Sunday, September 21, 2014

Geo 730: September 21, Day 629: Anniversary Beach

Here we're at Sutton Beach/Creek, a recreation area on Siuslaw National Forest land. We're looking north to the headlands between Florence and Yachats, which are composed of Yachats Basalt, about 35-30 million years old. I've just realized, looking through these photos, that I haven't included many of them from this area on this trip, although I did thoroughly cover a later stop at Cape Perpetua (April 8 to 28 in the Geo 365 Series), about 15 miles north of here. So there's geology in the background, but is there any in the foreground? Yes, though you'd need a bit more context to see that. I chose this photo because I like the dramatically windswept tree, but if I had turned 90 degrees to the left, you'd see a stream and open beach; this area has only been colonized by plants within the past couple of centuries. There's no higher ground between here and the ocean, thus nothing protecting the vegetation from fierce storm winds, which are frequent and persistent in the winter. If you're unfamiliar with the area, this isn't necessarily evident from this photo, but if you have spent any time along the Oregon Coast, this sort of setting has clear implications for the geologic context where it's found. If you want to get a sense of what the solid earth materials are doing, you have to have a strong understanding of what the other earth components- living, liquid and gaseous- are doing, too.

Photo run through's AutoLevel routine for contrast and saturation. September 20, 2010. FlashEarth Location.

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