The 2008 field party. From left to right, Pablo Garcia Del Real (undergraduate student), Dr. Chris Mattinson, Xiao Li (MS student at the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences [CAGS]), Xiao Yu (PhD student at CAGS), and Dr. Zhang Jianxin (professor at CAGS). In the background is Riyueting, the ancient gateway between China and Tibet.

Our two drivers, Wei Shifu (left) and Wang Shifu (right)

Arrival in Lanzhou, our jumping-off point for field work

Crossing the Yellow River

The Ma Che (Horse-vehicle), a popular mode of transport

Qinghai Lake

Arrival in Chaka, our base of operations for field work

12,000 ft mountain pass on our way to the field area

First day in the field

Next to the Shaliu River

Fresh snow on the mountains

More snow

More snow

Pablo and Xiao Li ready for the day's field work

Snowy mountains north of the field area

The thunderstorm that ended the day's field work a few hours later

Snow on the mountains viewed from Chaka (the characters for Chaka are on the left gatepost)

Small boudin of fresh, UHP eclogite hosted in metasedimentary gneiss

Basaltic dike cutting UHP gneiss

Deformed Devonian conglomerate. These sediments depositionally overlie the UHP rocks

Back to the car for lunch on a rainy day

Pablo labels a sample

Large mafic boudin (dark ridge on left side)

Wang Shifu stuck in the mud

Arrival in Dulan, base of operations for the second stage of field work

Cloud shadows over the field area

The road to Dulan

Fields of yellow rapeseed near Dulan, with sand dunes in the distance

Fresh, coarse-grained eclogite


Pablo and Xiao Yu

Crossing the Chacha River

Where even the grasshoppers are the color of eclogite

Spectacular outcrops of high-pressure granulite

Yours truly

Stream-polished block of deformed garnet amphibolite

Xiao Yu, Dr. Zhang, and Pablo

Large boudin of fresh UHP eclogite

Prayer flags at Riyueting

Preparing our 800 kg of rock samples for shipment at the Xining railway freight office

Packing up the samples, 30-50 kg per crate

Shipping crate

Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province

Ta'ersi (Kumbum) monastery, near Xining

Back in Lanzhou

Buying our plane tickets back to Beijing

Poster for my talk at CAGS