GSM 2015 March Nevada - Day 5
May 17, 2015Public
Photo: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/pahranagat/
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Photo: Few landscapes are as contrasting as Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge’s lush wetlands and the surrounding Mojave Desert.
Photo: A few yuccas in bloom.
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Photo: Since we are in the Mojave desert, there are a few Joshua trees.
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Photo: Hiking trails cross through five different habitat types, giving visitors the opportunity to see desert, meadows, marshes, lakes, and streams within a single day visit.
Photo: The highlight of our day was Cathedral Gorge State Park.
Photo: Cathedral Gorge is located in a long, narrow valley where erosion has carved dramatic and unique patterns in the soft bentonite clay.
Photo: Cathedral Gorge is a photographer’s dream (helped that day by cumulous clouds).
Photo: It is easy to decide which formation gives Cathedral Gorge its name.
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Photo: The spires and buff-colored cliffs are the result of geologic processes occurring over tens of millions of years.
Photo: The beauty enjoyed today had violent beginnings, starting with explosive volcanic activity that, with each eruption, deposited layers of ash hundreds of feet thick.
Photo: The source of this ash, the Caliente Caldera Complex, lies to the south of Cathedral Gorge.
Photo: About five million years after the eruptions ceased, block faulting, a fracture in the bedrock that allows the two sides to move opposite each other, shaped the mountains and valleys prevalent in Nevada today. This faulting formed a depression, now known as Meadow Valley.
Photo: Over time, the depression filled with water creating a freshwater lake.
Photo: Continual rains eroded the exposed ash and pumice left from the volcanic activity, and the streams carried the eroded sediment into the newly formed lake.
Photo: These formations, made of silt, clay and volcanic ash, are the remnants of that lake.