GigaPanning Bisbee, Arizona

At the end of my last post chronicling my return from AGU, I had just departed Organ Pipe National Monument and the Ajo, Arizona area. Having holed up in Organ Pipe for two nights waiting for a Pacific storm system to pass me by I was eager to put some miles in the rear view mirror. So eager, as it turned out, that I just about ran up on the back end of the storm again the following afternoon as I arrived in the Bisbee, Arizona area. The three GigaPans I shot on December 27th were not much fun to shoot, as I was fighting clouds and near freezing temperatures and winds in mid-afternoon. Nonetheless, the GigaPan of downtown Bisbee turned out to be a monster, from an excellent vantage point, and as a result there’s a ton of great detail to explore.

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The other two GigaPans I shot that day were both roadcuts. Neither is remarkable as a standalone GigaPan, but each illustrates some interesting geology. The first was shot on the way into Bisbee, just north of town on State Highway 80. It illustrates an nonconformity between the schistose bedrock of the Bisbee Range and the overlying Quaternary fanglomerates, rich with granitic clasts
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The final GigaPan of the day was shot adjacent to the Lavender Pit copper mine. Unfortunately the lighting of the open-pit itself was not optimal for viewing from the public highway during the late afternoon, so I opted to shoot the roadcut opposite the pit across the highway. You can see the effects of hydrothermal alteration of the rocks in the remarkably orange hillsides above the pit. There isn’t a whole lot of interesting detail that I’ve yet discovered beyond the alteration colors, but maybe a geologist with a sharper eye than mine can spot some interesting structural or mineralogical details.


Hydrothermal Alteration, Lavender Pit, Bisbee, Arizona
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Departing Bisbee, I took dinner in Douglas, AZ and then headed north, planning to camp in Chiracahua National Monument for the night. Arriving there well after dark I was greeted by bone chilling temperatures and I decided that discretion was the better part of valor, so I beat a hasty retreat to a warm motel in Willcox, AZ on Interstate 10. Probably a good idea, because it gave me a chance to upload lots of photos and check the weather. Realizing that I had, perhaps, been too hasty in bypassing the Tucson area, and in light of a favorable weather forecast for the upcoming week, the decision to double back to Tucson and the Saguaro National Park became one that in hindsight I certainly don’t regret.

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