Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Geo 730: November 26, Day 695: School of Hard Knocks

Looking over later photos of this outcrop, I found I'd misremembered it somewhat in yesterday's description- it appears to be a lava flow- likely andesite or similar- overlain by lahar deposits, not simply piles of those debris flows. However, there's still plenty of bouldery, loosely consolidated and poorly sorted debris up above that andesite (?) cliff, and pieces obviously fall out and off frequently. This poor, beaten up Jersey barrier testifies clearly to that.

Photo unmodified. October 10, 2012. FlashEarth Location (possibly maybe).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Geo 730: November 25, Day 694: Alluvial Fan

There's a tendency to think of alluvial fans as an arid landscape landform, and they often are. But they can occur anywhere debris flows are a major component of sediment transport. (I almost called the phenomenon "erosion," which technically, debris flows aren't.) And volcanoes generally are highly vulnerable to debris flows; in that setting, they're called "lahars." Volcanoes are steep, catch a lot of precipitation as a result of orographic lift, and often have large amounts of unconsolidated to poorly consolidated rock. It's clearly a setting where saturated ground can fail, leading to a torrent of mud to boulder-sized sediment along with trees, houses, cars, and any furry creatures unfortunate enough to be in the way. I suspect most of what we're seeing in this mini-fan is the result of single rocks and boulders falling down the stream bed- not one or more lahars. As we'll see soon though, this whole area is composed of lahar deposits, young and old.

Followup, 3:33 PM- It just dawned on me, if this pile formed the way I described, it should more accurately be described as a talus cone.

Photo unmodified. October 10, 2012. FlashEarth Location (possibly maybe).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Geo 730: November 24, Day 693: Veiled Hood

Getting closer to Mount Hood, some details, such as the upper snowfields, started to emerge. However, the smoke still veils much of the scenery. I imagine with better clarity, this is a beautiful drive. In these conditions, though, it was kind of sad. Good stuff lay ahead of us though...

Photo unmodified. October 10, 2012. FlashEarth Location (approximate).

Geo 730: November 23, Day 692: Hooded Hood

After our stop at Cascade Locks, we drove through the gorge, and got off I-84 at Hood River. The smoke and low water flows at the falls made spending any further time in the gorge pointless. I believe this photo was taken just a bit out of Hood River, on Route 35, AKA the Mount Hood Highway. Right smack in the middle of the photo, the eponymous mountain is well camouflaged in the smoke.

Photo unmodified. October 10, 2012. FlashEarth Location (approximate).