Tag Archives: geology

The Sounds Of Wild Yellowstone

Sunrise Over Old Faithful
When I visited Yellowstone National Park last year, I recorded all sorts of sounds of the park’s geology.  And, in today’s Podcast #60, the National Parks Traveler has captured other sounds of wild Yellowstone.
 
To listen to Yellowstone’s sounds of geology (plus running water and some birds), click on the image above.
To listen to the National Parks Traveler’s Podcast Episode 60 (with different sounds of Yellowstone), click on the image below.
Elk In The Distance
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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It’s Trivia Tuesday, 3-31-2020

Sheep Rock And John Day River On An Overcast DayThe Rocks Of Sheep Rock

According to the NPS, Sheep Rock (that pointy-peaked mountain), in the Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, gets its name from the bighorn sheep that once populated its slopes. At the top of Sheep Rock is the Picture Gorge Basalt. That brown line across the middle part of the mountain is the Picture Gorge Ignimbrite (pumice and volcanic tuff). This ignimbrite makes a nice marker bed by which geologists can place and date geologic events. The green soils you see in the second image are colored by the mineral celadonite. Celadonite comes from the French word for “sea green.”

And now you know.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 5DS, Canon, Geology, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Monuments, Oregon, Photography, Travel, Trivia Tuesday

Angular Unconformity Along OR Hwy 207 To Mitchell

Angular Unconformity

I love geology. I went to school to study it. So when I travel, I like to read about the geology of the places I visit and the roads I travel. In hindsight, I wish, now, that I’d have bought and looked through the Roadside Geology of Oregon, by Marli B. Miller *before* rather than after I’d driven to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. At least, then, I would have been able to follow the mile markers and understood what I was seeing.

Anyway, I’d stopped here because I happened to turn my head to look at the scenery right when my car was passing by these awesomly-colored outcroppings. Turns out, my inner geology radar must have been working intuitively. What you see here is called an angular “unconformity.” An angular unconformity is – in easy terms – when you see tilted beds (the green and reddish outcropping of beds) overlain by straight beds (the red-brown lines of columnar basalts you see above. It shows there is a gap in the geologic time record. So, if you are following a series of formations along a geographic distance, you might suddenly see that one formation or sediment layer of that formation is totally missing from the order of deposition, and all you see is this contact line dividing angular tilting beds from straight layers above. Any of this make sense? If not, then just admire the pretty landscape.

This image was captured using my new Sony Alpha a7r IV and 24-105mm lens. I am loving this camera!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Geology, HDR, Landscape, Oregon, Photography, Sony Alpha a7r IV, Travel

It’s Fun Fact Friday, 3-27-2020!

Painted Hills GeologyPainted Hill Badlands And Sutton MountainsRed BedTwo Red Beds

It’s Fun Fact Friday! Here’s some interesting facts for you if you happen to visit John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon.

In the first photo, that’s the first hill you’ll see that will get your attention as you drive past the sign welcoming you to the Painted Hills Unit. The top of this hill is capped with a volcanic tuff called the Picture Gorge Ignimbrite. This tuff is 28.7 MILLION years old.

The other images show other sides to this same hill as you drive further along the gravel road into the Painted Hills Unit. The red and tan soils are called paleosols, and the red paleosols are indicative of a warmer, wet, tropical to subtropical climate, while the tan soils represent a cooler, drier, more temperate climate.

Those blue-ish shadowed mountains in the background of a couple of the images are the Sutton Mountains.

And now you know!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Fun Fact Friday, Geology, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, Oregon, Photography, Travel

Down The Road In Eastern Oregon

Eastern Oregon Geology And Landscape

No, the horizon does not need to be straightened. The landscape (and the road, a little) was tilted just like that.

I recently spent 3 days in eastern Oregon, visiting John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I’ve written a story about my stay that will be published in the National Parks Traveler sometime in April.

As for eastern Oregon, itself, I can tell you the scenery is stunning and the geology is amazing, as you can see in this image.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, Oregon, Travel

Can Lessons Learned From The White Island Eruption Be Applied To Yellowstone?

Geyser Eruptions CROP

Each of the two times I’ve visited Yellowstone National Park, I stood on the boardwalks of Upper Geyser Basin, marveling that I was standing above turbulent geothermal activity right beneath my feet, covered by fragile ground. I think people forget that, sometimes, which is why they do stupid shit like go off the boardwalks and try to get closer to the geysers and hot springs.

Today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler has the latest Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles column about New Zealand’s White Island eruption and the lessons learned that might be applied to Yellowstone. It’s a pretty interesting read, written by a U.S. Geological Survey research hydrologist.

To read the article, click on the image above

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Scenic Science In The National Parks, And Some Bison Management

Black Growler Steam Vent And Ledge Geyser

I just finished listening to the National Parks Traveler’s Podcast Episode #51. Loved it! I had the book on pre-order already and am really excited about reading it when it becomes available. And of course, I love bison. If I didn’t think the hummingbird was my spirit animal, I would think bison were. Anyway, if you like wildlife, botany, geology, or bison, you should give this podcast a listen.

Just click on the image to be taken to the podcast site

As for this image, it was taken during my atumn trip to Yellowstone National Park. It’s what I first beheld when approaching Porcelain Basin, within the Norris Basin area. Those two steamers there are, I believe, Black Growler Steam Vent and Ledge Geyser. Correct me if I am wrong. I was looking at a map of the area and they seem to be in the same position as the two named entities.
 
For all that autumn is a less-visited time (relatively speaking) for Yellowstone, this particular area was pretty crowded, mainly with tour buses. So I had to stand there a bit in order to get a clear, non-peopled shot. That gorgeous turquoise water makes me think of glacier-fed waters, but in reality, these waters are hot and would literally skin you alive if you dipped a toe in them because they are so caustic.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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