Geology Log #1

Areas covered: Payunia, Aconcagua, Uspallata, and Sierra de las Quijadas


Found: Payunia is an area in western Argentina that has 800 volcanoes in 450,000 hectares. Volcanoes do not usually have conditions for crystals to form, but we still found some small lavender calcite geodes while on a guided tour. Aconcagua has been the best place for crystals so far. There were huge chunks of worn down calcite and Emily even found a beautiful azurite specimen. In Uspallata Alex and Tim went on a grueling bike ride out to the surrounding mountains to look for crystals. They were successful and came back with some interestingly shaped quartz crystal clusters. Sierra de las Quijadas is a desert mountain range where we found pieces of gypsum and every color of quartz you could possibly imagine. Also, on a hike, we found a vein of a yet unidentified mineral (photo 1). Overall, crystal hunting has been very good so far.

Bought: Payunia and Aconcagua both had interesting crystals for sale. In Payunia we made friends with a crystal hunter named José who let us come over to his house and sold us some nice crystals at a very cheap price. Near Aconcagua they were selling a black, sparkly, volcanic crystal called bismuth (photo 2) and some small carved onyx figures.


Much to Tim’s disappointment we learned that you are not allowed to collect or buy fossils in Argentina. We still went to two geology museums and to one dinosaur fossil workshop. Hopefully we will be allowed to buy fossils in Chile.

Geology Log #2
Geology Log #3