Saturday, February 14, 2015

Geo 1095: February 13, Day 774: Niagara Falls

Most guided cave tours lean heavily on (what I often feel are) cutesy names for specific rooms or features. Given that attitude, it's easy to understand why I most often don't register or recall those names. The downside, though, is that I can't use the generally accepted name of the room/feature when I post a photo of it. Enter the interwebz. I was trying to track down the name (without success) of the feature I'll post for the Valentine's Day photo, and found a photographic tour of Oregon Caves. According to page 16 of this PDF tour, this spot is called "Niagara Falls." It was a mostly white surface of flowstone, next to the path, and early tourists were encouraged to autograph the spot, and often added dates and other notes. According to the description of the feature, "The Forest Service tried to erase the signatures in 1917 but enough calcite formed over them by then that they could not be erased." It's unsightly graffiti, but the dates allow precise measurements of the rate of deposition here... eyeballing it, it looks like less than a millimeter per century.

Photo unmodified. May 9, 2013. FlashEarth Location. (Since we're underground, I have only a vague idea where this is with respect to the surface.)

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