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Geological Society of America Cordilleran section meets in the heart of Mexico

Boulder, Colorado, USA - Geology doesn't stop at borders. Mexico, the U.S., and Canada share the same tectonic plate and face similar environmental and resource problems. In an effort to promote active communication among geologists from the three countries, the Center of Geoscience and the Institute of Geology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico; UNAM) are hosting the 108th meeting of GSA's Cordilleran Section in Quertaro, central Mexico, on 29-31 March 2012.

Mexico is a key region for understanding the geologic evolution of North America as well as an important tectonic element that interacted with South America and the Caribbean. Quertaro lies at the crossroads of three main geologic provinces and classic fossils sites are only 25-30 miles to the north. Historic Quertaro is a safe and modern industrial city built around a beautiful colonial center about 140 miles northwest of Mexico City.

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into 17 themed sessions, a symposium, and an array of general discipline of research. Go to to learn more.

Thursday, 29 March

Environmental Geochemistry I. Mario Villalobos, Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mexico (UNAM), and colleagues Laura E. Beramendi-Orosco, Francisco Romero, Priyadarsi Roy, and Ofelia Morton, presiding. The topics considered in this session are broad and include hazardous waste management; soil, water and air pollution; environmental health risk assessment; remediation and reclamation of contaminated sites; and past climatic changes.

Abstracts:, 8:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. (session 4).

Paper 4-5: Tracing of Pollution Sources in Urban Dust and Soils from Hermosillo City (Northwestern Mexico) Using Pb Isotopes. Rafael Del Ro Salas of Estacin Regional del Noroeste, UNAM, and nine colleagues:

What Fossil Ages and Distributions Tell Us about the History of the Ancient Gulf of California. Judith Smith, U.S. National Museum of Natural History, and colleagues Ana Luisa Carreo and Javier Helenes, presiding. This session aims to take a fresh look at data based on coral, echinoid, mollusk, microfossil, other invertebrate and vertebrate specimens, not published lists, in order to discover new insights on the age of the earliest seawater.

Abstracts:, 2:30 to 4:50 p.m. (session 15).

Paper 15-1: Keynote: Neogene Micropaleontology and Evolution of the Northern Gulf of California. Javier Helenes, Centro de Investigacin Cientfica y de Educacin Superior de Ensenada and A. Luisa Carreo, UNAM:

Friday, 30 March

Ground Deformation Related to Anthropogenic Activities: Achievements in the Development of Geoscience Information System for Improved Management of Natural Resources. Dora Carreon-Freyre, UNAM, and colleagues Mariano Cerca, Devin Galloway, and Penlope Lpez-Quiroz, presiding. Deformation of the near surface and deep geological sequences can be associated with natural and anthropogenic phenomena. The intensive exploitation of subsurface natural resources and the urbanization of areas nearby steep slopes cause mechanical instabilities that are shown in the surface as land subsidence, ground fracturing and landslides.

Abstracts:, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. (session 33).

Paper 33-1: Engineering Geology Approach to the Effects of Land Subsidence in Mexico City. Mariano Cerca, UNAM Campus Juriquilla, and eight colleagues:

Saturday, 31 March

Ore Deposits and Ore Genesis in the American Cordillera. Antoni Camprubi, UNAM, presiding. The American Cordillera or "backbone" constitutes one of the largest and most productive regions in the world. Despite the stunning genetic type variety and economic value or potential of ore deposits in the region, the long and complex geological history of the western Americas is yet to be unraveled.

Abstracts:, 8:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. (session 34).

Paper 34-3: Graben Type Calderas of the Sierra Madre Occidental: Potential Sites for Hydrothermal Ore Deposits. Gerardo J. Aguirre-Daz, UNAM Campus Juriquilla, and five colleagues:

Field Guild 25, The Southern Cordillera and Beyond, prepared in conjunction with the 2012 GSA Cordilleran Section Meeting, features eight field trips that showcase three aspects of the geology of the southern end of the North America Cordillera: Mid-Tertiary and Quaternary volcanology, environmental geology, and Mesozoic tectonics. Edited by Jos Jorge Aranda-Gmez, Gustavo Tolson, and Roberto S. Molina-Garza:

Find complete meeting information at

Find local contact information at


Eligibility for media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide, recognized news media with a press card, letter or business card from the publication.
  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, ISWA, CSWA, ACS, ABSW, EUSJA, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2011 or 2012.
  • PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

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


Contact: Christa Stratton
Geological Society of America

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