Sunday, March 31, 2013

Geo 365: March 31, Day 90: Lava Butte from Pilot Butte

Looking about south-southwest from Pilot Butte, Lava Butte sits near the middle on the horizon, and on the western flank of the Newberry Volcano shield. Lava Butte is quite similar to Pilot Butte in terms of size and form, but with a distinct summit crater, and definitely younger, based on what I see in weathering and colonization by plants. Also, the Lava Butte eruption ended with a basalt flow that extends 2.5 miles to the Deschutes River. I remarked on Thursday that I would guess Pilot Butte is probably Holocene, but according to the Wikipedia Link, Lava Butte is dated at ~7000 years. Given how fresh it looks, I'll step back from my comment on Pilot Butte's age; it's likely Pleistocene. Also like Pilot Butte, there's a paved road to the summit parking area, though access is limited and first-come, first-served. In the cropped, processed image below, the road to the summit is clearly visible, climbing from the middle of the cone to the upper right.
Main photo unmodified. August 20, 2011. FlashEarth Location. (In the chosen view/zoom, Lava Butte is the little dimple just left of where Route 97 leaves the image at the bottom.)


Matt Price said...

Hi Lockwood,

Thanks for these posts and pictures. Growing up in Bend gave me these views every day. I miss those views. I used to climb to the top of Pilot Butte from the Junior High almost every week during Summer Vacation.

At one point in time there was a ski group that had a slope and a jump on pilot butte.

Lockwood said...

I really enjoy the east side. As I've said frequently, I wouldn't want to live there- I like my rain and trees too much- but I wish I could visit more often. Once every two or three years just isn't enough.