Saturday, January 2, 2010

Has Anyone Seen This Waterfall?

TYWKIWDBI found this waterfall picture at Pixdaus, without any location. It looks very much like Pacific Northwest to me in terms of the rocks (resolution is too poor to be very confident, but it looks like multiple thin basalt flows) and in terms of the trees (which look a lot like Douglas-firs). However, despite looking at a hundred or more pictures in various archives, I'm not finding anything that looks like a probable match. My first impression was Salt Creek Falls, but it doesn't have as prominent an overhang. I'm certain it's not in the Columbia Gorge or at Silver Creek Falls (landscape is wrong). This is clearly a large waterfall, but it's not familiar to me. Anyone else recognize this? It may not be in the PNW, it just looks to me like it might be.

Followup, Sunday, 01/03/10: There have been two suggestions so far. First, Snoqualmie Falls, near Snoqualmie, Washington. I had to do a double take on this one; it was one I had looked at fairly carefully before I put this post together. In the fourth comment, I discuss why I cautiously reject this as the same waterfall as the one above. (picture from Google Images)
I have also received a couple of emails from a person at, who seems confident it's Salt Creek Falls. (Also chosen to capture approximately the same aspect from Google Images) First, the edge of Salt Creek Falls is vertical for a distance, then juts out a bit, causing a step about a third of the way down. The unknown falls above the drop is vertical for a distance, then it recedes into the overhang. Second, the capstone of Salt Creek Falls is one thick intracanyon basalt flow- I've stopped at it a number of times on field trips. The unknown falls appears to be over multiple thin lava flows (though as noted before, the picture isn't high enough in resolution to be very certain of that). Below is another shot, from the e-mailer, with about the same aspect as above, but slightly lower flow. So as of now, I'm still calling this mystery unsolved.

Followup: And Heeeere's the Answer!


Mel said...

Nothing I've seen, but it does look like the PNW.

Nazdi Boski said...

Looks to me like Snoqualmie Falls in summer. It's east of Seattle about 30 miles. I'll send you a pic via email.

Nazdi Boski said...

Have attempted to email pic twice, to no avail. Perhaps I am not translating your email correctly. Just type in Snoqualmie falls, photos abound. Or, it's always possible that this is not Sno falls. Good luck~

Lockwood said...

Nazdi- I had looked at a number of pictures of Snoqualmie falls before I posted this. After getting your comments, I went back and looked at quite a few more. I was almost convinced, but in the end I'm not, for the following reasons: first, the area under the overhang in the pictured fall looks much wider and deeper than that at Snoqualmie. That could be simply an artifact of lighting, but it looks pretty different to me. Second, in the unknown fall, the area around the plunge is surprisingly flat. At Snoqualmie there is a distinct rise to the right of the fall. Third, at the unknown fall, presumably at low water (summer), the water flow fills the notch, and there is only one channel. At Snoqualmie, the water doesn't fill the notch, and there are two distinct channels. Finally, there's the powerhouse and the hotel, which seem to be almost unavoidable at Snoqualmie, aren't present at the unknown fall. Looking at other pictures of Snoqualmie, I can't figure out where the photographer might have been standing to get this perspective.

So in the end I give Snoqualmie a somewhat more cautious "reject" than I did earlier. I think it might be slightly possible, with just the right flow, lighting, and shooting position, that I'm mistaken, but I hope people keep looking for other possibilities.

I'll email these comments to you so you know I did get one of your two email attempts. Thanks a lot for your suggestion!

Lockwood said...

I got an email back from Nazdi, who said, "Thanks...and the more I look at it, the more I side with you. I would like to know..." So I don't think this is settled, despite a Twitter user who has declared the puzzle solved.

Also, judging by what looks like a melting snow pack under the rim, and the fact that the feature I refer to as the "notch," is full, edge to edge, this seems more likely to be spring (heaviest) runoff rather than summer flow.

I looked at some photos of Irish waterfalls (some similar geology and similar climate) but nothing looked even close. Siberia/Kamchatka maybe? BC or Alaska?

Silver Fox said...

It looks familiar, but I agree it's neither of the two falls mentioned so far. It does look like Doug fir, which doesn't grow it AK, and I don't know of any nice and flat-lying basalt up there.

Oh, hey, just went to your first link - it's Helmcken Falls, B.C. Here it is on Wikimedia.

Lockwood said...

Thanks, Silver! I kept an eye on TYWKIWDBI for a day or so, but there were no comments... I should have thought to check back.

That is one gorgeous waterfall!