Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Painted Desert Arizona

The Painted Desert is a badlands in the Four Corners area running from near the southeast into Petrified Forest National Park and east of Grand Canyon National Park.  But it is easily accessed in the north side of Petrified Forest National Park. The brilliant and varied colors include more common red rock and shades of lavender. It took millions of years for nature to form this natural canvas of unbelievable design that some describe it as a multi-colored layered cake.
The Painted Desert was named by an expedition under Francisco Vázquez de Coronado on his 1540 quest to find the Seven Cities of Cibola.  Hence, passing through the wonderland of colors, they named the area El Desierto Pintado “The Painted Desert”. The Petrified Forest and Painted Desert is a living history book. The majestic colors, hues, and shades paint a tapestry of time. Visualize that once this was a tropical forest! Dinosaurs walked here.
The most part of Painted Desert is protected as Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area. Nonetheless, the area is easy and longer hikes into the colored hills. The magical Painted Desert continues north into the Navajo Nation, where off-road travel is allowed by permit. Wind and rain, the sedimentary composition of the rocks and the lack of protective vegetative, all subsidize to the rapid erosion of the Chinle Formation.
The Painted Desert is composed of stratified layers easily erodible siltstone, mudstone, and shale of the Triassic Chinle Formation. The fine-grained rock layers comprise plentiful iron and manganese compounds that offer the pigments for the various colors of the region. Thin resistant lacustrine limestone layers and volcanic flows cap the mesas. Further, several layers of silicic volcanic ash occur in the Chinle and provide the silica for the petrified logs of the area. The erosion of these layers has resulted in the formation of the badlands topography of the region.
In the southern portions of the desert, the remains of a Triassic period coniferous forest have fossilized over millions of years. Wind, water and soil erosion continue to change the face of the landscape by shifting sediment and exposing layers of the Chinle Formation. An assortment of fossilized prehistoric plants and animals are found in the region, as well as dinosaur tracks and the evidence of early human habitation.
Painted Desert Weather?
The Painted Desert has a cold desert climate with hot, dry summers and cold, though virtually snow-free winters. The annual precipitation is the lowest in northern Arizona. In several places is lower even than Phoenix. Most area of Painted Desert is accessible only by foot or unpaved road through major highways and paved roads.
Where is the Painted Desert?
The towns of Cameron and Tuba City are two major settlements roughly from Cameron - Tuba City southeast to past Holbrook and the Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert is about 190 km long by about 97 km wide, making it roughly 19,425 km2 in area. Nowadays, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest are well-protected lands? Which provides a rich history of various ancient peoples, a breathtaking assortment of views, and a picture of life as only the dinosaurs knew it. Source: CP

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area. The park is covering approximately 46,000 acres located 26 km south of Overton, Nevada and 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The park name derives from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone. These are formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. On a sunny day, these rock formations look like they are on fire, giving the park its name, the Valley of Fire. This is Nevada's oldest park, was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes more than 150 million years old. Other important rock formations include limestones, shales, and conglomerates.
History of Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire included the Ancient Pueblo Peoples “Anasazi”, who were farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. They were mostly involved in hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies, although scarcity of water would have limited their stay. A perfect example of rock art (petroglyphs) left by these ancient peoples can be found at several sites within the park.
In 1931, the Valley of Fire State started to create initiated by Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. The work lasted into the early 1940’s. They built campgrounds, trails, stone, visitor cabins, ramadas, and roads.  However, the Valley of Fire Park was opened in 1934.
Climate of Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire State Park has a dry and warm climate typical of the Mojave Desert which means it comes with all the weather extremes associated with a desert climate. Winters are mild with daytime temperatures ranging from 12 °C to 24 °C. The overnight lows in the mid 3-8°C. Storms moving east from the Pacific Ocean occasionally bring rain during winter months. Daily summer highs usually range from 46 °C may reach near 49 °C. Thunderstorms from the Southwestern Monsoon can produce heavy showers during summer. The best times to visit are spring and fall. 
Valley of Fire State Park Road
The Valley of Fire State Park can last just an hour or two, only stopping at scenic overlooks and hiking one or two short trails or all day. If you choose to explore every nook and cranny of this place. The main road which is leads to Valley of Fire Road and traversing through the park. The 16.9 km section of the road is Nevada Scenic Byway on June 30, 1995. Mouse’s Tank Road is probably one of the most scenic and photographed spots in the park.

Things to do in Park
Driving through the Valley you can enjoy majestic view of Pink, red, and orange sandstone rocks create amazing vistas that you can see from your car. Pink Canyon, also called Pastel Canyon, is a spot that many people don’t seem to know about. It’s an unmarked spot to visit but it’s one of the prettiest places we saw in the Valley of Fire.
The valley of fire has a visitor’s center plus facilities for picnicking, camping, and hiking.  Petroglyphs are seen throughout the park, with Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock two areas in particular with numerous petroglyphs that are relatively easily accessible. The park also preserves three stone cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Towards to east entrance an arch rock formation look like an elephant, with a little bit of imagination. White and red zebra print sandstone creates a great photo opportunity. It’s a 1.5-mile round trip hike out to the Fire Wave. Also you climb the staircase at Atlatl Rock to see the best display of petroglyphs in the Valley of Fire. As you are in the desert, so bring plenty of water, sunglasses, hats, sun screen and comfortable shoes. Valley of Fire is a popular filming location for shooting automobile commercials and other commercial photography. It has provided automate setting to film making sites TV shows.
Valley of Fire Plants and Flowers
The valley of Fire is dominated by creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush.  Cactus species such as beaver tail and cholla are also abundant.  The springtime blooms with desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow.  This makes the park look especially spectacular in the spring.
Valley of Fire Wildlife

Valley of Fire is teeming with wildlife, but most of the animals that reside in Valley of Fire are nocturnal.  There are many species of lizards, snakes, coyote, bobcat, kit fox, skunk, jackrabbit, and antelope ground squirrel.  It is always a nice treat to see desert big horn sheep and you are likely to see sheep in the middle of the day.  The desert tortoise is a rare species and is protected by state law. Source: CP

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

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

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Hanging Lake Colorado

Almost 1,000 feet up the steep walls of Glenwood Canyon, a natural hides away a basin full of water the color of Paris green, waterfalls roaring near the brittle shoreline of travertine. The bottom of lake is fully visible through crystal clear waters. This majestic lake is unearthed by a gold hunting prospector.  Hanging Lake was a private homestead and family retreat until falling into the hands of Glenwood Springs in 1910.

This is well protected by the White River Forest Service; this is a popular stop for those willing to take a short but steep hike to see the trout-filled, glacially formed watery haven seemingly suspended from the side of the canyon. Just a few hundred yards behind Hanging Lake is yet another waterfall, Spouting Rock, which jets through holes in the canyon walls.

The discovery of the lake tells of a man searching for gold in the canyon. The man found a dead horse at the opening of a gulch. When he followed the gulch up through the steep hillside through the canyon he came around the backside of the lake. This is how he first saw the small bowl-like basin hanging onto the cliffs below. As the time goes, the area served as a homestead and a private family retreat until it was purchased by Glenwood Springs after the Taylor Bill was passed by Congress in 1910.

Following the acquisition it started its extensive history as a public tourist stop. In the 1940s there is hosted a resort and cafe until the construction of Interstate-70 commenced in 1968. Hence, in 1972, the trail and the lake were returned to the protection of the Forest Service as part of the White River National Forest. This has been a progressively popular tourist destination since.

In 2011, the lake was named a National Natural Landmark by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The brittle shoreline of Hanging Lake is composed of travertine, created by dissolved limestone from the Mississippian Period Leadville Formation is deposited on rocks and logs, creating travertine layers.

Hanging Lake is located on a fault line and was formed when roughly an acre and a half of the valley floor sheared off from the fault and dropped to what is now the shallow bed of the lake. The turquoise colors of the lake are produced by carbonate minerals that have dissolved in the water. You'll also have several benches to relax and soak in the sublime beauty of this 1.5-acre lake.

Hanging Lake is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Colorado approximately 3.2 miles round trip, and two hours of hiking time. Behind the lake, hikers will discover Spouting Rock, a much larger waterfall that flows from a set of holes in the limestone cliffs of Dead Horse Canyon. Hanging Lake receives over 131,000 visitors per year. Because of the high amount of traffic, Hanging Lake faces the threats of ecological disruption.

Thousands of visitors and their effects of wading and swimming by humans and dogs are having a significant impact on the strange ecosystem of the lake. No dogs are allowed on the trailhead or left behind in cars. No fishing or swimming is allowed at the lake. This precious natural wonder is one we all must work together to protect by respecting the rules. Source: CP

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