|Aerial shot of the Rocky Prairie mima mounds from a Seattle flight several years ago.|
The photo yesterday is an image of several dozen acres of prairie in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. They show an unusual surface feature called Mima Mounds (as correctly guessed by several commentors). They're showing up in today's post because I finally had the opportunity to visit the original examples. I've discussed mima mounds in the past, because we have superb examples of them in our own home region of the Central Valley of California.
There is some current research on the origin of these enigmatic mounds by Manny Gabet at San Jose State University that supports the gophoer hypothesis. Generation after generation of gophers, building their mounds in the same place over time, could produce features like these in 500 to 700 years. Gabet doesn't insist that this is the absolute explanation for all mounds, but the computer modeling provides strong support for the idea.
The park provided a nice respite from the long slog down Interstate 5. We're on the home stretch of three weeks on the road, but now it's just Mrs. Geotripper and myself. Our students have scattered to the winds, and we are only responsible for ourselves for the next few days. The story of our adventures in Canada will begin soon!