Tags archives: geology

  • Rainbow Falls, Big Island

  • This lovely, 80-ft plunge of the Wailuku River drains water runoff from both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea lava flows, and feeds a turquoise pool surrounded by lush tropical greenery of the Big Island's eastern (windward) slopes.  Even at only 28 miles, this is Hawaii's longest river, and follows a steep gradient from the east slo[...]
  • Petrified Forest Landscape

  • The Petrified Forest sits in the badlands of a dry, high desert, but its presence has everything to do with the action of water.   Around 225 million years ago, in the late Triassic, mighty floods washed logs into low swales, burying them in sediment that later hardened to rock—the Chinle formation.   Over time, wood cells f[...]
  • Lava Lake Glow on Low Clouds

  • As the evening deepened and stratus clouds lowered over Kilauea caldera's highly active Halemaumau Crater, the lava lake rose, at times splashing distant gobs of fountain lava above the plane of the visible rim.  That was an uncommon sight, and one we were fortunate to witness.  The distinctive orange glow of the lava shone [...]
  • Warm Outflow

  • This is the first image in SkyPix specifically titled "outflow" that isn't in the Gallery of Outflow!  The name, both sarcastic and somewhat literally true, instead describes a 2,000-degree oozing inferno that sculpts its own fluid art anew every minute—a flow of rock, not air.  Destruction and renewal run downhill together [...]
  • Twilight Surf: Olympic National Park

  • This twilight, on the edge of the land of "Twilight", brought solace, and not the least bit of fright.  Smoothed ethereally by short time exposure, the surf of Rialto and a shallow, thin fog layer offered a fluidly undular, matte reflection of the slate-blue sky above, as final reds of dusk painted the horizon.  Meanwhile th[...]
  • Blue Lagoon: Land and Sky

  • The soothing turquoise mineral waters of Iceland's Blue Lagoon, set against dark and jagged basalt from a young lava flow, defy visual norms, offering strange contrasts in color and multi-dimensionality across the vista.  In the sky, thin cirrostratus and chunks of altostratus texturize the scene further.  The silica and sul[...]
  • Hofsvik Sunset Prelude

  • As seen from Iceland's narrow western coastal plain, the interior bluffs and hills grasped the very last of their day's rays, while deepening golden yellows illuminated orographic low clouds hovering overhead.  Despite its shallowness, this cumuliform cloud feature produced warm-cloud rain, as evident in the short rainbow se[...]
  • Brycebow

  • Retreating storms cast both a rainbow and darkly textured background past the warmly lit orange stone walls and pillars of Bryce Canyon.  The same storms had passed over the park midday to mid-afternoon, running a lot of people back into cover and thinning the crowds considerably for the onset of late-afternoon "magic hour" [...]
  • Slot Canyon in the Tent Rocks

  • Water erosion in flash floods, with relatively minor contributions from wind (eolian) processes, erodes slot canyons.  In this case, the process is speedy by geologic standards, thanks to the young, soft, sandy, pyroclastic deposits here, emanating from eruptions around six million years ago in the nearby Jemez volcanic comp[...]
  • Upstream from Angel's Landing

  • To arrive here, one must hike a series of switchbacks adding up to 2.5 miles and 1500 vertical feet each way from the Virgin River, or a total of 5 miles and 3,000 vertical feet.  Parts of the hike ain't easy, traversing slick, tilted, sand-covered rock slopes bracketed by thousand-foot dropoffs within just a few feet distan[...]
  • The Skutustadir Pseudocraters

  • What does this formation of craters have to do with water works?  The key to the answer is in the origin.  Lava flowed over wetlands or shallow lake-bottom sediments near present-day Myvatn Lake in Iceland.  The resulting steam pressure built up and blasted holes repeatedly through the same weaknesses in the overlying lava d[...]
  • Cascade from Orange Rock

  • On the highest parts of southern Utah's plateau country, characteristically orange desert rock layers have been uplifted thousands of feet into altitudes where lakes and forests cover them. Water draining Navajo Lake has tunneled a conduit through the ochre-toned sediments, rushing out of this rock wall before plunging stepw[...]