Friday, 22 March 2019

A Cinder Cone Lava Butte

There is a 500 feet tall Cinder Cone Lave Butte in central Oregon between the towns of Bend Oregon and Sunriver Oregon. Lava Butte is a 7,000-year-old cinder cone located on the flanks of Newberry Volcano. It is part of a system of small cinder cones is capped by a crater, normally extends about 60 feet deep beneath its south rim and 160 feet deep from the north side. Lava Butte only single eruption in 1977, started the fissure spewing hot cinders to form the cone. 
A river of hot basalt flowed from a small volcano cover the large area remains largely free of vegetation. The Cinder cones normally happen as vents on the sides of volcanoes, largely shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes.  The Lava Butte get hardened and created a natural dam in a river, and when it finally eroded, Benham Falls. Lava Butte is a fascinating example of the damage that volcanoes can cause!
The magma spewed from Lava Butte was Scoria and other volcanic ashes, and also contained some Basalt. Lava Butte primitive history is not confirmed. The Native American observed the eruptions and then ascended the prominent new landmark. I.C. Russel was the first geologist to get there for research purpose in 1903. He speculated that Lave Butte erupted almost 150 years ago. The parking lot at Lava Butte is limited to 10 vehicles and passes are issued for 30 minutes only at first come first served basis.
You can see the rugged Cascade Mountains in the background and acres of green grass and trees. You may also see the infrequent patch of colorful wildflowers, some trees, bushes, no vegetation, and under the right conditions, bears a small resemblance to the surface of the moon. The temperatures on the lava flow trail are quite warm in July, so you need to dress accordingly and bring sufficient water and sunscreen. Further a restroom and water available at the visitor center, and a restroom with no water at the summit of Lava Butte.

Hiking Trails of Lava Butte

The calderas Lava Butte hiking up is a year-round option. A scenic rim trail around the top of Lava Butte is .35 miles long. Hiking around Lava Butte is one of the popular activities in Sunriver. The three main trails offer varying degrees of difficulty.
  • Molten Land
  • Whispering Pines Trail
  • Black Rock Trail

Lava River Cave

The Lava River Cave entrance is just 700 feet from US 97. This is very popular Lave River Cave has ample parking area and a kiosk where propane lanterns may be rented. This is a narrow cave, contains unstable ceiling rocks, and is closed to the public but the longer northwestern part is unobstructed and straightforward to follow.
Moreover, the descent is supported by steps and railings down 150 feet via a slope of fallen boulders to the floor. That remains flat and level all the way, apart from a few small downward steps. Also, long ridges along the walls mark different levels of the flowing lava, and the ceiling is lined with solidified droplets, where molten rock once dripped. Source: CP

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Lechuguilla Cave – Jewel of Branched Underground Cave

Lechuguilla Cave is 8th longest explored cave in the world. The 222.6 km, is the second deepest cave 1,604 ft in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Lechuguilla Cave is famous for its strange geology, rare formation, and pristine condition. The cave is named for the canyon Agave lechuguilla, a rare species found here. Before 1986, this cave was known as a small insignificant historic site.
Access to Lechuguilla Cave is not for everyone. Only researchers, scientific, exploration team and National Park service management allow entering it. Bat guano was mined under a mining claim field. This historical cave has big 90-foot entrance named Misery Hole, mainly led to 400 feet of dry, dead-end passages. The cave was visited intermittently after mining activities stopped. In the 1950s, cavers heard the mysterious wind roaring up from the rubble-choked cave floor. However, no route was obvious; people concluded that cave passages lay below the rubble.
A large walking passage occurred in 1986, after the digging of a group of cavers. The explorers mapped a 222 km of passages, making it 4th longest in the United States. The cave's pristine condition and rare beauty covers come from around the world to explore and map its passages and geology. An explorer team climbed over 410 feet into a dome and unearthed many new unexplored passages, pits, and large rooms.
Lechuguilla Cave holds a variety of rare speleothems, lemon yellow sulfur deposits, gypsum chandeliers, gypsum hairs and beards, soda straws, cave pearls, hydromagnesite ballons, rusticles, helictites, U-loops and J-Loops. The cave surpasses nearby Carlsbad Caverns in size, depth, and variety of speleothems, though no room has been discovered yet in Lechuguilla Cave that is larger than Carlsbad's Big Room. The abundance of gypsum and sulfur lends sustenance to speleogenesis by sulfuric acid dissolution. The sulfuric acid is thought to be derived from hydrogen sulfide that migrated from nearby oil deposits. As a result, this cavern formed from the bottom up, in contrast to the normal top-down carbonic acid dissolution mechanism of cave formation.
A beautiful wilderness area lies beneath a park adjacent Bureau of Land Management Land. The oil drilling and proposed gas is a major threat to this cave. In case of any leaked in gas could kill cave life or disastrous explosions. Further, a rare type of chemolithoautotrophic bacteria is believed to take place in the cave. These bacteria normally feed on the sulfur, iron, and manganese minerals. Few microbes may have medicinal qualities that are beneficial to humans. Moreover, a four-million-year-old strain of Paenibacillus isolated from soil samples was found to be naturally resistant to numerous modern antibiotics, including daptomycin.

A BBC documentary featuring Lechuguilla Cave in his Planet Earth series, exploring Chandeliers Ballroom, high-quality crystals. In 1992 A National Geographic Society program Mysteries Underground was also filmed extensively in Lechuguilla Cave. So this jewel of underground Cave is the ultimate destination for any caver. Source - CP

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Old Faithful – A Cone Shaped Geothermal Geyser

A cone geyser called Old Faithful located in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, United States. This was the first geyser to name in the park in 1870. Old Faithful is a very predictable geothermal geyser, as it erupted every 44 to 125 minutes. The members of the Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition discover this Old Faithful geyser in 1870. It spouted at regular intervals. The boiling water being thrown from 90 to 125 feet at discharge lasted 15 to 20 minutes. So, they give the name to Old Faithful.  
Earlier it was used as a laundry place. Garments placed thoroughly washed when it erupted. This geyser is the most popular of the nearly 500 geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful normally erupting a column of steam and super hot water expanding steam bubbles push the water overhead through the fissures in the rock until they overflow from the geyser.
Old Faithful is an example of a cone geyser visible on Earth’s surface as mounds of porous deposits of siliceous sinter. The historic Old Faithful Inn (1903/04) is one of the country’s great national park lodges; Old Faithful Lodge (1918/28) and other vintage buildings are also in the vicinity.

When does Old Faithful Erupt?

So, far more than 1,000,000 eruptions have been recorded. The nearby Steamboat is tallest and larger than Old Faithful geyser. The old Faithful reliability can be attributed to the fact that is not connected to any other thermal features of Upper Geyser Basin. The average height of an eruption is 145 to 150 feet with intervals between 60 to 120 minutes. In the 1930s, the eruption takes place 66 minutes but gradually increasing the time to 90 minutes. The result of increasing in time could be due to earthquakes affecting subterranean water levels.
The Old Faithful mathematical eruption is much predictable in terms of its next eruption. The temperature measurement at depth is 118 °C is similar to measure in the 1940s. However, the steam temperature has been measured by more than 350°F. Scientists estimate 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of water expelled during an eruption. But it mainly depends on the duration of the eruption.
The Old Faithful inspired early developers to build special viewing areas, lodging, and concessions for visitors to watch eruptions. The natural geologic processes of Old Faith continue to provide enjoyment to visitors to see this natural system. The Visitor Education Center provides visitors to an opportunity to learn about the geology, hydrothermal properties, and scientific study of Old Faithful and other hydrothermal features in the park.

Source: - BritannicaWikipedia / CP

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Shirakawago Village Japan

Shirakawa is a small traditional mountain village located in Ōno District, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. It is best known for being the site of Shirakawago showcasing a building style known as gasshō-zukuri. It is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites with Gokayama in Nanto, Toyama. The Shirakawa village was formed on July 1, 1897 with the establishment of the modern municipalities system. Shirakawago has population of around two thousand people as most of the population is in its river valley.  This region was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time. The Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The villages have a strong sense of community. Their traditional social systems and lifestyle customs have sustained their associated historic environments, management systems, and the level of authenticity is high.
Shirakawago total area is 356.55 km2, bordering Ishikawa Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture on the Ryōhaku Mountains. The village's area is 95.7% mountainous forests, and its steep places are characteristic. In between the mountains flows the Shō River, which continues to the north into Nanto, Toyama. One can reached at Shirakawago within 50 minutes from Takayama by using of Hida Tunnel. Earlier it takes three hour drive, and only an hour to Nanto in Toyama. The large houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs are the only examples of their kind in Japan. The village does not have any passenger railway service. Moreover, it has one combined public elementary/junior high school, but does not have a high school.
Shirakawago nearby Attractions
There are many natural attractions nearby. The most famous is Mount Haku, which is Japan’s Three Famous Mountains, surrounded by a virgin forest at its foot. Also three gorgeous waterfalls: Taka falls, Naka falls, and Ki falls, can be seen along the pass leading to the Amo highlands. Another waterfall, Hakusui Falls, pours from the artificial Hakusui Lake, that was formed by a dam at an elevation of 1,260 meters. To take a rest from hiking and relax a little, the area also has several hot springs, such as the Hirase hot spring bathhouse.
Shirakawago Weather
Shirakawago has a humid climate, features four distinct seasons with winter is being most recognized. Shirakawa village is one of the snowiest places in Japan, averaging snowfall amounts in excess of 10 meters with snowbanks developing well over 2 meters tall. As a consequence of the frequent heavy snow, characteristically thick thatched roofed “Gasshō-zukuri” houses were created. These sites are major tourist attractions due to Hakusan National Park mountain ranges as a background.
The seasonal tourism boosts the economy of Shrakawago. They came to see the gassho-zukuri ultimately improve the financial condition of villagers. The area has further improved once the village became a UNESCO site. The increase in traffic resulted damaging the area from pollution. Thus, local inhabitant’s life standard enhanced and they converted their homes into hostels, gift shops and parking lots. So every good thing has bad effects also. The fast growing visitors change the charm of village simplicity and fundamental Japanese scenery.
Shirakawago Accommodation
Shirakawago’s landscape is home to gassho style houses, old-style Japanese inns, and hotels to outfit any visitor. Further, there are more than forty different options for accommodation. By staying in an old-style gassho style guesthouse, guests can experience the simple practicality of ancient Japanese life. Moreover, the characteristic features include rustic roof beams, tatami flooring, and traditional sunken hearths. Also, you can relish the local specialties and exclusive dishes that make up Shirakawago’s regional cuisine. For other accommodation choices, rooms are available both without and with meals, and few guesthouses offers dormitory beds. In all cases, you have to make reservations in advance. Source - 


Sunday, 3 March 2019

Ketil Mountain, Greenland

Greenland 39.000 kilometer coastline, cut glaciers into the slice from bedrock, left behind myriad numbers of summits and walls, which are tower thousands meter from the surface. There is a massive peak in the east coast of Greenland. That is called Ketil meaning “Shell Mountain”. Ketil Mountain is 2,010 meters high in Kujalleq municipality.

Its granite walls are alike to Tiningnertok’s another huge mountain in this area. Ketil is part of massive large unglaciated Rocky Mountains in the peninsula on the eastern side of Tasermiut Fjord. Ketil Mountain is a bit lower than Ulamertorsuag. However, in terms of popularity, it is the most Favourite Mountain of climbers due to its 1000 m sheer western granite wall. Ketil Mountain is considered the most challenging Big Walls on planet earth.

Ketil Mountain is a hard-won view due to its remoteness. The trekking to Mountain provides a true wilderness experience literally to die for.  To getting there is an arduous task, as lack of trails, stinging insects, poor mapping, brutal terrain, hordes of biting, make it a hidden paradise. The Southern Greenland weather never stabilized it can abruptly change. 

So, climbers have to be ready for weather change at any time. As off now, Ketil routes are not documented and climbers wanted Tasermiut should be preserved as a record less adventure area to following in the footsteps of others.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Isla Incahuasi - Peru

Isla Incahuasi is a beautiful hilly and rocky outcrop of land and Former Island in Bolivia. It is situated in the middle of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. Isla Incahuasi elevation is 3,656 meters. It is located in the Potosí Department, Daniel Campos Province, Tahua Municipality, Yonza Canton and 80km west of Colchani. This hilly outpost is surrounded by a flat white sea of hexagonal salt tiles. The cacti grow one centimeter per year and most of them are more then two meters high.
Isla Incahuasi is a Spanish name where “isla” means “island”, “Inca” means for Inca, and huasi is derived from the Quechua word “wasi meaning house”. The circular walk to the top starts slightly to the east or left as you face the island. Though this does afford superb views, their is some scrambling required? The route down is on the west side and is much easier.
Incahuasi has a total area of 24.62 61 acres and hosts gigantic cacti and a tourist center. This area is one of the best highlights of Salar de Uyuni also known as Inkawasi. Their are strange and flimsy coral-like structures and deposits that often consist of fossils and algae. The area is the top of the remains of an ancient volcano. That was submerged due to a giant prehistoric lake, approximately 42,000 years ago.
This is an island of Trichocereus cactus that rises up in the middle of the salt flats. Climb to the top of the hills and you can see 360 views of Salar. It is a surreal feeling watching centuries old cacti grow in all directions.
It is an opportunity to take impressive photos with the surrounding salt flats. The light was beautiful before sunset.  Try to avoid the wet season when the Salar is flooded, the island is inaccessible. This is one of the most popular destinations and resting place for tourists and geocaches alike. Read More – The Mysterious Manpupuner Rock Formations

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