Saturday, July 16, 2016
Cormorant and Pillow Basalt Above Waikiki Beach (but not the one you think)
The pillow basalt is part of the Crescent Formation, a unit that preserves sea-floor sediments and basalt of the ocean crust that was swept into the subduction zone along the west coast of North America. Pillows are globular masses of basalt that form when the lava flows into water. The lava dates from the middle Eocene epoch, about 40 million years ago.
Cape Disappointment is steeped in history, being the last point of solid bedrock along the Columbia River where it flows into the Pacific Ocean. The name came from the failure of early explorers to recognize this spot as the mouth of the Columbia River (hazardous and constantly shifting sand bars made navigation upstream extraordinarily difficult). It was also the place where the Lewis and Clark Expedition finally reached the Pacific Ocean.
There are two lighthouses on the peninsula, due to the aforementioned hazards. Around 200 ships were wrecked in the immediate vicinity over the years.