The "Borderlands" area is a transition zone between two huge geologic regions…the Basin and Range Province of Nevada and Utah and the Snake River Plains Province of Idaho. The Jarbidge mountains of Nevada are the highest in the northern part of the state with several peaks over ten thousand feet high. The Snake River Plains meanwhile are much lower and stretch for more than a hundred miles to the north toward Twin Falls and Boise, Idaho. Bill Bonnichsen has been exploring this area for nearly six decades, much of that as a member of the Idaho Geological Survey. He says it’s one of the world’s great areas for studying volcanism. Now retired, Bonnichsen continues to pursue his passion for unlocking the geologic story of the region.
“To the north of the Jarbidge region is the Snake River Plain Volcanic Province, and the Snake River Plain Volcanic Province is a product of North America moving southwestward over a stationary hot spot deep within the earth.
"To the south extending from about the Idaho-Nevada border on down through Nevada is what geologist have referred to as the Basin and Range province. And it is characterized by a number of large, high mountain ranges that trend north-south. These mountain ranges were produced along faults as the earth's crust was stretched from east to west...
--Bill Bonnichsen, Idaho Geological Survey (retired)--