Monday, July 1, 2013

Newberry Volcanic National Monument

Everyone knows about Crater Lake National Monument -- but I confess that I had never heard of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which is in between Bend, Oregon, and Crater Lake.  It includes what is apparently the largest (in area) volcano in Oregon, a composite volcano (lava and pyroclastic layers intermingled) that has more than 200 cinder cones and vents as part of the complex.

One of the features is a lava cast forest -- what happens when lava flows into a forest of substantial trees.  The lava hardens and cools when it hits a tree, and I suspect that the result is pretty darn amazing to watch as it burns to charcoal.  But it leaves casts of the trees in the lava, like these:






Here is a picture of the lakes that formed in the multi-part caldera (formed from several collapses over a long period of time):


There are several massive obsidian flows in the caldera -- like 150 feet thick and miles long.  Here's the face of one of them:





My wife has an obsidian obsession, and here she is mugging for the camera, expressing her desires, restrained only by federal law and gravity:




Love this piece:

 





1 comment:

Windy Wilson said...

I'd never heard of it either. I knew about the lava tubes, but wasn't aware if they were part of a larger monument.
The area around Sisters is very volcanic, with lots of, I guess you'd call it ejecta; pumice, scoria, and some heavier rock that was frothy but too dark and too heavy to be pumice.