14,100 feet

8 September 2008, Kunlun Mountain Pass.

The trails are too muddy for our vehicles to pass; we could not get to the microfossil locality KL0402 where we had planned to sample 150 bags of sediment to transport down to Geermu.

En route to Xidatan, our base of operations, I got video footage of the snowy peaks in high definition. Even though we do not have enough bandwidth to upload these videos, I will post them on the web once we return to Beijing.

With the microfossil activity suspended, we drove to several localities to survey the local geology and stratigraphic relationship among the known strata here: the Triassic basement rock, the early/middle Miocene Kunlun Formation, and the fossiliferous late Pliocene Qiangtang Formation.

At around 1630, we got caught in a snowstorm. We continued hiking across several areas to observe the displaced sediments along the Kunlun fault, the result of a 8.1 magnitude earthquake on the mountain pass in 2001.

We are now back in our restaurant shack, huddled around the stove and drying our pants. The owners are making dinner for us, and we are discussing the various rocks and minerals we collected in the field today.

The sky is overcast, the glaciers adjacent to Xidatan are extended far down near the base of the mountain range. The temperature is in the 40's F, but will drop as the sun sets. Overnight snow is expected.


1 comment:

Spencer said...

Snowstorms? I ain't even seen snow before! Don't get caught in a bad one, Jack.

Shelley is responsible for my great appreciation for microfossils. :-D