Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mystery Photo for a Slow Saturday

Note: the answer to the previous mystery photo has been postscripted to the original post here.

Today's mystery photo is stunning to me, primarily because I didn't think of taking it myself. It shows the death of not one, not two, but three volcanoes.

Oops.

We teachers aren't supposed to fall into the trap of anthropomorphising geologic and other scientific phenomena (i.e. atoms aren't "trying" to reach a lowest energy state in order to be "happy", and volcanoes don't "die"). Let me rephrase the statement:

This photo shows three different volcanic edifices which reached the terminal stage of their development in three different ways.

So, the question of the day: How did these three volcanoes come to be extinct (is that term appropriate? It seems so life-related)? Some context: the picture (by Susan Hayes) was taken during our recent exploration of the southern Cascades in Oregon and northern California.