“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Death Valley Crater

Death Valley is home to many interesting geological features which include the Devil’s Golf Course (a landscape of crystallised salt beds) and the famous Racetrack Playa, where the “Sailing Stones” glide along the desert floor leaving tracks behind them.

Another geological feature of Death Valley that is worthy of mention is Ubehebe Crater.

Ubehebe Crater can be found in the northern part of Death Valley, at the northern edge of the Cottonwood Mountains. The crater measures in at 1,000m wide and up to 237m deep and its estimated age lies in the range of 800 to 7,000 years of age.  Ubehebe crater is not an impact crater created by an astronomical object falling to earth, but is instead a volcanic crater. Magma rising from below ground would have come into contact with ground water, which would have explosively turned into steam.  This explosion ejected bedrock and other material which created the crater. Ubehebe Crater is not the only crater in the immediate area created by this process, but is by far the most impressive.

Pictures, California (2008).

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