Saturday, May 11, 2013

Geo 365: May 11, Day 131: May 10 Teasers

We had hoped to get a good view of the Cascade Crest from the summit parking lot at Marys Peak, but we've already had a month of summery weather with little rain. Additionally, the humidity was headed up; as a result, the haze was nearly as bad as during our visit last summer. I could make out Hood and, barely, Jefferson, but photos were right out. So yesterday ended up being more bio than geo, but still, a good day.
Sphereoidal weathering in the Marys Peak Sill, a bit above Parker Creek Falls. We saw only one other vehicle on the road up the mountain yesterday, and it was headed to the top as we headed down. It was a good day for pulling off in areas with a narrow berm- places I've walked out, but rarely had the chance to stop with others.
The view from the summit parking area (which is about 500 feet below the actual summit). Philomath lies at the mouth of the valley that runs from lower right toward the middle, and Corvallis is roughly behind the taller of the two trees to the left.
A lilly in the meadow near the parking lot. At ~3700 feet, there was still snow standing in sheltered, mostly shaded areas, and the grasses were still pressed and felted flat. This is likely the equivalent of mid-March in terms of seasons up here.
A bird that is not uncommon to see in streams in western Oregon, but is rarely cooperative in terms of being photographed, a water ouzel, or American dipper. This guy was hanging out along a stretch of stream at Alsea Falls, and while he moved around quite a bit, he wasn't leaving that stretch at all. I watched him for half an hour or more, mesmerized. Dana got some really nice video clips of his bobbing and feeding.

Photos unmodified. May 10, 2013. Locations will be specified when I post on these spots in more detail.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Geo 365: May 10, Day 130: May 9 Teasers

Soda straws in Oregon Caves National Monument, early in the on-trail tour. (They now have an off-trail tour, which looks like it is an add on to, and near doubling of the length of, the other one) I like how this photo caught the droplets of water hanging on the ends.
Paradise Lost, near the end of the cave tour.
Dana highlights a recumbent fold on the road between the parking area and the park offices at OCNM. We managed to arrive here a bit before 10 AM, when registration began for the tours, and got onto the first tour at 10:45. The tour was to last 90 minutes, but may well have gone on a bit longer, due to questions and comments from Dana and I. So by the time we got back to the car (see above for one of several distractions along the way) it was well past 1 PM.

BTW, if you're ever passing through Cave Junction- not even, necessarily, on your way to OCNM- and you're not a strict vegetarian, Taylor's Sausage and Country Store has some of the finest and most reasonably priced lunches you could ever hope to find. I've eaten there the last two days, and can't say how jealous I am of that tiny little community.
Finally, the green patches are garnierite, which Dana was able to find in modest quantities near the entrance to the decommissioned mine at Riddle, Oregon. I'm somewhat red-green colorblind, and was having a devil of a time, though I could find enough likely samples that I could take them to her and ask, "Is this green?" and get her started to recognize the material (like bauxite, not a true mineral). There is also very abundant, lightly weathered and mostly untectonized peridotite here, which was a kick for me. The only times I've visited before, I've been focused on the ore, and paid no attention to the surrounding ultramafics. Incidentally, this is the NNE extension of the same Josephine Ophiolite in and on which we spent the bulk of the day yesterday.

Photos unmodified. May 9, 2013. Locations will be specified when I post on these spots in more detail.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Geo 365: May 9, Day 129: May 8 Teasers

...and my 5th blogoversary (as of May 8th, when I'm writing this). We had hoped to get to Brookings or Crescent City last night, but we got to the Gold Beach area and were just wiped out. We found a really nice and inexpensive hotel there, lopping 35 miles and a large number of stops off of our day. We covered that ground this morning. We had planned to spend some time in the redwoods, then the rest of the day on the Josephine Ophiolite. Since we started off behind, we decided to drop the Redwoods (though we saw plenty in drive-by), and head straight up the Smith River. We ended up coming into Grants Pass when we realized it's half the distance to Cave Junction, which we'll hit up tomorrow, that Crescent city is.

Yesterday, the coast was relentlessly cold, windy, misty and cloudy. Today it was warmer, and nearly still. The clouds were thinning outside of Brookings, showing blue patches in N. CA, then gave way to full sun at Hiouchi on Rte. 199. After that it was glorious.
Folded, faulted sediments in the south cove of Arch Rock (Samual Boardman State Park)
More arches at Natural Bridges Cove (SBSP)
Rainbow Rock, deformed bedded chert, just north of Brookings, OR, at the southern end of SBSP.
Sheeted dike in the Josephine Ophiolite, along Route 199 and the Smith River in northern California. This spot is near the waterline, and is frequently scoured during floods, so the textural features are unweathered, pretty well polished, and easy to see. Note chilled margins- one near the hammer's head, the other near the end of the handle. These indicate that the single dike under the hammer is younger than the material on either side of it. Thought problem: What would it indicate if the chilled margin near the handle was *not* in this dike, but in the neighboring material? (And that is a very real possibility in other cases)
And a bonus teaser,  for the blogoversary. Serpentine glistens in the sun, along Patrick Creek, in the Josephine Ophiolite.

Photos 1-3 run through auto levels routine; photos 2 & 3 have had blue channel reduced. May 8, 2013. Locations will be specified when I post on these spots in more detail.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Geo 365: May 8, Day 128: May 7 Teasers

Marys Peak peeks above a low-level morning cloud deck from south of Corvallis along Route 99W bright and early this morning
Cleowox Lake, landlocked by moving sand, native Douglas fir forest, and a huge wave of invasive Scotch broom- we witnessed an epidemic today.
Sea stacks looking north from Cape Blanco, the western-most point in Oregon, and only 35 miles from the detachment fault between North America and the Juan de Fuca Plate- or more properly, where that fault reaches the ocean floor. There is no trench; it's buried in sediments. The weather at the coast was entirely uncooperative all day; misty, mid-50's  and very windy. At least there was no rain.
Tension gashes filled with weathering calcite in a moderately metamorphosed sandstone at Humbug Mountain.

More info to follow, but for now, wind down. Sleep.

Photos unmodified. May 7, 2013. Locations will be specified when I post on these spots in more detail. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Geo 365: May 7, Day 127: May 6 Teasers

This week's posts will try to catch a few of the highlights of each day's travels, and will be posted (I hope daily) at the end of the day. I won't have time or energy to say much about them, but I'll be posting more than one.
 "The Wall," an enigmatically tall, vertical, and resistant outcrop of Tyee Formation.
The tsunami exhibit at Hatfield Marine Science Center, south of the Yaquina Bay at Newport. I was not terribly impressed with the exhibit. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't terribly good either. And regarding the evacuation plan... well, don't get caught on this side of the bay when the big one hits.
 A "black smoker." I think all the pieces here are from the Juan de Fuca Ridge, but I'm not sure.
And a spectacular view of the paired ring dikes from Otter Rock. Devil's Punchbowl is on the end of the point in the uppermost right. It was not at all clear from our stop at the Punchbowl that even with a good negative tide whether the dike would be accessible on the ground- and today was not a terribly good tide. But from this vantage point, it was pretty clear that if we had set out before low tide, we could have easily got to it, even today. At this point though, timing was running tight for a dinner appointment, and we were about half an hour past low tide. So even if we blew off dinner, this was not going to be the day to go look at it up close.

Photos unmodified. May 6, 2013. Locations will be specified when I post on these spots in more detail.

Geo 365: May 6, Day 126: Otter Crest Ring Dike

It may not be immediately apparent, but there's another one of those puzzling invasive dikes in the above photo, taken in March, 2012 by Dana Hunter.
The above annotation should make matters more clear. Dana will be coming into town in a couple hours, and this is our target for this afternoon. Also, the new tsunami awareness/interpretive exhibit at the Hatfield Marine Science Center is open, and I think we're going to have time to fit that in. Oh, yes, and also another "puzzle outcrop." This one is very simple, it's just that the clues to solving it are not terribly obvious. The first time I visited, it was clear that there was more going on than I perceived, but I left scratching my head. The second time, I walked to an unexplored spot and had that headdesk/D'oh! moment everyone who does geology is familiar with. (If you're not familiar with that sensation, you don't really do geology.) My own puzzle on this visit will be how to get photos and other documentation to gradually lead to a solution for readers, rather than either frustrating them, or giving away the answer too quickly.

So that's what's on my plate today. How about you?

Photo by Dana Hunter. Unmodified other than annotation. March, 7 2011. FlashEarth Location (Cross hairs are on the spot where we were standing; the ring dike is visible as the arcuate line around the cove south of the point labeled as Otter Crest State Park.)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Funnies: May the Fourth Be With You Edition

Yes, Sunday is May 5th, but I'm composing this on the Fourth, so bear with me. To all my beloved readers, "Live long and prosper." -Mal Reynolds
Liz Climo (Bear with me, get it?)
The Joy of Tech
"Forced Politeness" Tree Lobsters
"When the questions get too intense after my talk" What Should We Call Grad School?
Cyanide and Happiness
Tastefully Offensive
Tastefully Offensive
Amazing Super Powers
 Funny to Me
"When I accidentally walked into Regional Geography thinking it was Regional Geology" Geology is Hard
Tastefully Offensive
Cyanide and Happiness
What Would Jack Do?
 "Trying to understand statistics" What Should We Call Grad School?
 Very Demotivational
Wil Wheaton's Tumblr
"My face after staring at thin sections for 4 hours" Geology is Hard
 Tastefully Offensive
Bits and Pieces
Happle Tea
Formal Sweatpants
 "How helmets get tested" Senor Gif
What Would Jack Do?
Funny to Me
Fake Science
Jen Sorensen
What Would Jack Do?
Bits and Pieces
Berkley Mews
 Dr Boli
Bizarro  Every now and then, you see a picture, and immediately know the artist had a blast creating it. This is one of them, and it deserves a full-size view.
Bits and Pieces
"Emeritus Professors" What Should We Call Grad School
Funny to Me
Bits and Pieces