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Photographic Field Journal

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Documenting Eastern California along US 395 for my Geography 5 (lab) at Chaffey College

Documenting Eastern California along US 395 for my Geography 5 (lab) at Chaffey College

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  • 1. Photographic Field Journal
    Fontana Lab: April 2 & April 15-17
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Geography 5
    Prof. L. Schmidt
    May 6, 2011
  • 2. Field Trip 1
    Coso Volcanic Range
    Fossil Falls
    Mormon Rocks
  • 3. Coso Volcanic Range
    Cinder Hill is one of the most prominent features in this range of young volcanoes. It is an example of a composite cinder cone and rises over a field of lava beds. One can find formations of intrusive basalt and extrusive lava flows. These signature volcanic features can be seen across the valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the West and to the Inyo-White Mountains to the East.
    Cinder Hill
    Basaltformation
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 4. Coso Volcanic Range
    The two photos below show some more unique features in the volcanic area. On the left, an extrusive lava flow is circled. You can also see evidence of the landscape changing where the basalt has eroded away to form a gorge at the edge of the desert; and, the grasses growing in an intrusive basalt formation.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Eroded Basalt
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Root Wedging
  • 5. Fossil Falls
    Where the Owens River once flowed is a scarred ecosystem. One of the endangered “species”- water, actually became extinct in the floodplain. What it left behind were these amazing “fossils” of a former water fall, where the Owens once majestically dropped 200 feet before meandering to Owens Lake. The unique and beautiful shapes at Fossil Falls are due to the once rushing water pounding and smoothing the volcanic basalt.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 6. Fossil Falls
    Before Los Angeles grew to be a major metropolis, the Owens River once flowed through here. Without running water some parts of the stream bed are beginning to fade into the surrounding landscape. However, this picture clearly shows the banks of the former flood plain.
    Owens River (dry) stream bed and flood plain
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 7. Fossil Falls
    Examples of metate holes. These were created in the falls by rocks which were captured by a current subsequently weathering the basalt into a pot like hole.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 8. Fossil Falls
    The area around Fossil Falls was inhabited by Paiute and Shoshone peoples. They lived a nomadic lifestyle, spending the warmer months in the Sierra foothills and the cooler months near the Owens River. Evidence of their native way of life can still be seen today.
    Petroglyphs
    (drawings) can be
    found on rocks
    nearby.
    This one depicts
    several Big Horn
    sheep.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 9. Fossil Falls
    Shown here is the foundation for a Native dwelling, known as a house ring. When covered with reeds, this would have provided shelter for the hunter-gatherers.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 10. Fossil Falls
    Among the stones found around Fossil Falls are many pieces of obsidian. This igneous rock is created when hot magma cools. It looks and feels like glass, and was used as a valuable tool by the Paiute and Shoshone. You can also see examples of other igneous rocks: basalt (black stones), scoria (red stones), pumice (inset).
    PUMICE
    BASALT
    SCORIA
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Obsidian Flake
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 11. Mormon Rocks
    Officially designated The Rock Candy Mountains, the more common name for these sandstone rock outcroppings is Mormon Rocks. These sandstone rock fault blocks are formed as the pressure of the N. American plate and Pacific slide past each other. The unique shape and pockmarked (inset) texture made this formation an easy “sign” to travelers ending their journey across the Mojave Desert and into the San Bernardino Valley The moniker honors the early Mormon settlers who found the route through Cajon Pass more pleasing than the original Mojave Indian Trail.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 12. Mormon Rocks
    This photo shows a closer image of the granular structure of the Mormon Rocks. This sandstone is more resistant to weathering than the sediment rocks which were around it, making them a prominent geographic feature of the area.
    SEDIMENT LAYERS
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    POCKMARK
  • 13. Mormon Rocks
    This photo shows the stream bed of Cajon Wash – the seasonal river which flows past Mormon Rocks.
    Of interest, also, is the railroad bridge which crosses the river and suggests the flow of water here can be enough to disrupt our human landscape.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Cajon Wash dry stream bed
  • 14. Mormon Rocks
    While this may look peaceful and iconic, you are actually viewing of photo of one of the most geologically active areas in the world. This is the place where the North American Plate and Pacific Plate meet and slid past one another. The action of this strike/slip, known as the San Andreas, created the rift valley below.
    San Andreas Rift Zone
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 15. Field Trip 2
    Diaz Lake
    Mt. Whitney Visitors’ Center
    Keough’s Hot Springs
    Mono Lake
    Convict Lake
    Owens River
    Eastern California Museum
    Manzanar
  • 16. Diaz Lake
    Diaz Lake is a feature known as a sag pond. A sag pond is created when a large earthquake displaces land and causes it to sink. The land displaced by the 1872 earthquake was enough that the lake filled as Diaz Creek flowed into the sag. Several springs and run off from the nearby Alabama Hills also feed the lake.
    Inyo-White Mountains
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 17. Diaz Lake
    The area around Diaz Lake is representative of what the Owens Valley looked like prior to the export of its river water. This grove of Cottonwood trees is a tell that water is nearby. Also, in this picture are the Alabama Hills which trace to location of the Lone Pine Fault. The dark line along the base of the hills is the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
    LOS ANGELES AQUEDUCT
    LONE PINE FAULT
    COTTONWOOD TREES
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 18. Mt. Whitney Interagency Visitor Center
    At 14, 505 feet, Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the contiguous forty-eight United States. It is deceiving in the picture, as Mt. Whitney looks lower. However, this is caused by the near Lone Pine Peak looking taller.
    Inyo-White Mountains
    Mt. Whitney
    Alluvial Fan
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Sierra Nevada Range
    The Inyo-White Mountains form
    the eastern side of the Owens
    Valley. The key difference
    Between the Sierra Nevada and
    the White Mountains is their weathering.
    The “v”-shaped valley on the Whites indicate
    water erosion, while the “u”-shaped valleys
    on the Sierra Nevada indicate glacial erosion.
    Alabama Hills
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 19. Mt. Whitney Interagency Visitor Center
    From near Big Pine, CA the most southern glacier can still be seen. The Palisades Glacier is currently in retreat.
    Palisades Glacier
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 20. Keough’s Hot Springs
    The hot creek and pools is fed from a spring in the Alabama Foothills. The water is warmed underground through geothermal processes.
    Alabama Hills
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Hot Spring
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 21. Mono Lake
    Mono Lake at one time covered nearly 1000 sq. miles. Through drought, evaporation, and recently, diversion Mono Lake currently covers about 66 sq. miles. Protected from diversion, three streams feed this terminal lake. Also, the two islands at the north shore provide a safe breeding ground for seagulls who feed on alkali flies and brine shrimp.
    Brine Shrimp
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Negit Island
    Paoha Island
    Mono Lake
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 22. Mono Lake
    Mono Lake’s beauty and unique chemistry helped save it from the fate shared by many others in the Owens Valley. The lake and its watershed are protected and will continue to be an important Eastern California ecosystem.
    Ancient Shoreline
    Historical shoreline: 6417’
    Current shoreline : 6383’
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 23. Mono Lake
    Mono Lake is a terminal lake, meaning it has no natural outlet but evaporation. As lake levels dropped these amazing tufa formations were exposed. Tufas are created where a spring vents into the lake. The mixture of fresh water into the lake’s unique alkaline, saline, and arsenic rich water creates the otherworldly feature.
    Tufa formation
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 24. Mono Lake
    Glaciated Valley
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Panum Crater
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 25. Convict Lake
    Convict Lake is found between in a cirque left by a glacier. Unique to this area is where uplift has exposed the Sierra Nevada’s oldest rocks.
    Oldest rocks in
    the Sierra Nevada
    Convict Lake
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 26. Convict Lake
    Moraines are left behind whena glacier retreats. They are the debris and rock which a glacier has carved out of the mountains and deposits along the advancing ice.
    Terminal moraine
    Lateral moraine
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 27. Owens River
    As Southern California conserves water, more is left to flow naturally. Here is the Owens River near Bishop, CA
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    This benchmark is an official geodetic survey marker, used for mapping and property purposes.
  • 28. Owens River
    As Southern California conserves water, more is left to flow naturally. Here is the Owens River near Bishop, CA
    Swallow nests
    Tule Reeds
    Owens River
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 29. Owens River
    The oldest living tree on the planet is native to the Inyo-White Mountains. A bristlecone pine can live over 4500 years. Here is the view of the Bristlecone Pine forests above Bishop, CA
    Collection of the Eastern California Museum
    Closer image of Bristlecone Pines
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 30. Eastern California Museum
    I felt this was an interesting artifact because it demonstrates how little control over the local economy and ecology the residents of the Owens Valley have. Its unfortunate how they were taken advantage of by Los Angeles, and how the way of life was altered. I think that the lessons learned from the Owens River/LA Aqueduct should resonate for future generations and how important sustainability is to our survival as a culture and as humans.
    The Mono Lake Committee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Collection of the Eastern California Museum
  • 31. Manzanar
    During WW II about 10,000 Americans of Japanese decent were ordered to this concentration
    camp for their safety and the fear of their threat to America.
    This would have been the location of the warehousing district inside Manzanar.
    There were dry and refrigerated storage facilities for imported and exported good.
    Manzanar was a working apple orchard.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 32. Manzanar
    During WW II about 10,000 Americans of Japanese decent were ordered to this concentration
    camp for their safety and the fear of their threat to America.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    A glimpse into the life in the camp.
    Check Station built by Japanese
  • 33. In-Transit & Other
    Flora
    Fauna
    Urban Sprawl
    Doppler Radar
    Rand District
    Garlock Fault
    Playa
    SETI
    Water & Power
    Solar Plant
    Cucamonga Fan
  • 34. Flora
    Burroweed grass
    Creosote Bush
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Desert Wildflowers
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Lilac
    Joshua Trees
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Yucca Tree
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Sage
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 35. Fauna
    Lorquin’s Admiral
    Alkali Fly
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Scorpion (young)
    Raven
    Canadian Goose
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Western Gull
    Mallard
    Osprey
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 36. Urban Sprawl
    Leap frog developments are those where the human environment takes advantage of open space by building ahead of and away from current urban areas. This method impacts the natural environment by the inefficient use of space for human comfort.
    Leap frog tracts
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Introduction of non-native
    vegetation
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 37. Doppler Radar Tower
    The Doppler Radar was first discovered in 1842. Development and use of the technology has been in the fields of aeronautics and meteorology.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 38. Rand Mining District
    The Rand Mining District was once a lead producer of gold in California. 20% of the state’s gold deposits were located at the site. The living ghost towns of Randsburg and Johannesburg line Highway 395, as do these examples of the tailings (useless) dirt and ore from the mines.
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 39. Garlock Fault
    The Garlock Fault is the second largest fault in California.
    Apx. location of fault
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 40. Playa
    A playa is the remains of a lake bottom. The soil is typically barren and hard, impervious to new plant growth.
    Koehn Dry Lake
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 41. SETI Site
    The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute operates a site in the Owens Valley. The location far from civilization and between the Inyo-White and Sierra Nevada Ranges creates a sort of quiet zone for “listening at the stars.”
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 42. Water & Power
    The California Aqueduct brings water from Central California into the Inland Empire and is part of the tremendous effort by Southern Californian’s to supply this vital resource to the arid south. Other notable aqueducts in this system include the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the Colorado River Aqueduct.
    Part of the Owens River/L.A. Aqueduct system, is the development of geothermal- and hydro-power. The generated electricity is carried south power high tension power lines.
    DWP High Voltage
    Transmission Lines
    CA Aqueduct
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 43. Water & Power
    .
    Relief map showing LA DWP
    influence in the Owens Valley
    A section of steel pipe used to divert
    Owens River water to Los Angeles
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    Collection of the Lone Pine Interagency Visitor Center
  • 44. Solar Power Plant
    Looking like an oasis, the Solar Power plant lays out north of Kline’s Corner, CA
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
    The solar mirrors
    closer up
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 45. Cucamonga Alluvial Fan
    An alluvial fan is created at the base of ravine where water and runoff leave a mountain valley. Over time sediments are deposited to build this triangular feature at the foot of mountain ranges. The Cucamonga fan, a combination of several depository fans, at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains is the largest in California.
    Combined Cucamonga Alluvial Fans
    Brandon Thrakulchavee
  • 46. the end
    Orographic Effect over the San Bernardino Mountains
    Corona around the sun.
    Where light is reflected of water vapor in upper
    atmosphere