Showing posts with label volcanoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volcanoes. Show all posts

Monday, March 24, 2014

Where in the West: Big Hole, Hole-in-the-Ground, and Fort Rock

Just a quick recap of this month's WITW challenge, which was won by Oregon geoblogger Lockwood. The three circular features in the photo shown above, taken on a northbound flight from Reno to Seattle, are Big Hole, Hole-in-the-Ground, and Fort Rock. As noted by Lockwood, Big Hole and Hole-in-the-Ground are maars, and Fort Rock is a tuff ring.

You can read more about Hole-in-the-Ground here and here at Lockwood's Outside the Interzone, and about Fort Rock here and in several other posts (and see this compilation for all his 2013 Geo 365 posts, which cover many other locations in the area and elsewhere). Also, this USGS field trip guide is excellent for taking along on any road trips into the area.

View Bend OR to Winnemucca NV in a larger map

I've added the locations of the three features to an earlier map of mine. As you can see, they form a nearly straight line.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Where in the West: March 2014

I've got two photos for this Where in the West challenge: same location, slightly different viewing angle. If you enlarge these, you'll notice some distinctly volcanic features, three of which are nearly in a line and in Photo 2 start in the lower left corner and go toward the center of the photo.
Photo 1
Photo 2
I took these photos on a recent flight between Reno and Seattle; the general location should be fairly easy. I'd like the names of the three main volcanic features and what they are. There are, no doubt, other features that could be mentioned, some of which can't easily be seen in these airliner photos because of the washed out colors and distance. Also, for any of you really familiar with this area (and I know of at least one or two readers who are), the area in the lower center and right of Photo 1 and Photo 2, contain some features -- volcanic or otherwise -- which may or may not be of note.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Travels in 2013 (A Belated Travel Summary)

I apparently haven't participated in the Year of Travel Meme since 2010, possibly because I traveled back and forth across the same old roads in 2011, 2012, and 2013 -- or possibly I was just too busy at the holiday time of year to get that kind of blog post together. This year, Evelyn Mervine got her Year of Travel 2013 post up right at the end of the year; I'm getting mine up before the end of January, 2014. What follows is a brief summary.

January: Returned from a trip to Alaska.
Spruce on snow.
February: Visited Unionville, NV, in scenic Buena Vista Valley, stopping to take a photo of a cabin that purportedly once belonged to Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).
Old cabin.
March: Visited Leach Hot Spring in Grass Valley, NV, and Kyle Hot Spring in Buena Vista Valley.
Leach Hot Springs.
At Kyle Hot Spring, looking across Buena Vista Valley toward Unionville.
April: Drove within sight of Wheeler Peak in eastern NV.
Wheeler Peak seen from Highway 50.
May: Drove by and contemplated the badlands near Rye Patch Dam several times.
Looking west from I-80 just south of Rye Patch Dam.
June: Drove several parts of old Highway 40 in Nevada, including this one near Humboldt House:
Old 40 looking northeast between Humboldt House and Imlay.
July: Crossed the Humboldt River, drove on the Applegate Trail past Haystack Butte, and visited Sulphur, NV, host to large piles of sulfur and scattered old junk.
Sulfur at Sulphur.
August: August was the month in which MOH and I rapidly toured parts of five western states. I blogged about the trip a little, but not as much as I hoped. Besides places already mentioned, we stopped briefly at the North Rim.
Distant view of the San Francisco volcanic field from the North Rim,
with the cherty Kaibab Limestone in the foreground.
After so much travel in August, I apparently didn't go anywhere until the last day of October.

November: Family matters took me to Alaska, where I took very few non-family-related photos.
Mt. Susitna. A little more about the "Sleeping Lady," as she is often called here,
and a bit about the Sleeping Lady brewpub here.
December: Another trip to points north.
Mt. St. Helens, Spirit Lake, and the Toutle River.
It is, perhaps, a little too late for this post to be considered part of a 2013 travel meme, but if you haven't posted a travel compilation for the year yet, feel free to take my cue and give yourself til the end of January!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mt . Jefferson from the Air

I thought I'd try posting from my new mobile device, using a photo I snapped the day before Xmas while en route between Reno and Seattle. I see I'm going to have to go online with my computer to check the draft and maybe make changes, because I don't like the Blogger app's method of determining my location -- I can't seem to enter the actual location of the phone, I'm only able to choose from nearby places. Also, I can't tell where the photo will end up in the post.

Mt. Jefferson from the air.
So, it turns out that the photo ends up being too large for the blog space, and it was crammed up against the text, which I normally might prefer having below the photo. Possibly I can use the online webpage to create a draft or post, rather than the Blogger app.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

AW #58: Beware of the Signs!

Evelyn Mervine at Georneys is holding another Accretionary Wedge carnival (two in a row!), this time it's AW #58: Signs! I was first thinking of some geographic signs along the lines of her original signposts meme, and realized the ones I was thinking of consist of license plates rather than mileage signposts, and that all the ones I have are probably non-digital and currently a bit hard to reach (nevertheless will try to post some when I'm not quite so busy). Instead, I dug up a sign from a trip to Crater Lake a few years back.
Hard to say whether this sign on a very steep part of the west rim of Crater Lake is to warn one away from the danger of the steep slope, or a warning that the mountain (cinder cone or entire caldera?) might blow!
Glacial grooves and striations, field sandal for scale.
Either way, if one persists past the sign in true geological fashion, one will find a great exposure of glacially striated and grooved volcanic rock. Read a little more about the glacial history of Crater Lake here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dacite of Mount Helen near Lassen Peak

Dacite in a road cut just below the Lassen Peak parking lot.
While at Lassen Volcanic National Park last month, we pulled over on our way back over the summit of Highway 89 to examine a roadcut that had grabbed my attention earlier in the day. A pullout overlooking Lake Helen on the west side of the road, not far south of the Lassen Peak parking lot, is a great place to stop; see this nearly identical Google Street View view of the same roadcut.

Closer view of the dacite.
Turns out that this is the dacite of Mount Helen, containing what are described here as mafic, phenocryst-poor inclusions. The inclusions are locally quite large and form as much as 20 percent of the rock. It is these large inclusions that grabbed my eye on our first pass through the area. The inclusions or xenoliths were probably plucked from the walls of the dacitic magma chamber or from the volcanic throat through which the dacite erupted.

An even closer view.
The dacite of Mount Helen is middle Pleistocene in age (K-Ar date of 249±12 ka, Clynne and Muffler, 2010) and part of what is called the Bumpass sequence of the Lassen volcanic center, the youngest of several volcanic centers of the area. The several volcanic centers are shown in Figure 4 here, and described more extensively here.

Portion of the Geologic map of Lassen Volcanic National Park and vicinity, California, Sheet 1, courtesy USGS.
The dacite of Mount Helen is indicated as "dh" on the geologic map. Photos were taken just downhill and west of the peak of Mount Helen.

Selected Reference:

Clynne, M.A., and Muffler, L.J.P., 2010, Geologic map of Lassen Volcanic National Park and vicinity, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 2899, scale 1:50,000.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fumarole at Sulphur Works

Old fumaroles at Sulphur Works
Here we are, back at Sulphur Works in Lassen Volcanic National Park, having walked across the road to view the current state of fumaroles (as of about 3 weeks ago. The shadowed, small holes above the large indented or concave area, approaching the top of the triangular upper face is where numerous fumaroles have been active during many of our previous visits to the area (visits by MOH and I, only one visit on this blog, with photos from October, 2006).

couple videos on YouTube (2007, 2010) show the old vent steaming away, and the first one shows just how pockmarked that little hill was with fumaroles!

Active fumarole surrounded by large orange circle
Now we've moved down the road from the viewing area, to get a clearer view of the fumarolic vent that was steaming, that pock-mark in the center of the large orange circle. I suspect the circle may be formed not only by iron oxides, but possibly some jarosite, a sulfate mineral, and some native sulfur.

Close up of the active fumarole
Here we've zoomed in on the active fumarole, a small hole in the ground emanating steam that is no doubt adding to the pervasive, sulfurous stink of rotten eggs.

My video of the active fumarole
One interesting thing about the location of Sulphur Works, including this fumarole and the boiling mud pot across the road: Sulphur Works is near the center of ancient Mount Tehama (or Brokeoff Volcano, as it is sometimes known), a large stratovolcano that was active between about 600,000 and 400,000 years ago.

More Reading:

“Hot Water” in Lassen Volcanic National Park—Fumaroles, Steaming Ground, and Boiling Mudpots - U.S. Geological Survey

Explore the Hydrothermal Areas - Lassen Volcanic National Park

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mud Pot at Sulphur Works

Boiling mud pot at Sulphur Works.
This post is mostly just an opportunity to put up a few quick pictures (and video) from a recent trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park, which MOH and I took a couple weeks ago when I had an extra day off. (Yay for days off!)

It was a clear day, and we drove into the park from the south, taking Highway 36 to Highway 89 north (AKA the Main Park Road), up past the newish Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, past Emerald Lake, past the turnoff to Bumpass Hell, past Lake Helen, past the Lassen Peak trailhead, and over the pass a little ways until we turned back around (map of the park).

We had stopped at Sulphur Works on the way up to note the ways in which the hydrothermal activity had changed since our first official visit to the park sometime in the early 2000s. (Earlier visits of mine/ours prior to this more recent era have faded into a distant non-digital past.)
As far as I know, this boiling mud pot came into existence in late 2007, and it grew considerably by early 2008. We remember from earlier trips that the main roadside attraction (besides a side trail that is now closed due to a shifting in the location of hydrothermal features) had been across the road: an active fumarolic area with several vents, and possibly with a mud pot. These fumaroles were barely steaming on our recent trip, though fumarolic activity can vary with air temperature and other factors.

My somewhat shaky mud pot video.

If anyone knows anything more definitive about the history of this mudpot, please let me know.

UPDATE 21Oct2012: Google Street View shows several fumaroles but no mud pot in this location in photos dated 2007.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Accretionary Wedge #41: One Small Event from Hawai‘i's East Rift Zone

This month's Accretionary Wedge, being hosted by Ron Schott at his Geology Home Companion Blog, is all about the Most Memorable/ Significant Geologic Event That You’ve Directly Experienced. For myself, it often seems as though I'm on the spot shortly after significant events, rather than during them, which isn't entirely a bad thing. One ongoing event that I did witness in part is the eruption of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is the active vent in the East Rift Zone of Hawai‘i's Kilauea volcano.
Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō in May, 1987.

In late May, 1987, I attended the Cordilleran Section meeting of the GSA, which was in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i during one of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō's many eruptions (Episode 48, which lasted from 1986 through 1992 and consisted mostly of lava flows from a new vent, Kūpaianaha, although I don't remember hearing that name in 1987).
A young geologist with bright red Lang Drilling hat and Nikon camera sits on a 1972 pahoehoe flow that cascaded over the Holei Pali (pali = cliff).

The timing of the GSA meeting in Hilo wasn't bad, although maybe it wasn't perfect, and the volcano-oriented field trip I went on before or after the meeting took us down the Chain of Craters road to the Waha‘ula Visitor Center (MSRMaps location of the Visitor Center near Kupapau Point, from an old topo map). The Visitor Center was later destroyed by a 1989 flow (before, during, and after photos).

We arrived on the scene in time to see a scene similar to this one from a slightly earlier field trip: the Chain of Craters road blocked just east of the then extant Visitor Center by what was for us a week-old lava flow.
This is the week-old pahoehoe flow, which flowed southeastward from its vent at Kūpaianaha, ultimately making it into the ocean. The lava was still hot, although not molten at the surface. We had been cautioned to bring boots with Vibram® soles. A couple orange hot spots can be seen in the original print of this photo (notably in the dark shadow between the two geologists on the flow, click to enlarge). We were the only ones allowed out on the flow that day, and our trip leaders guided us carefully around (and away from) thinner and more dangerous spots, places that were thought to be more likely to collapse.

Flow activity in the area had begun about six months prior to our visit; even the 6-month-old part of the flow radiated heat and was warm to the touch.
Here, a geologist stands next to one of the open cracks while a stick stuck just below the surface bursts into flames.
My best closeup of hot lava only three feet below the flow surface we were walking on.
In the distance, steam is rising from the week-old lava flow where ocean waves are hitting the flow.

Black sand beaches had already started forming along part of the six-month-old flow. The land surface had been extended oceanward by the flows; we were told that all new land belongs to the state of Hawai‘i. Several of these flows, along with earlier flows of 1983 through 1985 (eruption Episodes 1 through 47, I think), destroyed houses in the area and blocked the road toward Kalapana. Housing and subdivision destruction continued with later parts of Episode 48 (1986-1992) and with even later eruptions. While we were there, some people were still hopeful that roads would be rebuilt. Roads can be built on new flows after about 1 to 1.5 years.
The flows we saw that year are shown here in black, lumped with all the Episode 48 flows erupted from the Kūpaianaha vent (map from Heliker et al, 1998, detailed version here). In 1987, the flows weren't as extensive as shown here, especially on the west side where the Waha‘ula Visitor Center was still intact.

We were quite excited about walking on the flow, and sometime after the field trip a few other geologists and I went around to the eastern side of the flow where a tongue of lava was coming down the hill from above. A couple people ran up to the flowing lava to take a close look. I think we were about a hundred yards below the molten rock, and I kept wondering if unknown lava tubes would unexpectedly spurt lava out closer to us, but nothing quite that exciting happened (thankfully, in my view).

Additional Information:
Summary of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō–Kupaianaha Eruption, 1983 to present at HVO.

Heliker, C.C., Mangan, M.T., Mattox, T.N., and Kauahikaua, J.P., 1998, The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō - Kūpaianaha Eruption of Kīlauea, November 1991–February 1994: Field Data and Flow Maps: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-103 Version 1.1.

Heliker, Christina, Swanson, D.A., and Takahashi, T.J., 2003, editors, The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō-Kūpaianaha Eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i: The First 20 Years: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1676.

Takahashi, T.J., Abston, C.C., and Heliker, Christina, 1995, Images of Kilauea East Rift Zone Eruption, 1983-1993: U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series DDS-24.

A Couple More Maps:
Map of flows from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō: April 30, 2008.
HVO source here.
Kīlauea East Rift Zone Eruption Map: December 27, 2011.
HVO source here.

UPDATE: List of AW#41 participants.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Rainy Trip to Homer / No Augustine: AK2011 Day 8

The 8th day started out cloudy, and gradually turned rainy. Here we're heading down to Homer, having already passed Clam Gulch, and having just passed Ninilchik. As we drove by, I was thinking maybe we'd stop at Ninilchik or the beach on the way back, though we hadn't gotten an early start, and I didn't know how rainy the day would turn.
Not much farther on, we pulled over to look at the view across Cook Inlet (in the far distance in this wide angle shot) and to look at the lupines and cow parsnip, which were also blooming alongside fireweed.
It is at about this spot that one might hope for a view of Augustine looking south down and across Cook Inlet. Augustine is an island volcano that last erupted in 2006. Check out these much better images (ha!) at AVO. Augustine (sometimes called St. Augustine or Mount St. Augustine but shown as Augustine Volcano on topo maps) is officially a stratovolcano, one with a central dome and flow complex or cluster; it's part of the Aleutian volcanic arc, and it's the most active volcano in the Cook Inlet area (location map at AVO).
Ah, yes. We arrived at this famous sign, which doesn't mention Homer as a "quaint little drinking village with a small fishing problem," supposedly seen locally on bumper stickers.
Despite the fall-like weather (even for an Alaskan summer), we manage to get this view of the Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay. The glacier in the upper left is a small glacier coming out near the Doroshin Glacier (not visible farther left or in the clouds). It probably has a name, but not on topo maps available to me (MSRMaps location).
Before a late lunch, we stopped briefly at the Alaska Islands & Oceans Visitor Center, which has some interesting wildlife and ocean displays and a nice little gift shop, where I bought art notecards of two puffins and four ravens.
The Visitor Center parking lot overlooks a small mud flat just below Beluga Lake (MSRMaps location).
That's Grace Ridge, tucked behind Sadie Cove and in front of Tutka Bay, across the flats and across Kachemak Bay.
By the time we finally stopped for lunch, the rain had become a downpour. Sitting outside was out of the question, although at least one brave (or crazy?) soul was out in the weather.
I had to take a picture of this "Local Organic Wi-Fi" sign, which I noticed when we were leaving the organic lunch joint.

A Couple Augustine References:
Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., 2010, The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, 667 p., 1 plate, scale 1:20,000, and data files.

AND (part of above) Section 2: The Geology of the 2006 Eruption.

Related Posts:
Wordless Wednesday: I Love the Color of the Water

Record Reds

Down to the Kenai: AK2011 Day 4

At the Cabin: AK2011 Day 4

Fishing for Reds and Other Miscellany (including a Volcano): AK2011 Days 5-7

Wordless Wednesday: Seen at Homer

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fishing for Reds and Other Miscellany (including a Volcano): AK2011 Days 5-7

We spent a good deal of our Kenai cabin days standing in the river fishing for reds (Sockeye salmon), hip high in the water, sometimes soaking wet from our first day's leaky boots, sometimes not quite as wet from enthusiastically getting in a little too far. I really don't have many pictures of these operations; I was too busy standing in the river fishing, catching and not catching, throwing back "foul caught" reds*, and hauling in the one keeper. Also, I didn't have a waterproof camera.
One day, we walked a trail down to a part of the river that turned out to be not very far away had we walked along the bank (not possible), and fortunately, in my opinion, we didn't see any bears or come upon any unsuspecting moose on this walk. Instead, we saw a juvenile bald eagle flying overhead, and saw an adult bald eagle being hassled by a gull.

Those were two of the only four bald eagles we saw the entire trip, which seemed unusual to me, but apparently that's because I'm used to being on the Kenai during silver season in late August. The bald eagles really move in after spawned-out reds and kings start dying and floating downriver and onto the beaches, which means there are a lot more bald eagles to be seen in late August (along with a lot more dead fish and "floaters").
We ate salmon that we caught, we went to St. Elias Brewery, we went back to Buckets — where two of us were left behind by the other two, to be picked up almost immediately upon being spotted hitchhiking down on the main drag just below Buckets. That's the errant vehicle beyond and behind the Buckets sign, returning for my mom and me. Fun for the Family! :)
And we picked up a needed part for the boat, where I saw a wonderfully pink drill rig.
We also took a trip to the other side of the river, which involved driving a long way to a bridge and then driving a long way through the trees, coming finally to unmarked dirt roads. Our goal was ultimately unobtainable, so we made the long trip back. Our reward was this veiw of Mt. Redoubt, as seen from the airport runway in Soldotna (Redoubt activity and webcams).

And then down to Homer on the 8th day...


*Reds can only be caught by being hooked in the mouth, and they typically aren't biters, although they sometimes bite the wet flies on the bottom of the river in irritation, it is said, or maybe just because their mouth was open and the fly drifted in (!?). Consequently, reds are sometimes caught after being "snagged" legally in the mouth -- there is such a thing as illegal snagging, that is, you are *trying* to snag by using a "snagging motion" -- and many fish are accidentally snagged in fins and tails; those have to be returned to the river. I got one possible catch almost all the way to shore, not being able to tell whether it was hooked in the mouth or chin, before it unhooked itself. I unhooked at least one fish I brought all the way in. I'm not sure how many catches that got away from not being hooked well enough would have been keepers. (My poor fishing excuses for only getting one fish.)