reports. Regional geophysical logs, data, and reports are not required to be turned in. The Nevada Division of Water Resources in Carson City at (775) 687-4380 was the regulatory agency for geothermal wells prior to 1985, and they have the older records. The Information Office also has copies of some, but not all, of the pre-1985 geothermal records. Well records are electronically indexed. Production records are filed separately from the well files and are not indexed. The well records are kept confidential for 5 years after the drilling of a well is completed, and these confidential records are kept at the Nevada Division of Minerals until released. See below for details, but the cuttings for some wells have been sampled and tested, and the results eventually are filed in the appropriate well record file.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management also has records of geothermal wells drilled on public land. The Nevada Division of Minerals has copies of most, but not all, of their records.

The Information Office also keeps unindexed files of miscellaneous articles and reports dealing with the geothermal industry of the state. Geothermal publications obtainable from the NBMG Publication Sales Office include NBMG Bulletin 91, Thermal Waters of Nevada (1979), which lists warm and hot springs and pre-1979 wells; NBMG Bulletin 97, Discovery and Geology of the Desert Peak Geothermal Field (1982), which discusses Desert Peak; NBMG Open-File Report 94-2, Nevada Low-Temperature Geothermal Resource Assessment (1994); and NBMG Map 126 Nevada Geothermal Resources (2000), which shows the location of warm and hot springs, geothermal wells and power plants, and transmission lines on a 1:1,000,000-scale shaded relief map of Nevada. The NBMG Open-File Database contains at least 50 publications dealing with geothermal resources in Nevada, and the Geothermal Resource Council is also a very useful source of geothermal information. The USGS also has a number of general and site specific publications dealing with geothermal sites.

These files and publications are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files, however, the materials cannot be borrowed directly by the patron. The Information Office can do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length. The materials can be sent to a local copy center for color and very large format copying or scanning for a $10 service fee to the Information Office, but the customer is responsible directly to the particular copy center for the bill.

WARM AND HOT SPRINGS

NBMG does not have an electronic database or a publication specific to warm and hot springs. NBMG Bulletin 91, Thermal Waters of Nevada, (1979) describes a number of warm and hot springs around the state; NBMG Open-File Report 94-2, Nevada Low-Temperature Geothermal Resource Assessment 1994; and NBMG Map 126, Nevada Geothermal Resources (2000) shows the location of warm and hot springs, geothermal wells and power plants, and transmission lines on a 1:1,000,000-scale shaded relief map of Nevada. The NBMG Open-File Database contains a few publications dealing with warm and hot springs in Nevada, and the Geothermal Resource Council is a very useful source of geothermal information. The USGS also has a number of general and site specific publications dealing with warm and hot springs.



METEORITE COLLECTION AND IDENTIFICATION

COLLECTION

Only four authenticated meteorites have been found in Nevada to date, and all four are on display there. It is likely many more have either been overlooked or collected and not reported. A good book on meteorites, written by a former Director of the Fleischmann Planetarium, O. Richard Norton, is Rocks From Space, and it can be purchased at the Planetarium. The book contains much information on types of meteorites and potential areas to look. For more information concerning meteorites, one should contact the Fleischmann Planetarium.

When collecting meteorites, it is necessary to notify the land owner of any private property you may wish to go on. The State of Nevada has no laws per se governing the collection of meteorites. However, meteorites on public land fall under the same rules governing fossil and rock and mineral collecting; they may be collected for personal use in reasonable quantities, but may not be bartered or sold. Also all meteorites have some scientific value, and some rare types may come under laws dealing with specimens with a very high scientific value. For further information, please contact the appropriate Federal agency for their rules when collecting on public land such as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service. The courts have determined that meteorites are not locatable under the 1872 Mining Law. Collecting meteorites is generally prohibited in National Parks, and trespassing and collecting is illegal on Indian Reservations without permission from the tribal authorities. Trespassing and collecting is both illegal and dangerous on lands controlled by the Military.

IDENTIFICATION

People commonly bring in rocks for identification as possible meteorites. This is highly encouraged, though of course, the vast majority of such rocks are not meteorites. The most common meteorites found are the iron-nickel metallic type, because they just look different than the surrounding rocks. The most common type of meteorite to fall is the stony type. However, stony meteorites generally look similar to the surrounding rocks and are generally overlooked. Iron-nickel meteorites generally contain between 7 and 14% nickel, and the NBMG Analytical Lab can do these analyses. A nickel analysis requires a 100-500 mg (less than 0.02 oz or about the size of a pencil eraser) sample. If the rock truly appears to be a meteorite, then the Director of the Fleischmann Planetarium) on the University of Nevada, Reno campus would be interested in seeing it, and with the collector's permission, the meteorite would be sent to an appropriate lab for further study and authentication. The collector, of course, would get the meteorite back minus a small sample for archiving.



MINING

Any of the following collections and materials are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files. The Information Office can also do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length.

ABANDONED MINES

NBMG does not have a comprehensive database of all mines and underground workings in the state, and miners especially in the early days were never required to turn over detailed plans of their operations. However, NBMG does have a number of surface and underground mine maps in the Mining District Files, and NBMG Open-File Report 96-4, Nevada Abandoned Mine Database Compilation Project, consists of a database of all mining symbols plotted from the nearly 2,000 topographic maps that cover the state of Nevada. Many mines are also described in various NBMG bulletins and reports, available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. Numerous mining related publications, especially including those of the USGS and the now closed U.S. Bureau of Mines discuss various mining operations in Nevada, and these can be found through library searches. Also, the Nevada Historical Society, Special Collections in the Getchell Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, and the Nevada State Archives in Carson City have some mining related materials. The various county recorders offices have mining claim location records (see next section), which are public records open for research. Also, the Nevada Division of Minerals has an Abandoned Mine Lands Program that deals with the hazards of abandoned mines (See also Abandoned Mine Dangers.

ACTIVE MINES AND CURRENT MINERAL EXPLORATION

The NBMG annual summary publications, The Nevada Mineral Industry (MI) and Major Mines of Nevada (MM), contain lists of the major active mines and current mineral exploration. Both of these publications are available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office, and MI-94 to the present and MM-97 to the present are also free at the NBMG website. NBMG does not have a detailed database of mine production, but the production of many of the mines in MI and MM is noted when it can be determined from public sources. NBMG Open-File Reports entitled Active Metal and Industrial Mineral Mines in Nevada include ARC/INFO export files and databases of the mines listed in MI and MM on a CD-ROM, and 1:1,000,000-scale printouts of these maps. The Mine Safety and Training Section (State Mine Inspector) of the Division of Industrial Relations in Carson City at (775) 687-5243 or mines@govmail.state.nv.us generally annually produces the Directory of Nevada Mine Operators, which lists both large and small mining operations including the "Mom and Pop" mines and small gravel operations. The mineral exploration summary is more detailed in MI and is divided according to mining district. The activity is compiled from many sources including the American Mines Handbook, Randol Mining Directory, company quarterly and annual reports and press releases (from both hardcopy and websites) (see Mining Company Annual Reports and related Resources below), and numerous trade journals, newspapers, and websites.

CLAIM STAKING AND MINING LAWS, REGULATIONS, AND PERMITS

Staking mining claims and a summary of some of the mining laws related to it is discussed in NBMG Special Publication SP6, Mining claims procedures for Nevada prospectors and miners. This publication is available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office and is also free at the NBMG website. The information in SP6 was largely taken from such sources as: The American Law of Mining, 2nd edition, 6 volumes, edited by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation; the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS); the U.S. Code (USC); U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulations. The American Law of Mining is available at the DeLaMare Library) on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The NRS, USC, CFR, and related materials can also be researched at the Business and Government Information Center at the Getchell Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, and law libraries in general. NBMG does not have an expert in mining law on its staff, and the laws do change periodically. If you have a legal question or a problem, you should research the above mentioned sources or contact an attorney who specializes in mining law.

Developing a mining property requires a number of permits and following the rules and regulations of several State and Federal agencies and generally requires the posting of a bond. NBMG is not a regulatory agency and is not involved at all in the permitting, regulatory, and bonding processes. However, most of this is outlined in NBMG List L-6, State and Federal Permits Required in Nevada before Mining or Milling Can Begin, which is available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office, and is also free on the Internet.

COMMODITY REPORTS

The USGS produces monthly, quarterly, and annual commodity reports and mineral yearbooks. These reports commonly give production, reserve, and price statistics and trends for the United States and other countries for a large number of non-fuel mineral commodities. The now closed U.S. Bureau of Mines compiled these data between 1910 and 1995. Statistics for Nevada can be found in these reports as well as in the annual publications Major Mines of Nevada (1989 to present) and The Nevada Mineral Industry (1979 to present), both of which are on the NBMG website and are available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office.

ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS
See Mining Related Contamination and Abandoned Mine Dangers.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS

Environmental impact statements and assessments that have to do with specific mines are filed in and electronically indexed with the Mining District Files. For area-wide environmental impact statements and assessments, please see Environmental Impact Statements and Assessments above.

LABORATORY ANALYSIS

MINING COMPANY ANNUAL REPORTS AND RELATED RESOURCES

The Information Office has a large but incomplete collection of quarterly annual for many mining companies doing business in Nevada. The collection dates back to the 1980s for some companies and consists largely of paper brochures and booklets. Some older reports are filed in the Mining District Files. The collection is not indexed, and most companies today provide this information on their websites.

The Information Office has the American Mines Handbook for 1989, 1990, 1991-92, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. These list numerous mining companies and their corporate backgrounds, mining properties, and exploration activities. For more information regarding the American Mines Handbook please call (800) 668-2374. The Information Office also has the Randol Mining Directory for 1993-94. This lists mines and companies and discusses their backgrounds. For more information regarding the Randol Mining Directory please call (303) 526-7618.

MINING DISTRICT AND GENERAL GEOLOGY FILES

The Information Office maintains files on the mining districts of Nevada. It also keeps separate but related files on the regional geology of various areas of the state. This material is all from donations because no state law requires detailed mineral exploration, development, and production records be submitted to NBMG. NBMG is not a regulatory agency and does not have access to records of the regulatory agencies such as the Nevada Division of Minerals and the State Mine Inspector at Mine Safety and Training at (775) 687-5243 or mines@govmail.state.nv.us.

The Mining District Files contain maps, reports, assays, production and reserve figures, correspondence, environmental assessments and impact statements, and other material on many but not all of the mining areas in the state. These materials cover from the 1860s to the present. The Mining District Files also include a small file on the Leviathan Mine and a set of MagmaChem reports. The MagmaChem reports are a set of mineral exploration reports and data for mining properties and mining districts in Nevada compiled by Stanley B. Keith and Monte M. Swan of MagmaChem Exploration, Inc., as part of their company's Regional Mineral Exploration and Property Evaluation program.

The text files and some of the maps of the Mining District Files are electronically indexed. The general geology files are indexed on paper but not electronically. These materials have proven invaluable to mineral exploration and development and to archaeological, historical, environmental, and other types of research.

The Information Office is presently converting to a new indexing system which is cross-referenced to the old system. The Information Office also has a large number of filed maps that have yet to be fully indexed and entered into the system, and a very large amount of donated materials that have yet to even be indexed. Despite the present bottleneck, however, the Information Office is always open to donations of Nevada specific mining and other historical material. Our ultimate goal as manpower, money, and other resources become available is to eventually scan all of this material and provide access to it on the Internet.

These collections are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files, however, the materials cannot be borrowed directly by the patron. The Information Office can do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length. The materials can be sent to a local copy center for color and very large format copying or scanning for a $10 service fee to the Information Office, but the customer is responsible directly to the particular copy center for the bill.

MINING COMPANY STOCKS

The Information Office does not have a database or files tracking the activity of mining companies for people researching old stock certificates. The DeLaMare Library has a website http://www.delamare.unr.edu/miningstock.htm that lists resources available for research and companies that do stock searches.

MINING HISTORY
(Modified from Outline of Nevada Mining History by J.V. Tingley in Nevada Geology, no. 20)

NBMG Special Publication SP15, Outline of Nevada Mining History, summarizes Nevada mining history through 1992. The three sections of this report follow mining in Nevada from the time of hand-dug turquoise and salt mines through the Comstock era of deep underground silver mines to the Carlin era of huge bulk-mineable gold and silver mines.

Modern mining began in Nevada in 1849 with the discovery of placer gold in a stream flowing into the Carson River near the present town of Dayton. This discovery, made by Mormon '49ers on their way to the California gold fields, led others upstream into what was later known as the Virginia Range to find the croppings of the Comstock Lode in 1859.

Other mining activities in Nevada, however, predated the Comstock discovery by many centuries. Deposits of obsidian, opalite, chalcedony, agate, jasper, and quartz occur throughout the state and were utilized by the earliest inhabitants, the American Indians, to fashion arrowheads, spear points, and various cutting and scraping tools. "Clovis points" found near the Carson Sink, near Tonopah and Beatty, and in Washoe Valley are believed to have been made 10,000 or more years ago by these people. Much later, about 300 A.D. to 500 A.D., the Anasazi mined turquoise near Boulder City in present-day Clark County, and mined salt from deposits near St. Thomas, now covered by waters of Lake Mead in eastern Clark County. Evidence of Indian turquoise mining and processing was also found at Crescent Peak in southern Clark County. When this deposit was "discovered" by modern prospectors in 1889 or 1890, stone chisels, wedges, and hammers were found scattered at the site and a huge quantity of tiny turquoise fragments was found along with rubbing and polishing stones in what must have been a lapidary shop. This site is reported to have been worked and abandoned about 1200 A.D. Many of the discovery "legends" of Nevada's mining districts, including those of Pahranagat and Pioche in Lincoln County, and Robinson and White Pine in White Pine County, tell of prospectors being led to the areas by Indian guides. This would seem to indicate that the Indians knew of the metal deposits and perhaps made some use of the materials found in the outcrops.

Spanish mining in southern Nevada may be more myth than fact but, around 1770, a Spanish exploring party is said to have been sent by the Franciscan missionary Father Junipero Serra to mine placer gold, turquoise, and silver deposits in Clark County. This account is generally discredited, however, and most historians do not place Spanish exploring parties in the state until 1776 when another missionary, Father Francisco Garc6s, may have crossed the southern tip of Nevada.

There are accounts, again possibly fictional, of Mexican miners recovering placer gold from deposits in the Tule Canyon district in Esmeralda County prior to 1848, A few years later, in the spring of 1856, lead deposits were found by Mormons in the southern Spring Mountains west of the old Las Vegas Mormon Mission. The discoveries, at the North Mines in what was later known as the Charleston district ' and at the Potosi mine in the present-day Goodsprings district, provided lead for use by Mormon settlers as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah. Ore from the mines was hauled to Las Vegas where it was smelted in a crude furnace said to be the first "smelter" built and operated west of the Missouri River.

The first section of Special Publication 15, written by Francis Church Lincoln in 1924, describes American Indian mining activity in Clark County, mentions rumors of Spanish mines in the same area, then summarizes the frenzy of precious metals prospecting and mining generated by discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859. Precious metals dominated the time, but important deposits of lead, zinc, copper, tungsten, and iron also were found during this period. In his writing, Lincoln described two boom-bust cycles: first the Comstock production era covering roughly 1861 to 1889, then the Tonopah-Goldfield period beginning about 1901. A production peak in base metals during World War I followed by a post-war crash in 1919 ended Lincoln's section at what he saw as a second major period of decline in the state's mineral industry.

During the Nevada Centennial year of 1964, Robert C. Horton prepared an outline of Nevada mining history, 1924 to 1964, to complement Lincoln's earlier work and the two were published together as Nevada Bureau of Mines Report 7. In his section, Horton described a mineral industry dominated by base metal production. A long period of war-driven economy followed by post-war industrial expansion provided the incentive and Nevada produced significant amounts of copper, lead, zinc, iron, and tungsten. The 1924 to 1964 era also saw the start of Nevada's petroleum production and industrial minerals began a steep rise in importance. Nevada's precious metals industry declined from 1924 through the depression years and, except for a slight period of recovery inspired by a Government-mandated gold price increase in 1933, slowly sank to a near-record low in 196 1. Since the start of the Comstock boom, only 1894 recorded less production of gold and silver than 1961. Important gold discoveries made during this time, however, included the Standard mine in Pershing County, the Getchell mine in Humboldt County, the Northumberland mine in Nye County, and the Gold Acres mine in Lander County. These 1930s discoveries were all occurrences of "invisible gold," and were the first to be found and mined in the state of what later was to be called the Carlin-type deposit. The Carlin gold discovery in 1962 was one of the most significant events of this time and may be second only to the discovery of the Comstock in importance to Nevada mining. The Carlin trend, a belt extending northwest and southeast from the original discovery, now contains more than 20 mines and is one of the major gold-producing regions of the world.

The final section of Special Publication 15, written by Joseph V. Tingley in 1993, follows Nevada mining from 1965 through 1992. As if marking a turn of fortune, 1965 signaled the revival of precious metals mining in Nevada. In 1964, copper was the state's premier mineral commodity, accounting in value for over 60% of the total mineral production. In May 1965, Newmont's Carlin mine poured its first gold bar and a new era of precious metals production began; by the end of the year the Carlin mine was the largest gold producer in Nevada and the second largest gold producer in the nation. Unfortunately, during this same time variable market conditions all but eliminated Nevada's base metals industry. At the close of 1992, copper and by-product mercury were the only base metals being recovered in the state. Nevada's industrial mineral industry continued to grow during this period and the state produced a variety of products including barite, gypsum, diatomite, lithium carbonate, magnesite, perlite, building stone, limestone for cement production, and sand and gravel.

In dollar value, annual precious metals output increased over 200 times, from about $9 million in 1965 to over $2 billion each year from 1989 to 1992. After declining some between 1989 and 1992, precious metal exploration remained relatively constant through to the end of the decade. Gold prices varied between about $350 and nearly $400 per ounce until 1996 and have been generally declining since then to around $260 per ounce in 2001. Nevada gold production peaked at 8.9 million ounces in 1998 and has been declining since then. Due to the low price of gold over the last several years, a number of mines of have closed or been put on care and maintenance, and exploration activities sharply curtailed. In addition to the low gold prices, an increase of state and federal regulations affecting mining, and increased uncertainty concerning long-term access to federal lands for mineral development have also contributed to the decline in exploration. Silver prices remained relatively steady around $5 per ounce through the latter 1990s but have since dropped below $4.50 per ounce. Silver production peaked around 25 million ounces in 1997 and has also been declining. Nevada's gold production makes the United

States the second leading gold producing nation in the world, and published Nevada gold reserves at the end of 1999 total about 143 million ounces. Some of these may prove to be subeconomic and may never be mined, but reserves probably are sufficient to sustain the gold mining industry for at least another 15 to 25 years. At the end of 1999, Nevada's silver reserves totaled about 235 million ounces.

Copper production enjoyed a comeback in the late 1990s, but has almost ceased with the closure of the Robinson Mine near Ely and the Yerington and McArthur Mines in Lyon County. Industrial minerals production has fluctuated during the 1990s with a slow rise at the end of the decade.

The activity of the mining industry in Nevada has been summarized in the NBMG annual report The Nevada Mineral Industry since 1979. These are available through the NBMG Publication Sales Office, and the 1994 through 1999 issues are free on the NBMG website. One should consult these publications for detailed descriptions of Nevada's mining history after 1979.

MINING SCAMS

SAMPLE COLLECTION



NEVADA BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOLOGY AND U.S. BUREAU OF MINES

NBMG is the Nevada state geological survey, and its mission can be viewed on the NBMG website. The U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) was a Federal agency that existed between 1910 and 1995. It did research into mining and mineral related science, much of which was esoteric, and issued numerous publications concerning this research; visited and compiled databases on mines and deposits (Mineral Availability System/Mineral Industry System or MASMILS), and compiled commodity reports and yearbooks (now done by the USGS). The USBM had a field station on the University of Nevada, Reno campus called the Bureau of Mines Building. This building now houses parts of several UNR departments, and has nothing to do with NBMG which is located in the Scrugham Engineering/Mines Building. Unfortunately, it has not been uncommon for people to confuse NBMG with the USBM or the Bureau of Mines Building.



NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES: MX PROJECT, NEVADA TEST SITE, PROJECT FAULTLESS, PROJECT SHOAL, AND YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT

Since the early 1950s, Nevada has been the center of a number of nuclear projects and programs.

MX PROJECT

The MX missile was a multiple warhead, intercontinental ballistic missile. The project proposed in the late 1970s to build thousands of hardened missile silos across western Utah and eastern Nevada that would be connected underground by a railroad system. Hundreds of MX missiles would be shuttled around in a sort of giant shell game keeping the old Soviet Union guessing as to exactly where they were in the event they decided to attack the United States. Due to great expense, scarcity of water for construction, public opposition, and other factors, the MX Project was halted. However, numerous studies were done on the area that would have been affected. The Information Office has a large number of reports and data from these studies and a set of 1:25,000-scale color aerial photographs. These reports are indexed on paper but not electronically.

NEVADA TEST SITE

The Nevada Test Site (NTS) has been the home of the nation's nuclear weapons testing program since the early 1950s. Above ground testing occurred until banned by treaty in 1963, and underground testing continued afterwards. The Information Office has copies of the draft and final environmental impact statements plus a small collection of other miscellaneous documents concerning the NTS. Most of these documents are indexed with the Open-File Reports. For more information concerning the NTS, please see the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Test Site website, which also has the environmental impact statement on-line.

PROJECT FAULTLESS

Project Faultless involved the detonation of a nuclear device at the Central Nevada Test Area about 57 miles northeast of Tonopah in 1968. The only information the Information Office has on Project Faultless is what is printed in the Nevada Test Site environmental impact statement which can also be viewed on the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Test Site website.

PROJECT SHOAL

Project Shoal involved the detonation of a nuclear device inside of the Sand Springs Range about 30 miles southeast of Fallon in 1963. Project Shoal is discussed in the Nevada Test Site environmental impact statement which can also be viewed on the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Test Site website. The Information Office also has reports and maps in the files for the core and cuttings collection.

YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT

The Yucca Mountain Project is a 20-year-long series of studies to determine if Yucca Mountain (about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas and about 255 miles southeast of Reno) would be suitable for a permanent repository for the country's nuclear waste. For more information on this, please check the website for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, The Yucca Mountain Project at http://www.ymp.gov. The Information Office has a large though incomplete collection of documents (including environmental impact statements) concerning the Yucca Mountain Project. Most of these documents are indexed with the Open-File Reports.

These collections are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files; however, the materials cannot be borrowed directly by the patron. The Information Office can do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length. The materials can be sent to a local copy center for color and very large format copying or scanning for a $10 service fee to the Information Office, but the customer is responsible directly to the particular copy center for the bill.



OIL, GAS, AND COAL

COAL

To date, no viable commercial deposits of coal have been found in Nevada. The known coal deposits are small and low grade and are generally associated with Tertiary lakebed deposits. Numerous unsuccessful attempts have been made to mine Nevada coal, but the deposits have proven to be too small and impure. Coal is described in NBMG Bulletin 65, Mineral and Water Resources of Nevada, and NBMG Open-File Report OF85-5, A First-Stage Study of Nevada Coal Resources, both of which are available at the NBMG Publication Sales Office.

NATURAL GAS

Hydrocarbon-bearing gas has been reported from seeps and water wells in several counties. A natural gas seep near Soda Lakes in Churchill County was filed on in 1865, and in the early 20th century, some ranch houses near Stillwater were using gas from shallow (about 300 feet) wells for heating and cooking. This gas was largely methane from organic rich sediments. To date, the only appreciable amounts of gas found have been at the Kate Spring Field in Nye County. This field is presently annually producing less than 8,000 thousand cubic feet of gas, which is being used to operate equipment in the field. Natural gas is discussed with the same references noted for oil below.

OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENTS THROUGH 1986 - HISTORICAL SUMMARY
(Modified from NBMG Bulletin 104)

The first well drilled for oil in Nevada was an 1,890-foot-deep dry hole drilled in Washoe County just southwest of Reno in 1907. Few wells were drilled in the State from 1907 to the early 1950s; these dry holes are all poorly known because no permits or other records were required until 1953.

In 1954, Shell Oil Co. drilled and completed the Eagle Springs No. 1-35 well in Railroad Valley, Nye County; this well became the first commercial oil producer in Nevada. The Eagle Springs Field included 14 wells with average production of nearly 20,000 barrels of oil per well per year by 1968. In 1985, ten wells still produced in the field; two wells made 18,000 barrels of oil and the rest averaged 2,800 barrels for the year. Most Eagle Springs Field wells were shut-in (not produced) for most of 1986 because of low crude oil prices. Initial estimates of recoverable reserves for the field were 4 million barrels of oil; by the end of 1986, 3.8 million barrels had been produced.

The second discovery that resulted in commercial oil production in Nevada came in 1976, when Northwest Exploration Co. drilled and completed the Trap Spring No. I well in Railroad Valley, 5 miles west of the Eagle Springs Field. One hundred and forty-five dry holes had been drilled in Nevada after the Eagle Springs discovery and before the Trap Spring discovery. By 1980 there were 15 wells in the Trap Spring Field, with an average production of 76,700 barrels of oil per well per year. In 1985 there were 27 wells in the field, with an average production for the year of 18,600 barrels of oil per well. Recoverable reserves were initially estimated to be 10 million barrels of oil; by the end of 1986, 6.8 million barrels had been produced.

Nevada's third discovery well, the Northwest Exploration Co. Currant No. 1, was drilled in 1978, also in Railroad Valley, 6 miles north of the Eagle Springs Field. This well produced only 646 barrels of oil before it was plugged and abandoned in 1986 (This well was producing a couple of hundred barrels of oil per year in the late 1990s). No other wells were drilled in the Currant Field.

Northwest Exploration Co. Bacon Flat No. 1, drilled in 1981, was Nevada's fourth discovery well. The Bacon Flat Field is also in Railroad Valley, 9 miles south of the Eagle Springs Field. The field consists of only the discovery well, but this well had produced 210,000 barrels of oil and was still flowing an average of 200 barrels of oil per day by the end of 1986. Reserve estimates are unavailable.

The only oil production outside of Railroad Valley was discovered in 1982 by Amoco Production Co. The Amoco Blackburn No. 3 was drilled and completed in Pine Valley, Eureka County, about 120 miles north of the nearest production in Railroad Valley. By the end of 1986, the Blackburn Field included four wells and had produced nearly a million barrels of oil; the two best wells were still averaging 300 to 450 barrels of oil per day. Reserve estimates are unavailable. (367 barrels of oil were produced from the Deadman Creek Field in Elko County in 1997-1998 before it was shut-in).

The discovery of Nevada oil outside of Railroad Valley renewed the interest of many exploration companies. By the late 1970s, oil and gas leasing in Railroad Valley was essentially closed, that is, nearly all leases were taken, making it difficult or expensive for new companies to explore in the valley. Nearly two-thirds of all wells drilled by 1982 had been drilled in Railroad Valley. In other valleys, there had been little drilling and leases were still available and cheap. Since the Blackburn Field discovery, exploration has expanded throughout Nevada, and by the end of 1986, less than half of all wells ever drilled in Nevada were in Railroad Valley.

The most prolific oil field in Nevada was discovered in 1983, when Northwest Exploration Grant Canyon No. 1 was drilled and completed. The Grant Canyon Field is in Railroad Valley, less than a mile east of the Bacon Flat Field. The discovery well watered out and was shut in by early 1986; at year-end the remaining two field wells continued to produce at average rates of 2,200 and 4,1 00 barrels of oil per day. For a time, Grant Canyon No. 3 was the most prolific onshore oil well in the continental United States, flowing up to 4,300 barrels of oil per day. Recoverable reserve estimates are 13 million barrels of oil; 5.3 million barrels had been produced by the end of 1986.

The most recent oil discovery in Nevada was drilled in 1986: the Marathon Oil Co. Kate Spring No. 1, in Railroad Valley less than a mile south of the Eagle Springs Field. This discovery well had an initial flowing potential of 345 barrels of oil and 1,371 barrels of water per day. The well produced 1,500 barrels of oil before it was shut in because of engineering problems and low prices for crude oil.

Drilling activity in 1986 was limited because of unstable and low oil prices, but operators continue permit to wells in Nevada. Future increases in drilling activity will be related to increased prices for crude oil. Federal oil and gas leasing policies, favorable State oil and gas regulations, and recently published articles in petroleum industry journals should all continue to encourage petroleum exploration and production activity in Nevada. (A good summary of the oil fields of Nevada is the Nevada Petroleum Society's 1994 publication NPS1, Oil Fields of the Great Basin.

OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENTS SINCE 1986

The activity of the oil and gas industry in Nevada has been summarized in the NBMG annual report The Nevada Mineral Industry since 1979. These are available through the NBMG Publication Sales Office and the 1994 through 1999 issues are free on the NBMG website. Nevada's oil production peaked at about 4,000,000 barrels in 1990 and slipped to about 700,000 barrels in 1999. Between 1953-1999, Nevada has produced over 46,000,000 barrels of oil of which over 20,000,000 barrels has been produced from the Grant Canyon Field and almost 13,000,000 barrels has been produced from the Trap Springs Field

Nevada continues to be considered a frontier state for oil exploration with 15 small oil fields in three areas of the state (Pine Valley in northern Eureka County, Railroad Valley in northeastern Nye County, and Deadman Creek in Elko County). Since 1907, about 750 wells have been drilled. This includes about 270 wells drilled since 1986 of which about 50 were producers. As of 1999, 99 wells were listed as producers of which 26 had been shut in for one year or more.

OIL AND GAS WELL CUTTINGS AND CORE

Companies drilling oil and gas wells are required by state law to give the state two sets of cuttings. As with the files, cuttings and core are kept confidential for 6 months. For more information this, please contact the Nevada Division of Minerals in Carson City (775-684-7040). The Information Office is the repository for these cuttings, which are housed in the SEM building. The collection is indexed separately in Core and Cuttings. The cost to view the collection is $5 per hole. The cost of sampling, if there is enough to sample, is a $100 per hole refundable fee. The fee is returned upon receipt of a copy of the sampling results, which will be held confidential for 5 years. Usually no appointment is necessary to view the cuttings. When released, the sampling results are eventually entered into an electronic database and filed in the appropriate well record file.

OIL AND GAS WELL RECORDS

The Nevada Division of Minerals in Carson City (775-684-7040) is the Nevada state permitting and regulatory agency for the oil and gas industry, and all the original records held by the state are archived there. The Information Office has copies of all the oil and gas records archived with the NDOM. These records date back to 1953 and commonly contain the completion reports, drill stem test, geologic reports, logs, permit applications, plugging reports, and sundry reports. Regional geophysical logs, data, and reports are not required to be turned in. The Information Office also has copies of some records and references to wells older than 1953. The well records are electronically indexed and are also indexed in NBMG Bulletin 104, Oil and Gas Developments in Nevada (lists wells from 1907-1986); NBMG Open-File Report 96-6, Nevada Oil and Gas Wells, 1907-1996, a 1:1,000,000-scale map of Nevada showing well locations; and NBMG Open-File Report 96-6d, a CD-ROM containing digital files and database for map. These can be obtained from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. Production records are filed according to field and separately from the well files and are not indexed. The well records are kept confidential for 6 months after the drilling of a well is completed, and these confidential records are kept at the Nevada Division of Minerals until released. See below for details, but the cuttings for some wells have been sampled and tested, and the results eventually are filed in the appropriate well record file.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management also has records of oil and gas wells drilled on public land. The Nevada Division of Minerals has copies of most, but not all, of their records.

The Information Office keeps unindexed files of miscellaneous articles and reports dealing with the oil and gas industry of the state including some on oil shale deposits and copies of publications of the Nevada Petroleum Society, which can be obtained both from them and from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. The NBMG Open-File List lists about 30 publications dealing with various fossil fuel resources mostly in Nevada.

These files and publications are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files, however, the materials cannot be borrowed directly by the patron. The Information Office can do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length. The materials can be sent to a local copy center for color and very large format copying or scanning for a $10 service fee to the Information Office, but the customer is responsible directly to the particular copy center for the bill.

OIL SHALE

Oil shale was first recognized in Nevada in the Elko area in 1875 and has since been recognized in other areas. Between 1917-1924, the Catlin Shale Products Company at Elko produced about 12,000 barrels shale oil, but the enterprise was a commercial failure. The products, gasoline and various lubricants, were of low quality. The following is the Executive Summary from a 1981 report by the Mineral Management Service of the Department of the Interior which summarizes oil shale in Nevada.

This report is the result of an investigation done through a cooperative agreement made in August 1981 between the USGS, Conservation Division (now Minerals Management Service) and the Nevada Department of Energy. The purpose of this agreement was to provide funding to investigate and to analyze occurrences of oil-shale resources and their development potential in the state of Nevada. Since the USGS was already involved in oil-shale studies in northeastern Nevada, the additional funding was applied primarily to a shallow exploratory drilling program used to better delineate oil-shale deposits near Elko, Nevada. The original source of the funding, in the amount of $70,000, was the U.S. Department of Energy.

The United States is heavily dependent on oil and natural gas as a primary source of energy and associated products. Despite intermittent fluctuations in petroleum supplies, oil is a finite resource. In the future, as domestic petroleum supplies dwindle and recovery increases in cost, other alternative energy sources such as oil shale may become increasingly more attractive. Although oil shale has not yet achieved successful commercial production in the United States, oil shale should be considered as a future energy resource.

Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that yields substantial quantities of oil when heated to high temperatures in a closed retort (destructive distillation). Kerogen is the solid, insoluble, organic material in the shale that can be converted to oil and other petroleum products by pyrolysis and distillation.

Major resources of oil shale occur in ancient lakebeds of the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Although the resource potential of Nevada oil shale is comparatively minor, relatively little detailed geologic study has previously been devoted to Nevada's oil shale. This report surveys potential oil-shale resources located in northeastern Nevada.

Oil shale in Nevada is primarily associated with rocks now designated as the Elko Formation. Other rock units in Nevada also contain organic-rich deposits that have some minor potential for oil-shale resources; however, they have been discussed in this report mostly because of their significance as conventional oil and gas source rocks for petroleum reservoirs in Nevada. Of these rocks with minor interest for oil shale, the most promising formations include the Vinini and the Woodruff Formations.

The Vinini and Woodruff Formations locally contain kerogen-rich, marine deposited shales that have high concentrations of heavy metals such as vanadium, selenium, and zinc. Although the Vinini and Woodruff Formations locally have shales that yield from a few gallons to as much as 15 to 30 gallons of oil per ton, oil yields are lower on the average. However, the possibility of metal extraction as a byproduct of oil-shale development may make these formations attractive for development in the future.

The Elko Formation contains oil-shale deposits of primary significance in the state of Nevada. A minimum geologic age determined for the Elko Formation is latest Eocene or earliest Oligocene, or about 37 million years old. oil shale in the Elko Formation was derived from the accumulation and preservation of mineral sediments and organic materials deposited in an ancient lake or lakes. Subsequent erosion and faulting have disrupted the original lateral continuity of these oil-shale bearing deposits and left only scattered remnants exposed in mountain ranges, or deeply buried in sedimentary basins in northeastern Nevada. Scattered remnants of the Elko Formation occur over a north-south elongated area about 100 miles in length and 30 miles in width, confined to Elko County.

Detailed surface geologic studies and sampling of the Elko Formation have been conducted at three localities in Elko County: near Elko; in the Pinion Range; and in Coal Mine Canyon. of these three areas, the richest oil-shale deposits occur in the Elko area. Informally designated members 2, 3, and 4 of the Elko Formation near Elko contain oil shale. On the basis of Fischer-assay determinations of oil yield on continuous core samples from the Elko area, total in-place shale oil in members 2 and 3 has been calculated as 600 million barrels. Of this total, 228 million barrels are from beds averaging at least 15 gal/ton over a 15-feet thickness; the minimum classifiable standard for prospectively valuable oil-shale deposits. The remaining approximately 373 million barrels of in-place shale oil has been calculated for low-grade shale of member 3 that averages only 5 gal/ton over a thickness of 260 to 280 feet. Because of high energy demands in mining and processing of oil shale, shales yielding less than 10 gal/ton are not considered to be of sufficient richness to approach present economic development. Therefore, the 228 million barrels of shale oil in member 2 of the Elko Formation is considered to be the present shale-oil resource for the Elko area.

Despite the richness of oil-shale deposits of member 2 of the Elko Formation in the Elko area, the present economic development potential of this deposit is low. Present economic conditions of tight money, high interest rates, and escalating costs of construction have plagued commercial development of all oil shale in the United States, including rich deposits of the Green River Formation. In addition, lower world crude oil prices and decreased domestic crude oil consumption has decreased the present potential for shale oil to compete economically with conventional petroleum sources.

Aside from economic conditions, the stratigraphic and structural complexity of the Elko Formation would be another major disadvantage to development. The close proximity of the town of Elko to the oil-shale deposit puts other serious constraints on the development of that resource. Environmental problems, conflicts with Present land use and water availability, and development of technologically and socially acceptable mining and retorting methods are all factors that would have to be weighed if this oil-shale deposit were to be economically developed on a commercial scale. Although there are notable quantities of shale oil in the Elko Formation near Elko, and more resources may be discovered buried within sedimentary basins in northeastern Nevada, the commercial development of these resources is not likely in the foreseeable future.

Several open-file reports concerning oil shale are indexed on the Open-File Report Database. The Information Office also has a number of unindexed, generally old reports dealing with oil shale in Nevada.



PUBLICATIONS, OPEN-FILE REPORTS, AND MAPS

The Information Office contains a large number of reports, maps, and other publications from NBMG, Southern Pacific Railroad, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the U.S. Department of Energy (including the MX Project, Nevada Test Site, Yucca Mountain Project), the USGS, and other agencies.

These maps, reports, and other publications are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files, however, the materials cannot be borrowed directly by the patron. The Information Office can do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one-hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length. The materials can be sent to a local copy center for color and very large format copying or scanning for a $10 service fee to the Information Office, but the customer is responsible directly to the particular copy center for the bill. It should be noted, however, that many of these publications are also available in the DeLaMare Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus where they usually can be borrowed and copied.

GEOLOGIC MAPS AND DATA

NBMG sells a large number of geologic maps produced by itself and by the USGS. These maps are listed at and available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. A number of maps are open-file reports and these are electronically indexed in the Open-File Report Database Geologic maps of Nevada published prior to 1996 are graphically indexed on a CD-ROM as NBMG Open-File Report 97-2, Interactive Index of Geologic Mapping in Nevada, available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. A text version of this database is also available on the NBMG website.

Each of Nevada's counties (some counties are grouped) has an NBMG bulletin describing its geology and mineral resources. Each of these bulletins also contains a 1:250,000-scale geologic map of its particular county or group of counties. These county geologic maps have also been digitized and are available on CD-ROMs as NBMG Open-File Report OF97-1, County Digital Geologic Maps of Nevada. These publications are also listed at and available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office.

The NBMG Publication Sales Office also sells NBMG Urban Area Maps for geology. These use the 7.5' topographic maps for a base and contain the geologic formations in color with a description and faults and other structural information. They do not have the Uniform Building Code zones designated. The maps available are: Boulder Beach 3Hg, Carson City 1Ag, Henderson 3Gg, Genoa 1Cg, Glenbrook 2Bg, Las Vegas NE 3Cg, Las Vegas NW 3Dg, Las Vegas SE 3Ag, Las Vegas 3Bg, Marlette Lake 2Cg, Mt. Rose NE 4Bg, New Empire 1Bg, Reno 4Ag, Reno NE 4Cg, Reno NW 4Dg, South Lake Tahoe 2Ag, Steamboat 4Fg, Verdi 4Gg, Vista 4Hg, and Washoe City 5Ag. These are the most detailed geologic maps NBMG has for these areas.

A large amount of unpublished and other published geologic data and maps are also partly electronically indexed and available in the Mining District and General Geology Files.

GEOPHYSICAL MAPS AND DATA

NBMG sells a number of gravity and aeromagnetic maps covering parts of Nevada. NBMG Maps M93A and M93B are aeromagnetic maps of the state at a scale of 1:1,000,000, and M94A and M94B are gravity maps of the state at a scale of 1:1,000,000. These maps are listed at and available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office The gravity data for the state are also available on CD-ROM as USGS Digital Data Series DDS42. This is available from both the NBMG Publication Sales Office and the USGS.

The Information Office has no digital geophysical data other than DDS42 but it does have a number of open-file reports of gravity and aeromagnetic maps and tables of data, which are electronically indexed in the Open-File Reports Database.

Companies doing oil and gas or geothermal exploration are required to turn in paper copies of electric logs, but not geophysical data or reports covering large areas. Consequently, except for a few unindexed maps and reports in the oil and gas and geothermal files and a few electronically indexed maps and reports in the Mining District Files, the Information Office has no company geophysical data.

MAGNETIC DECLINATION

Magnetic declination of a given area for 1900 to the present can be calculated using the program on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.

MISCELLANEOUS MAPS, REPORTS, AND PUBLICATIONS

The Information Office also has sets of miscellaneous other reports, maps, and publications. These include:

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology publications.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management mining claims index on microfilm. These were sent to us from the BLM when they became obsolete and cover the 1980s through 1998. The microfiche is here for public research, but it is usually better to contact the BLM directly.

U.S. Bureau of Mines (closed since 1995) commodity reports and yearbooks in paper copy (set incomplete) and almost all USBM publications on microfiche. The microfiche is here for public research, but it is usually better to contact the DeLaMare Library) on the University of Nevada, Reno campus because they have paper copies.

USGS commodity reports, bulletins, fact sheets, information circulars, maps, and professional papers. The set is not complete and not indexed with the exception of the fact sheets indexed with the open-file reports and few of the older other publications with copies filed and indexed in the Mining District Files. These publications are here for public research, but it is usually better to contact the DeLaMare Library because they have a much more complete and comprehensive collection that is electronically indexed.

OPEN-FILE AND WATER RESOURCE INVESTIGATION REPORTS

The Information Office is a repository for USGS open-file reports and water resources investigation reports and water supply papers dealing with the geology and water resources of Nevada. Though it is not necessarily complete, the collection contains paper copies of these reports and papers, some dating back to 1948. In the last few years, the USGS has put some open-file reports on their website and not released paper copies. The Information Office has these website-only reports indexed, but does not have the means to easily reproduce them. For these, one should contact the USGS at http://www.usgs.gov or call (888) ASK-USGS. These open-file reports and water resources investigation reports and water supply papers are electronically indexed.

The Information Office collection also includes open-file reports from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Nevada Test Site, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (closed since 1995), the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Yucca Mountain Project. These open-file reports are also electronically indexed. Among these are the U.S. Bureau of Land Management GEM (Geology, Energy, and Mineral Resources) reports and WSA (Wilderness Study Area) reports, U.S. Bureau of Mines Mineral Land Assessment reports, and U.S. Department of Energy NURE (National Uranium Resource Evaluation) open-file reports. Though this collection is not necessarily complete, it is electronically indexed.

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD MAPS AND REPORTS

The Information Office has set of geologic maps (mostly 1:24,000 scale) compiled between 1955 and 1961 by the old Southern Pacific Company over its "checkerboard" land holdings along the Nevada portion of its railroad right-of-way. The Nevada Land and Resource Co., LLC, present owner of most of this land, gave NBMG written permission to allow public copying of these maps. For more information, please contact the Nevada Land and Resource Co., LLC, at (775) 885-5000 or info@railroad.com, or visit http://www.railroad.com. These maps are not indexed. The Information Office has very few of the original reports that went with these maps, and these are filed and indexed in the Mining District Files. The Information Office does have, and the NBMG Publication Sales Office does sell, copies of the publications these reports were compiled into. These are entitled, Minerals for Industry, by the Southern Pacific Co., and include volume I, Northern Nevada and Northwestern Utah; volume II, Northern California; and volume III, Southern California.

TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

The Information Office has an incomplete collection of USGS topographic maps covering the state at the standard scales of 1:24,000 (7.5'); 1:62,500 (15'); 1:100,000 (100K); and 1:250,000 (AMS). The Information Office also has a few old 1:125,000 (30') topographic maps, which with the 1:62,500-scale maps, are out of print. Almost all 1:24,000; 1:100,000; and 1:250,000-scale topographic maps of Nevada and northeastern California are available in hard copy from the NBMG Publication Sales Office or are available free in electronic form (Tiff DRG format) from the Keck DeLaMare website. The NBMG Publication Sales Office also sells Topo US (iGAGE), a private sector product electronically containing all 1:24,000; 1:100,000; and 1:250,000-scale topographic maps for Nevada.

The Ansari Map Library, which is part of the DeLaMare Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus has a complete set of all the topographic maps covering the state for different years including the 1:125,000-scale series. The Ansari Map Library also has topographic maps for other states and other countries.



ROCK AND MINERAL COLLECTION AND IDENTIFICATION AND RECREATIONAL PROSPECTING

IDENTIFICATION

People can bring rocks and minerals to Information Office for identification. It costs nothing for us to look at them. Most rocks and minerals can be identified by someone on the NBMG staff. However, if they cannot, then the NBMG Analytical Lab can analyze them for a fee.

KINDS OF ROCKS AND MINERALS AND RESTRICTIONS TO COLLECTING

Nevada has a vast assortment of rocks and minerals. Igneous rocks include those from gabbro, diorite, and granite intrusions, and basalt, andesite, and rhyolite flows, breccias, and tuffs. Sedimentary rocks include conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, shale, argillite, limestone, and dolomite. Metamorphic rocks include gneiss, schist, phyllite, slate, marble, hornfels, and skarn and various other types of metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks. Many types of minerals, both common and obscure, are also present. Gemstones such as turquoise and opal are also locally present.

One should always contact the owner before collecting on private property. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management oversees most of Nevada's public lands, and allows gemstone and common rock specimens to be collected for private use on unclaimed sites. On public land, most minerals on a valid mining claim belong to the claim holder. See Mining above for more detail on mining claims and records. So it is necessary to either avoid valid mining claims or to ask permission from the claim holder to collect rocks and minerals on their claims. Only hobby collecting is allowed in wilderness and wilderness study areas if it does not create surface disturbance or impair the environment.

The same general rules apply to land overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, but collectors should check with that agency for additional restrictions. Collecting rocks and minerals are generally prohibited in National Parks, and trespassing and collecting is illegal on Indian Reservations without permission from the tribal authorities. Trespassing and collecting is both illegal and dangerous on lands controlled by the Military.

RECREATIONAL PROSPECTING AND RESTRICTIONS

Gold, silver, and other metals are discussed in more detail in Mining, but the recreational prospector can prospect for gold and silver with hand tools such as pans and metal detectors. One should always contact the owner before collecting on private property. On public land, gold, silver, opals, and many other minerals on valid mining claims belong to the claim holder. See Mining above for more detail on mining claims and records. So it is necessary to either avoid valid mining claims or to ask permission from the claim holder to prospect over their claims.

Sluicing, dredging, and commercial mining on public land require permits. Recreational panning which does not involve mechanical equipment is permitted in wilderness and wilderness study areas if it does not create surface disturbance or impair the environment.

The same general rules apply to land overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, but recreational prospectors should check with that agency for additional restrictions. Prospecting is generally prohibited in National Parks, and trespassing and prospecting is illegal on Indian Reservations without permission from the tribal authorities. Trespassing and prospecting is both illegal and dangerous on lands controlled by the Military.

COLLECTING AND PROSPECTING LOCALITIES AND MAPS AND LITERATURE

Nevada's geology is too diverse to sum up in a sentence or two. It would be best for the collector to review the literature before planning a collecting or prospecting trip. NBMG has produced a number of bulletins, maps, and reports on the geology and mineral resources of the state. These can be obtained from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. NBMG Special Publication SP1, Rockhound's Map of Nevada, is a useful generalized map of areas to go. A large number of popular books have been written on rock, mineral, and gem collecting and recreational prospecting in Nevada and the west in general. The NBMG Publication Sales Office carries some of these books. Others can be found by contacting book stores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders Books and Music, and Waldenbooks.

Geologic maps at various scales are also published by the USGS, many of which are also available from the NBMG Publication Sales Office. Topographic maps at various scales are published by the USGS and can be found in the NBMG Publication Sales Office; blueprint stores; bookstores; and in hiking, hunting, and fishing stores. A free index to USGS maps is available by writing to: U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25425, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 or calling (888) ASK-USGS .

SAMPLES

If you have need of a certain rock, mineral, or fossil, the Information Office suggests that you contact nationally recognized commercial supply houses. A few are listed below:

D. J. Minerals, P.O. Box 761, 1001 S. Montana Street, Butte MT 59703-0761
Phone No.: (406) 782-7339

Ward's Natural Science Establishment, Box 24, Rochester, NY 14601
Phone No.: (800) 962-2660
Website: http://www.wardsci.com

Geological Enterprises, Box 925, 308 Stolfa Street, SE, Ardmore, OK 73401-6098
Phone No.: (580) 223-8537

Also, the NBMG Publication Sales Office sells a box (listed as C-1) containing 18 Nevada rock and mineral specimens and a brochure.

ROCK, MINERAL, CORE, AND CUTTINGS COLLECTIONS

KECK MUSEUM ROCK AND MINERAL COLLECTION

The W. M. Keck Museum on the University of Nevada, Reno campus has a large rock, mineral, and fossil collection. It is electronically indexed under Specimen Catalogue.

LEACHED OUTCROP COLLECTION

The following memo explains this collection. It is as yet still in the five boxes mentioned in the memo and unindexed. However, most of the samples do have geographic locations noted. It should also be noted that this collection has nothing to do with NBMG Bulletin 66, Interpretation of Leached Outcrops (1968).

To: John Schilling, Director, Nevada Bureau of Mines
From: Anthony Payne
Subject: Leached Outcrop Collection Date: 26 Jul 84

        As outlined in our Phone conversation just now, the leached outcrop collection is contained in five 12" x 12" x 16" cardboard cartons.
        The bulk of the collection is of leached outcrop specimens from various southwestern US porphyry copper deposits collected by Kenyon Richard and Harold Courtright during the 1940s, when they were employed by Consolidated Coppermines Corporation.
        A collection of Matahambre, Cuba sulphide ores by E. N. Pennybaker is the 1940's (sic) is also included.
        A number of specimens were contributed by various industry and NBM geologists during the 1960's and 70's.
        Some of the porphyry copper leached outcrop specimens are from my personal collection, from places such as Ely, Copper Basin,, Copper Canyon, Yerington, etc. Where the number sequence is broken, these are specimens from my own collection that I am keeping-- mainly epithermal gold and silver districts of western North and South America.
        The Con Copper collection was given to the University when they went out of business twenty years or so ago. Ed Lawrence, then with the NBM, brought the collection from Ely to Reno, where it was stored in the basement of the old NBM building until I came to the Mackay School of Mines. Ed and I unpacked it for inspection, and for general reference because I had space in drawered cabinets in my office.
        I don't have to tell you that there is no way of placing a value on the Con Copper collection. Most of the samples sites are now a thousand meters and more in the air, over the primary sulphides now being mined deep in the pits. The specimens cannot be replaced.
        Geologists unfamiliar with SW porphyry copper exploration are often heard to say that the study of leached outcrops is no longer important. There was some reaction of this sort a few years ago when the Blanchard monograph was published. Aside from the fact that this is a strange conclusion for an exploration geologist, it doesn't take into account that these leached outcrops were developed for the most part in Miocene--,and to some extent Pliocene time. Future porphyry copper exploration will be near showings, laterally or at depth under cover. Various post-weathering cover rocks will crop out over the targets-- fans, sediments, volcanics, pediment veneer, etc. Drill holes will pass through this post-ore cover only to penetrate old leached cap rock. A complete understanding of these old sub-outcrop rocks will be necessary to guide exploration through the typical 100 m of geochemically and geophysically "dead" rocks lying over the ore.
        I'm sorry it has taken so long to sort these specimens out from the rest of my own collection. It was to be one of the first things done when I left the University. Perhaps the present doldrums in porphyry copper exploration makes the delay unimportant.

                Anthony Payne

MINERAL EXPLORATION CORE AND CUTTINGS

The Information Office has a small collection of mostly skeletonized core and some cuttings and chipboards for about 100 sites around the state drilled mostly for mining exploration and some engineering studies. Most have site maps, logs, and reports, and these files are housed in the Information Office. The collection is indexed. Some cuttings are housed in a couple of small buildings on the UNR campus, and some are housed in large storage containers on UNR property at Stead about 10 miles north of the campus. Because of the logistics, it is advisable to contact the Information Office for scheduling to view the cuttings. The cost to view the collection is $5 per hole. The cost of sampling, if there is enough to sample, is a $100 per hole refundable fee. The fee is returned upon receipt of a copy of the sampling results, which will be held confidential for 5 years. The Information Office is always open to donations of Nevada specific mining material. However, due to severe storage space limitations, only a limited amount of core and cuttings can be accepted.

NEVADA MINERALIZED ROCK SAMPLE COLLECTION

This is a collection of over 4,200 hand samples collected from mineralized areas around the State of Nevada including the Nellis Air Force Range and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. These samples are listed with a brief description, UTM coordinates, and spectrographic results for up to 35 elements, and atomic adsorption results for up to 11 elements. NBMG Open-File Report 98-8 Geochemical Data is a CD-ROM containing ArcView shape files and the data in an ARC/INFO database. The data are also available in Microsoft Excel and dBase III formats. The data are also included in hard copy as parts of various mineral resource assessments open-filed with NBMG and indexed in the Open-File Reports List.

NEVADA ROCK COLLECTION

The NBMG Publication Sales Office sells a box (listed as C-1) containing 18 Nevada rock and mineral specimens and a brochure.

NOLAN (TONOPAH) SAMPLE COLLECTION

This is set of rocks and ore samples collected from the mines at Tonopah by Thomas B. Nolan of the USGS in 1929 and 1930 in cooperation with the Nevada State Bureau of Mines. The sample collection has been electronically indexed, and can be found as part of the W. M. Keck Museum "Specimen Catalogue." Search on "TBN" as the donor. The sample collection is part of a collection of maps, reports, and data that are filed in the Mining District Files. NBMG Bulletins 9, The Underground Geology of the Western Part of the Tonopah Mining District, Nevada (1930), and 23, The Underground Geology of the Tonopah Mining District, Nevada (1935), were the resulting publications. Both Bulletins are available as photocopies from the NBMG Publication Sales Office.

OIL AND GAS AND GEOTHERMAL CUTTINGS AND CORE

Companies drilling oil and gas and geothermal wells are required by state law to give the state two sets of cuttings for oil and gas wells and one set of cuttings for geothermal wells. These sets are kept confidential for 6 months for oil and gas and 5 years for geothermal. For more information this, please see the OIL AND GAS and GEOTHERMAL sites or contact the Nevada Division of Minerals in Carson City (775-684-7040). The Information Office is the repository for these cuttings, which are housed in the SEM building. The collection is electronically indexed. The cost to view the collection is $5 per hole. The cost of sampling, if there is enough to sample, is a $100 per hole refundable fee. The fee is returned upon receipt of a copy of the sampling results, which will be held confidential for 5 years. Usually no appointment is necessary to view the cuttings.



SOIL

Except for the mapping of the Quaternary geology, NBMG deals little with the specifics of soil. The Information Office has an incomplete set of the soil surveys published by the Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These are indexed in the Open-File Reports List. Each survey consists of a report describing the various soil types covered in the report area and contains 7.5' orthophotoquads with the soils mapped. About 40% of Nevada has been covered has been covered to date. The soil surveys are available by contacting the local NRCS field office or the state office in Reno at (775) 784-5863.

The NBMG Publication Sales Office sells a few NBMG Urban Area Maps for soils, which use 7.5' topographic maps for a base and are based on the NRCS soil survey maps.

Most geologic maps based on bedrock mapping commonly tend to lump soils into "Quaternary alluvium." However, geologic maps of Quaternary cover will divide this material into separate units and sometimes formations, though not normally into specific soil types.



U. S. BUREAU OF MINES

CONTACTS AND PUBLICATIONS

For information concerning the former U. S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) and where to find USBM publications, please see the following:

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTES
Newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Program
Vol. 18, no. 05 GP 3.16/3-2:18/05   March 15, 1997

United States Bureau of Mines, 1910 - 1996

[Information provided by the U. S. Geological Survey Library]

From 1910 through 1995, employees of the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) provided information to many people and organizations throughout the world. In September, 1995, the U.S. Congress voted to abolish the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM). The bill became law on January 26, 1996 when the "Balanced Budget Downpayment Act" (P.L. 104-99) was approved. Final appropriations were made in P.L. 104- 34, April 26, 1996.

Between September, 1995 and January, 1996, employees worked to close down the USBM in an orderly manner. Abolishing an 85-year-old statutory agency in less than 100 days resulted in some gaps--mainly, what happened to the specialists and all that information?

This bulletin is an unofficial communique, intended to provide sources for locating information published by the U.S. Bureau of Mines from 1910-1995, as well as a quick overview of those projects which survived. As the USBM identity disappeared, contacts for USBM-published information also disappeared. Now, most of the information published by the USBM is available only through repository sources. Points of contact for the few USBM programs which were transferred to other government agencies are listed below. Library contacts listed below may be willing, as a last resort, to provide information about USBM publications.

The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) has a "legacy" collection of USBM publications dating from 1910-1995. These publications are available for purchase from NTIS and represent most of the research work done by the USBM in the fields of mining technology, mine safety and health, and mineral industry information. NTIS plans to make a database of these records available on its home page. Until then, NTIS Sales Desk staff will locate Bureau of Mines publications on request. Paper indexes to the entire list of USBM pubs ("List of Bureau of Mines Publications and Articles" -- 11 volumes) are also available from NTIS.

The Bureau of Mines was a participating agency in the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) Depository Library Program. Many depository libraries received USBM publications and should have them available for use in the library. Depository libraries should contact GPO for information regarding titles which may be published under new agency names.

The USBM video program is defunct, although a few educational institutions may still have a loan program. Corporations which co-produced the films with the USBM may also have copies.

CONTACTS: FORMER U.S. BUREAU OF MINES

To purchase USBM publications

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
Phone: 1-800-553-NTIS or 703-487-4650
Website: http://www.ntis.gov
E-mail: info@ntis.fedworld.gov

Health and Safety Programs

Transferred to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Pittsburgh, PA and Spokane, WA
Program contact: 412-892-6601
Library contact: 412-892-4431 (Pittsburgh)
Library contact: 509-484-1610 (Spokane)
Library E-mail: kis2@niosh5.em.cdc.gov
OCLC symbol: qpc

Materials Research Program

Transferred to U.S. Department of Energy
Albany, OR
Program contact: 541-967-5892
Library contact: 541-967-5864
Library E-mail: clark@alrc.doe.gov
OCLC symbol: bmb

Minerals Information Programs

Transferred to U.S. Geological Survey
Reston, VA and Denver, CO
Program contact: 703-648-6140
Website: http://minerals.er.usgs.gov/minerals
Library contact: 703-648-7754
Library E-mail: mic_lib@usgs.gov
OCLC symbol: ueb*
*UEB is an inactive library. If UEB is listed as a holding library, please send request to GIS with note: "UEB" collection.

Minerals Analysis Program

Transferred to U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Juneau, AK and Anchorage, AK
Program contact: 907-364-2111
Library contact: 907-364-2111
Library E-mail: N/A
OCLC symbol: N/A

Robert Bier
U. S. Geological Survey Library
952 National Center
Reston, Va. 20192
  Voice: (703) 648-6207
  E-mail: rbier@usgs.gov
  Fax: (703) 648-7753

NEVADA BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOLOGY AND U.S. BUREAU OF MINES

The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology is the Nevada state geological survey, and its mission can be viewed on the NBMG website. The United States Bureau of Mines (USBM) was a Federal agency that existed between 1910 and 1995. It did research into mining and mineral related science, much of which was esoteric, and issued numerous publications concerning this research; visited and compiled databases on mines and deposits (Mineral Availability System/Mineral Industry System or MASMILS), and compiled commodity reports and yearbooks (now done by the U.S. Geological Survey. The USBM had a field station on the University of Nevada Reno campus called the Bureau of Mines Building. This building now houses parts of several UNR departments, and has nothing to do with the NBMG, which is located in the Scrugham Engineering/Mines Building. Unfortunately, it has not been uncommon for people to confuse the NBMG with the USBM or the Bureau of Mines Building.



WATER RESOURCES

The materials dealing with water resources in the Information Office files are open for free public viewing during our office hours, and the staff will help locate and pull files, but the materials cannot be borrowed directly by the patron. The Information Office can do custom searches of the files on request, but the charge is $40 per hour with a one hour minimum. The copying charges are 10¢ per letter- and legal- and 20¢ per ledger-size page for customer copying and 30¢ per letter- and legal- and 60¢ per ledger-size page for our staff to do the copying for the customer. Documents up to 3 feet wide can copied on our large format copier for $3.50 per foot of paper length. The materials can be sent to a local copy center for color and very large format copying or scanning for a $10 service fee to the Information Office, but the customer is responsible directly to the particular copy center for the bill.

DAMS, DITCHES, SPRINGS, CANALS, RECLAMATION, FLOOD CONTROL, ETC. NBMG does not have comprehensive databases or maps of dams, ditches, springs, canals, reclamation and flood control projects, or the like. Some springs are described in some NBMG publications and open-file reports and in USGS publications. The Information Office holdings of these are electronically indexed in the Open-File Report Database. The Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) in Carson City at (775) 687-4380 (see below) has water rights and water well records. For information on dams, reclamation and flood control projects, and related activities, one should check with local county engineer's office, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES

NEVADA DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES AND WATER RIGHTS AND RECORDS

Water rights involve ownership of groundwater, wells, springs, and surface water in ditches, streams, and ponds. In Nevada, it is possible to separate the water, mineral, and surface rights from a piece of real estate and sell each separately or hold on to the water rights and sell the other rights separately. The title to a piece of real estate may not necessarily note if the water rights are intact or not, and one should inquire about this before they make any purchases.

The Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) in Carson City is the regulatory agency for water rights in Nevada. The NDWR also archives the water records which include water rights ownership, water well permitting and drilling logs and records, and pre-1985 geothermal well records. NBMG has neither a set of water rights and water well records nor access to the ones at NDWR. Also, NBMG does have a hydrogeologist on staff but not an expert on water rights issues. If you have questions about ownership of water rights or water wells, you should contact the NDWR at (775) 687-4380. If you have legal questions about or problems over water rights, you should also contact the NDWR or an attorney specializing in water issues.

WATER REPORTS AND MAPS

The Information Office has a large number of reports concerning mostly the hydrogeologic aspects of water resources for the State. These are electronically indexed in the Open-File Reports Database and include reports from such agencies as the USGS, the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NWDR, see above), and the Las Vegas Valley Water District. The MX Project files and Yucca Mountain Project files also contain documents relating to water resources for the areas affected. The USGS also has a site devoted to water resources on its main website. NBMG also has a research hydrogeologist on staff.

The NBMG Publication Sales Office sells NBMG Urban Area Maps for groundwater levels for a few areas. These use the 7.5' topographic maps for a base. They are available for Carson City 1Af, Genoa 1Cf, Las Vegas SE 3Af, Las Vegas SW 3Bf, Reno 4Af, South Lake Tahoe 2Af, Vista 4Hf, Washoe City 5Af. Groundwater level areas for a number of other areas can be found in some of the reports in the Open-File Reports Database or obtained from the water well records at the NDWR in Carson City at (775) 687-4380.