Saturday, March 14, 2015

Geo 1095: March 14, Day 803: No Idea

There is no such thing as a "typical" Klamath Mountain roadcut or outcrop... I suppose this is true for most mountain systems, but with familiarity one can picture a relatively few kinds of scenes one might expect to see in a particular range. With the Coast Range, I expect shallow to deep marine terrigenous sediments, or basalt of one kind or another. With the Cascades, lots of lahar deposits, or basalt to andesite of one kind or another. Oregon's Basin and Range? Cenezoic alluvial to lacustrine sediments... oh, and basalt. Lots and lots of basalt. Columbia River Plateau? Duh. Basalt. You get the picture.

The Klamaths are an utter rats' nest that never ceases to amaze me, and which I will never understand, other than in the most rudimentary, basic sorts of ways. It's a mish-mash of pretty much every kind of rock known to man (though lacking metamorphics of higher grade than schist), squarshed, whirled, blended, folded, spindled, and mutilated, often beyond recognizability. Are there faults in this photo? Almost certainly. Are they where they look as if they might be? Maybe, maybe not. And quite possibly in places where they don't look as if they might be.

I feel a little bad posting this panorama, because, as I pointed out in the title, I have no idea. But upon reflection, I realized that it's a good metaphor for my general understanding of the Klamaths: complicated, fascinating, and humbling, in the sense that they make me painfully aware of how much I don't know, but at the same time, proud that I have clearly learned where that line is, when I get to something that's beyond my ken.

Photo unmodified. May 9, 2013. FlashEarth Location. (Pure guesswork on this one... no idea.)

1 comment:

Hollis said...

A little mystery is a good thing ... or even a lot (as in this case?!)