Kirk Bryan Field Trip

The Kirk Bryan Field Trip has been sponsored by the Division since 2006 to bring together the QG&G community during the Annual Meeting to discuss emerging and provocative ideas in an informal field setting. This one-day trip is usually held the day after (Thursday) or before (Saturday) the meeting. Originally held during the meeting, the large number of Division-sponsored sessions now makes it impossible to avoid scheduling conflicts. The Kirk Bryan is run as a regular GSA Field Trip and must meet GSA requirements and deadlines. As part of sponsoring the field trip, QG&G subsidizes the registration cost for the first 10 students who register for the annual Kirk Bryan Field Trip.

*In light of the QGG-Includes task force's ongoing efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at QGG-sponsored events, QG&G strongly encourages field trip proposals to reflect a strong attempt to be inclusive of persons and topics representing those often marginalized or unrepresented in the geosciences. Proposals that focus on applications of QGG science in Indigenous or Urban landscapes, or those that highlight the effects of natural hazards, including climate change, on communities that are currently underrepresented in QGG sciences are particularly encouraged. We also encourage outreach efforts with local scientists and teachers that can increase experiential opportunities in geological sciences within underrepresented groups. We also suggest proposals include a brief statement that demonstrates how their proposed field trip promotes DEI in QGG sciences.

If you are interested in leading the Kirk Bryan Field Trip, please contact the Chair before proposing to GSA.

Kirk Bryan Field Trip Origin Story

The Geological Society of America national meeting provides a flexible venue for the presentation and exchange of the highest quality research, education, and outreach in the geosciences. Two ways that GSA distinguishes itself in this respect are through Divisions, like QG&G, that regularly solicit, organize, and promote topical or special sessions, and of course through field trips, which are signature events at all GSA meetings. In 2006, following a discussion with then GSA President Stephen G. Wells, a proposal was put forward by Frank J. Pazzaglia for the QG&G division to sponsor an annual field trip focused on raising the scientific impact of the national meeting. The vision of the Kirk Bryan Field Trip was to combine a during the meeting one-day field trip with the full slate of QG&G special sessions to create a meeting within a meeting feeling for the QG&G community. The goals of the field trip itself was to take QG&G participants away from the many (good) distractions of the meeting convention center and assemble them at one single provocative outcrop or landform where ideas could be expressed and shared in an informal atmosphere. Provided that the field trip was scheduled for a Tuesday, the participants could go directly from the trip to the QG&G social and business meeting to continue the networking and discussion. The focus of the trip was to be on ideas, different perspectives, and the seeding of new projects, rather than the showcasing of completed work with a published field guide and several stops. This was the case for the inaugural Kirk Bryan Trip to Hickory Run State Park in Carbon County, PA held in conjunction with the 2006 Philadelphia National Meeting. Eleven years later at the Denver national meeting in 2016, results of a new cosmogenic geochronology study of the enigmatic boulder field at Hickory Run were presented, realizing the original vision. Over the years, many QG&G members have stepped forward to run the Kirk Bryan trip, and its format and vision have evolved. Now, the trip is run as a regular, sanctioned GSA field trip with a formal, published field guide. The trip tends to highlight in-progress or completed work, rather than focusing the community on a single, provocative outcrop or landscape, and it has been held on days other than Tuesday to avoid scheduling conflicts as well as allow for coordination with other GSA special sessions or field trips, as was done for its 10th anniversary at the Baltimore national meeting. However it continues to evolve, the Kirk Bryan field trip offers a great venue for scientific engagement and impact in the QG&G community. Frank Pazzaglia

Upcoming Kirk Bryan Field Trip

2020 Kirk Bryan (virtual) Field Trip: Pre-LGM Stratigraphic Record in the Central St. Lawrence Lowla

When:  Oct 22, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (ET)
Associated with  QGG Division

Attend this Field Trip

Kirk Bryan Field Trip GSA 2020 Connects Online

Thu, Oct 22, 2020 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM (EDT)

Please join your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States: +1-408-650-3123

Access Code: 832-126-317

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: in virtually to the Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Pre-LGM Stratigraphic Record in the Central St. Lawrence Lowlands - How Much Ice in Southern Quebec and Adjacent New England during MIS-3?

Leaders: Michel Parent; and Michel Lamothe

Endorsed by: Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division (submitted for approval)

Trip Description:

The inferred extent and volume of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during MIS3 has been recently proposed to be much reduced during MIS3 as a consequence of new (Dalton et al., 2016; Pico et al., 2018) but disputed (Miller and Andrews, 2019) chronostratigraphic interpretations over the Hudson Bay Lowland. The concept of a much reduced LIS between 50-30 ka has major implications for the evolution of drainage conditions in the St. Lawrence River valley (SLRV), a river system particularly sensitive to LIS dimensions. The recognition of glacial lake sediments in the SLRV implies the damming and rerouting of drainage and therefore a substantial LIS volume. In contrast, the presence of sediments indicating normal drainage, whether fluvial, lacustrine or marine, implies mostly ice-free conditions in the valley and thus a reduced ice volume. A 2020 Kirk Bryan fieldtrip is thus proposed to visit three sites providing conflicting field and geochronologic data, located at less than 50 km of each other where both types of sediments have been recognized and dated at ca 30 to 50 ka.

The first site will be located at Ulverton where late-glacial subaqueous outwash sediments allow the excursionists to discuss the impact of the presence of continental ice in the SLRV on the depositional systems in the Appalachians. The continuity of glacial cover in the Central St. Lawrence Lowlands through MIS 2-3-4 has been one of the cornerstones of the Late Quaternary stratigraphic record of southern Québec (Gadd et al., 1972; Lamothe, 1989; Lamothe et al., 1992; Occhietti et al., 1996). The second site is located near Pierreville, a classical occurrence for the St. Pierre organic (peat) sediments. At a nearby section, sub-LGM till fluvial sediments exhibiting upriver sedimentary structures are interpreted as distal glacial outwash and correlated to the mid-Wisconsinan Sables des Vieilles Forges (SVF). There, as in several other locations in the central part of the SLRV, IRSL dating of the SVF suggest fluvioglacial sediment aggradation was initiated at ca 40-50 ka (Lamothe, in preparation). The third site will allow discussing the recent discovery, below the LGM till unit and Champlain Sea clay, of a succession of marine sediments overlying plant-bearing alluvial sediments (Parent et al., 2015, 2017) AMS-radiocarbon-dated at 31 270 ± 200 years BP (36400 – 35150 cal BP) and 33 250 ± 240 years BP (38680 - 37130 cal BP). These sediments are from a borehole in which the mid-Wisconsinan marine-alluvial succession overlies an older till unit and laminated lacustrine sediments lying directly on bedrock. The stratigraphic position of the marine unit between the 35 to 39 ka-old alluvial sediments and the LGM till records an hitherto unrecognized glaciomarine event in the central St. Lawrence lowlands prior the last glacial maximum.

This Kirk Bryan fieldtrip will bring participants to classical as well as new sites exhibiting parts of the St. Lawrence valley Quaternary record and should provide them with ample opportunity to discuss the ins and outs of the revised stratigraphic record.

Primary Leader Email Address:


Online Instructions:
Login: Attend this Field Trip Kirk Bryan Field Trip GSA 2020 Connects Online Thu, Oct 22, 2020 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM (EDT) Please join your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1-408-650-3123 Access Code: 832-126-317 New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:


Past Kirk Bryan Field Trips

2019 Phoenix, AZ:
The Co-Evolution of Verde Valley and the Verde River, Central ArizonaLed by Phil Pearthree, Kyle House, Kelin Whipple, and Joe Cook
2019 Kirk Bryan Field Trip

2018 Indianapolis, IN: Saturday, November 3

407. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: At the Edge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Stratigraphy and Chronology of Glacial Deposits in Central Indiana. Led by: Henry Loope, Jose Luis Antinao, William Monaghan

2017 Kirk Bryan Field Trip

2017 Seattle, WA: Saturday, 21 October

411. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Exploring the Mechanics, Frequency, and Impacts of Deep-Seated

Landslides in Washington State. Led by: Alison Duvall, Sean LaHusen

2017 Kirk Bryan field trip participants in rain gear standing at an overlook of the Oso landslide with forests and clouds in the background
2017 Kirk Bryan field trip participants. (Photo credit Robert Marvinney, Maine Geological Survey)

2016 Denver, CO: Tuesday, September 27

424. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Quaternary Landslides, Fluvial Terraces, and Recent Geomorphic Events along the Colorado Front Range. Melissa Foster, Robert Anderson

2016 Kirk Bryan field trip participants on a sunny day with grassy and conifer covered hillsides and surroundings
2016 Kirk Bryan field trip participants (Photo courtesy of Jay Patton)

2015 Baltimore, MD: Saturday, October 31

416. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Great Falls of the Potomac and the Evolution of a Decay-Phase Orogen, the Appalachian Mountains. Led by: Paul Bierman, Eric Kirby, Wil Ouimet, Eric Portenga, Frank Pazzaglia, Greg Hancock

Paul Bierman and other leaders stand in front of a bus while adults look on
2015 Kirk Bryan field trip in progress

2014 Vancouver, BC: Thursday, October 23

423. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Glacial History, Geomorphology and Natural Hazards along the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Led by: Brent Ward, John Clague, Pierre Friele

2013 Denver, CO: Wednesday, October 30

421. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Critical Zone Evolution: Climate and Exhumation. Led by: Suzanne Anderson, David Dethier, Gregory Tucker, Robert Anderson

2012 Charlotte, NC: Wednesday, November 7

411. Piedmont Potpourris: New Perspectives on an Old Landscape (and some of its younger parts). Led by: Missy Eppes, Anne Jefferson, Karl Wegmann, Paul Bierman, Ryan McKeon

2012 Kirk Bryan field trip participants (50ish) gathered on a front porch, smiling
2012 Kirk Bryan field trip participants

2011 Minneapolis, MN: Wednesday, October 12

426. Holocene landscape evolution and erosional processes in the Le Sueur River, central Minnesota. Led by: Karen Gran, Patrick Belmont, Carrie Jennings, Chad Wittkop.

2010 Denver, CO: Wednesday, November 3

417: Kirk Bryan field trip: Historical range of variability in the Colorado Rockies. Led by: Ellen Wohl, Sara Rathburn

2009 Portland, OR: Tuesday, October 20

427. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of the Columbia River Gorge. Led by: Jim O’Connor, Scott Burns

2008 Houston, TX: Tuesday, October 7

420. Kirk Bryan Trip: Coastal Geomorphology and Change along the Upper Texas Coast. Led by: Jim Gibeaut, Rick Giardino, Doug Sherman (cancelled)

2007 Denver, CO: Tuesday October 30

419. Fluvial-Hydraulic Processes in the Colorado Front Range. Led by: John Pitlick, Ellen Wohl

2006 Philadelphia, PA: Tuesday October 4

Inaugural Kirk Bryan Field Symposium Field Trip #22. Erosion and the Hickory Run Boulder Field. Led by: Frank Pazzaglia, Paul Bierman, Milan Pavich, Dorothy Merritts

2006 Kirk Bryan field trip participants sitting and standing on top of boulders
2006 Kirk Bryan field trip participants