Nature Notes

Volume VIII No. 1 - July, 1935

Unusual Ridges Of Rock Fragments
By Carl E. Dutton, Ranger-Naturalist

After most of the snow inside the Rim has melted away, there remains an almost continuous accumulation below The Watchman and Hillman Peak. These snowbanks are separated from the lake by a very definite border of rather large rock fragments. When finally the warmth of summer has completely or partially melted these snowbanks, there exist depressions where the snow was formerly present. In the latter season of the year, the trough is conspicuous but might not be accorded its true origin.

The manner in which the ridge and trough are formed is revealed by the processes which are especially active while the snowbanks are present. Occasionally a rock fragment, from the cliffs or slopes above, tumbles toward the lake an in doing so is carried across the snow. This process has been repeated until the accumulation finally became so great that it was built above the water and the ridge character was developed. The predominance of large size fragments in the ridge is noteworthy and is due to the high velocity attained by the falling rocks. As a result of this inertia, the large fragments are propelled across the snow whereas the smaller fragments are stopped by the snow.

Thus the sorting and accumulation of such loose material into these shore ridges is principally a geological feature whose origin is associated with the season of snow at Crater Lake.

The Crumbling Rim
By Ernest G. Moll, Ranger-Naturalist

The first boat trip around the lake in Spring has, for those of us familiar with the lake from of old, a twofold interest. Three is the renewed contact with scenes wistfully remembered at quiet moments through the long winter; there is the curiosity concerning how the rim has weathered the winter storms and the tug and thrust of ice and snow.

Observations made on the boat trip of July, the first, would indicate that the past winter produced relatively few changes in the features of the rim. However, at a spot precisely halfway between Palisade Point and the Palisades, a new scar in the out-jutting lava bore witness that a large mass of rock had split off and fallen away to the lake. Huge freshly-broken fragments, mixed with splintery remnants of tree trunks, lie scattered along the shore-line.

Thus goes on record another skirmish in the battle of the rim against the forces of weather and erosion.

That which seemed strong as Time lies broken here,
A fearful discord of tempestuous stone;
And o'er that field still linger, sharp and clear,
The echoes of the wild earth-bugle blown.

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