Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon

These are photos from the last two days taken around Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.  This is looking along the Oak Creek Canyon fault.  The left side is the downthrown block, and the right side is the upthrown block.

 These photos are from hiking around the Brins Mesa Trail.

This is from the airport road overlooking Sedona.

Tomorrow I head for home, so this will probably be my last post for a while.  Its been a wonderful two weeks on the road!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lake Mead

On the way to Sedona I stopped at Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.  The water level at Lake Mead is tangible evidence of the effect of the 15-year drought on water resources in the southwest.  The terraced benches in this photo show the shoreline elevations of Lake Mead at different times.  At one time, all of this was underwater!

Here is a shot of the same area showing the current water level.  The terraces from the previous photo are in the right background.

This image shows the "bathtub ring" around Lake Mead that marks the high water level from 1983.  The water is about 158 feet below that now.

In this image, where the pavement ends is pretty much where the marina used to be during times of higher water levels.  The marina has had to be moved about 1000 feet to keep up with the retreating shoreline.

Here is another photo of the "bathtub ring" right at Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam is still an impressive structure!!!  It's 726 feet from base to crest.

These are the 8 generators in the powerhouse on the Nevada side.  The combined power of the 17 generators from both sides is about 3 million horsepower.  The rated capacity of the powerplant is 2080 megawatts.

This is a photo of one of the four water intake towers that send water flow through the dam to the powerhouse.  When the lake is full, the water level is just below the concrete walkway that connects the intakes with the main dam structure.

Arrived in Sedona AZ just in time to catch the setting sun lighting up the rocks!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Death Valley

Today's trip was to Death Valley.

At Dante's View, more than 5500 feet above the valley floor, you can really see Death Valley as the ultimate expression of Basin and Range topography.

This shot is from Dante's View looking down at Badwater, at 282 feet, the lowest point in North America.

These are the highly eroded lake sediments at Zabriskie Point

When I was at Badwater, the high for the day a few miles up the road at Furnace Creek was 113 degrees.

Out on the salt flat.

Tomorrow its off to Hoover Dam and Sedona AZ.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

High, wide and lonesome

High, wide and lonesome, to borrow a title from a book about growing up on the Colorado plains, is the best way I know how to describe diving through the Basin and Range  to Las Vegas today.  These photos are from valley (unnamed as far as I know) north of Preston NV.

During the trip today, I encountered something of a mystery to me.  These curious clusters of  sand circles that typically had small cones in the center.  If anyone knows how these formed, i wold welcome an explanation.

Finally I arrived in Vegas, but first I made a detour to Frenchman Mountain where you can find the same rocks as are in the Grand Canyon, except they've been tilted by faulting.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Basin and Range

Today I drove from Kanab to Ely, NV.  The first stop was at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary just outside of Kanab.  If you are ever there, I highly recommend taking a couple of hours for the tour.

Next I drove across the Markagunt Plateau where I saw the lava flows that cap it.

Also, from the crest of the Markagunt, I could see the pinnacles and cliffs of Zion off in the distance.

Zion in the distance

The next task was to cross the Basin and Range province.  Along the way I came across a dried playa lake bed.

Playa lake bed

Basin and Range

I continued into Nevada and stopped at Great Basin National Park.

Wheeler Peak
View of Basin and Range from Great Basin NP

Kodachrome and Bryce

The first stop today was at Kodachrome Basin State Park.  These are sandstone intrusions that have various explanations, hydrothermal, seismic or slurry injections.
Here is a view of Bryce Canyon from Kodachrome Basin:

The following are all from Bryce Canyon: