Monday, April 28, 2014

Geo 730: April 28, Day 484: Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

After leaving Lincoln City, Dana and I came inland on OR Route 18, and headed to Erratic Rock Wayside. The parking and pathway from Oldsville Road are easy to miss- I've driven by at least once each time I've visited the spot, and this time was no exception. Hopefully, with the FlashEarth location and modern deally-boppers such as GPS, along with landmarks and cues I'll point out over the next few days, others will have an easier time with it.

A note about interpretive signs: take them with a grain of salt. I don't know who is responsible for designing them and writing them up. They aren't necessarily wrong- I see no outright errors in the one above. But neither are they authoritative. It's not at all uncommon to find misinformation and mistakes on them. I'm mightily glad I live in a place that cares enough to more-or-less permanently make this information available to the public, but for those who find it interesting, whether the sign is interpreting a natural or historical site, such information should be taken as jumping-off point, a start, and an impetus to find more thorough- and likely more accurate and complete- sources.

Photo unmodified. July 10, 2012. FlashEarth location.


Hollis said...

We saw mention of this topic in signs and brochures last fall in the scablands. I was puzzled. I thought glacial erratics were carried by glaciers ... icebergs too? Not a big deal, it was all really cool whatever the terms :-)

Lockwood said...

I take it to mean transport by glacial processes. The boulder was likely originally eroded and transported by an active glacier into the ice dam. When the dam broke, the boulder, embedded in the ice, was transported in an iceberg to its current location. The floods would be correctly referred to as jokulhaups, or glacial outbursts.

Incidentally, While there are no "errors" (that I see) on the sign, "on an iceberg" in the first paragraph is potentially misleading, and would be better phrased "in an iceberg."