Crater Lake, The Pinnacles Pt2

Pinnacles Formations

Easily view the formations from the parking lot.

The history of the “pinnacles” below began about 7,700 years ago when the eruptions of Mt. Mazama were reaching their climax. Torrents of red-hot, gas-charged pumice poured down Mazama’s slopes at speeds of up to 100 mph (160kph). On top of this came a flow of heavier rocks called scoria. These glowing avalanches flooded downslope for many miles, leaving deep deposits in their wake.

Temperatures in the deposits may have exceeded 750 F (400 C). Plumes of vapors appeared, as gasses escaped from the settling rocks through vents called fumaroles. Minerals in the gasses, combined with extreme heat, welded the sides of the fumaroles in the shape of slender cones. Since then, streams have eroded a canyon through the deposits, exposing the cones. Many of these fossil fumaroles are hollow.

The glowing avalanche deposits took years to cool. Hot gasses escaped through fumaroles whose shapes are preserved in the pinnacles.

Glowing avalanches from Mt. Mazama filled surrounding valleys with deposits
of pumice and scoria. Today, streams are cutting new valleys.

the pinnacles

the pinnacles

The pinnacles and valley

The pinnacles

The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles

These  photos above are a bit dark, but no less beautiful.

I confess I cannot find the source I used for the information, next time I”ll write it down first, be that as it may enjoy the photos.




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