Monday, February 16, 2009

Fossil Falls

A bit more on Fossil Falls, which was the subject of Friday's Mystery Photo. The falls formed when Owens Lake overflowed during the Pleistocene ice ages. In 2005, we had the unusual pleasure of seeing water actually flowing through the gorge, as we had arrived on the heels of a pretty large storm. The water was rich with silt, giving it the latte-like appearance.

Althought the falls are almost always dry, a modern analogue is visible on the Rogue River in Oregon, just outside Crater Lake National Park. The Rogue River Gorge is a pullout on Highway 62 from Medford, about 7 miles from the park. The river flows through a breached basalt lava tube, and is actively forming potholes that are strikingly similar to Fossil Falls.
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