The end of summer has come, and the Fall, 2014 semester is well underway. Someone please inform the Tucson climate. Before I get too wrapped up in sample processing, data generation, and writing, I’ll take a moment to recap this summer’s adventures. I spent the month of June near Saga, Tibet doing field work for my PhD research, which focuses on the Lopu Kangri range. I was accompanied by a field assistant–Clay Campbell–from the University of Arizona, a colleague, guide and translator–Liu Shao Hui–from the Tibetan Plateau Research Institute in Beijing, and two drivers–Ahwan and Tashi–from Lhasa. The group was ideal. Our drivers were cooperative and enthusiastic, Liu Shao Hui kept us well-fed and joined us on every traverse, and Clay was a strong contributor in the field who I hope significantly furthered his own geology education.
During field work, we camped at three base camps on the northeast, west, and south sides of the Lopu Kangri range, respectively. We spent most of our time mapping at the 1:100,000 scale and collecting samples for detrital zircon U-Pb provenance analysis, igneous U-Pb geochronology, Ar-Ar and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronology, and electron microprobe geochemical analysis. Due to the early onset of the South Asian monsoon, we didn’t have the chance to summit any 6,000 m peaks. However, we did manage to reach ~5,750 m on a traverse into northeast side of the range. Our longest traverse, on the southwest flank of the range, was 21 km long at an average elevation of 5,500 m. Sometimes when you are gasping for breath and pushing hard to reach the next outcrop its difficult to appreciate the beauty of the southern Tibetan plateau. I’m glad I took plenty of photographs to remind me of all the amazing places this field work took me.