Monday, 4 April 2016

The Scared Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake is also known “Old Man of the Lake” is a caldera lake located in south Central Oregon in the western United States. The Crater Lake is famous due to its deep blue color and water clarity. This is deepest lake in United States and 7th in the world with the depth of around 1943 feet, depending on average or maximum depth is measured.  The lake partly fills an approximately 2,148-foot deep caldera that was formed about 7,700 years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. Moreover, there’re no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years. In 1902, Crater Lake and its surrounding 180,000 acres were to be "dedicated and set apart forever as a public park or pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States.

Crater Lake is a full-sized tree which is now a stump that has been bobbing vertically in the lake for more than a century. Hence the low water temperature has slow down the decomposition of the wood, henceforth the longevity of the bobbing tree. Further, two islands are in Crater Lake, named Wizard Island, formed from a cinder cone that erupted after Crater Lake started to fill with water, and the other smaller Phantom Ship, which has seven distinctive trees living on it. There are also colonies of violet green swallows and numerous varieties of wildflowers and lichens living there. The lake was in rich with variety of fish in between 1888 to 1941, whereas having no indigenous fish population. Therefore, many species have formed self-sustaining population.

In June 1853, the explorer John Wesley Hillman named the lake “Deep Blue Lake”, but was thrice changed the name as Blue Lake, Lake Majesty and eventually Crater Lake. The Crater Lake is five to six miles across with a caldera rim ranging in elevation about 7,000 to 8,000 feet with average depth is 1,148 feet, while maximum measured depth is 1,949 feet. Moreover, the caldera was created in a huge volcanic eruption somewhere 6,000 and 8,000 years ago that led to the subsidence of Mount Mazama. The lava eruptions created a central platform, Wizard Island, Merriam Cone, and other, smaller volcanic features, including a rhyodacite dome that was ultimately formed atop the central platform. Finally, the caldera cooled, letting rain and snow to accumulate and sooner or later form a lake. Some hydrothermal activity remains along the lake floor, suggesting that at some time in the future Mazama may erupt once again.

Crater Lake has a subalpine climate, in the summer, the weather is mild and dry, but the winter is extremely cold and massive snowfalls averaging 488 inches per year, and does not usually melt until mid-July. Perhaps the most unique feature of the lake is its remarkable ochre and rust hues of the surrounding rock walls. Animal life inhabiting the area nearly all of which is protected wilderness—includes deer, bears, eagles, hawks, owls, and grouse, and, particularly in summer, there is an abundance of songbirds and insectivorous birds. Crater Lake contains plant life is predominantly pine and fir trees, with wildflowers covering the meadows in summer.

This area has no pollution, which caused the lake has no inlets or tributaries; the water of lake is purest in the world. In 1997, the scientists recorded the clarity up to 175 feet, as compare to normal clarity falls in 80 to 115 feet. The lake is extremely clear for any natural body of water, but has relatively high levels of dissolved salts, total alkalinity, and conductivity. The Native American tribe Klamath has regarded the lake as scared site, who have witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama actually created the Crater Lake. The Klamath natives used Crater Lake in vision quests, often involved climbing the caldera walls and other risky tasks. Hence, those who were successful in such quests were often regarded as having more spiritual powers. The tribe still holds Crater Lake in high regard as a spiritual site. 

Also there is "Old Man of the Lake," a hemlock log that has been floating upright in the lake for more than 100 years wind currents enable the Old Man to travel to different locations around the lake. Further, a lot of activities you can do at Crater Lake, like day hikes, fishing, and Scuba diving are most popular here. Crater Lake is a spectacular mountain lake widely renowned for its great depth and beauty although the Klamath Indians regarded the lake with much respect, awe and fear.