Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lass Peak Eruption 1914-1917 Pictorial


Lassen Peak Eruption #2
Lassen Peak Eruption #2
Second of six successive views of Lassen Peak in eruption, seen from Manzanita chute
B.F. Loomis; June 9, 1914
Lassen Peak eruption #3
Lassen Peak eruption #3
Third of six successive views of Lassen Peak in eruption, seen from Manzanita chute
 B.F. Loomis; June 9, 1914
Lassen Peak Eruption #4
Lassen Peak Eruption #4
Fourth of six successive views of Lassen Peak in eruption, seen from Manzanita chute
 B.F. Loomis; June 9, 1914
Lassen Peak Eruption #6
Lassen Peak Eruption #6
 Sixth of six successive views of Lassen Peak in eruption, seen from Manzanita chute
 B.F. Loomis;June 9, 1914
Lassen Peak Eruption from Red Bluff
Lassen Peak Eruption from Red Bluff
By F.R. Eldredge; May 22, 1915
Hot Rock and Lassen Peak eruption
Hot Rock and Lassen Peak eruption.
  Steam issuing from summit of Lassen Peak from head of Lost Creek followign mud flow. Large boulder or "Hot Rock" in foreground. Photograph taken a few hours prior to second major eruption and hot blast.
B.F. Loomis; May 22, 1915
Lassen Peak eruption from high
Lassen Peak eruption from high
Lassen Peak in eruption, possibly from Brokeoff Mountain.
From William B. Hall.
Lassen Peak eruption
Lassen Peak eruption
Circa 1915
Steaming crater on Lassen Peak summit
Steaming crater on Lassen Peak summit
B.F. Loomis; June 4, 1914
Lava flow from Lassen Peak
Lava flow from Lassen Peak
Lassen Peak showing new lava flow on summit and large mudflows on slopes
B.F. Loomis; May 24, 1915
Lassen Peak Eruption over Manzanita Lake
Lassen Peak Eruption over Manzanita Lake
Lassen Peak over Manzanita Lake erupting small plume of ash
B.F. Loomis; circa 1914
Devastated Area from Lost Creek
Devastated Area from Lost Creek
Steam issuing from summit of Lassen Peak from head of Lots Creek following mud flow. Large boulder or "Hot Rock" in foreground. Photographs taken a few hours prior to second major eruption and hot blast.
B.F. Loomis; May 22, 1915
Hot Rock and Devastated Area
Hot Rock and Devastated Area
Steam issuing from summit of Lassen Peak from head of Lots Creek following mud flow. Large boulder or "Hot Rock" in foreground. Photographs taken a few hours prior to second major eruption and hot blast.
B.F. Loomis; May 22, 1915
Lassen Peak Eruption from Mineral
Lassen Peak Eruption from Mineral
Lassen Peak in eruption seen from Mineral, CA
Hampton; May 22, 1915
Lassen Peak Eruption from Red Bluff
Lassen Peak Eruption from Red Bluff
Lassen Peak in eruption seen from Red Bluff, CA
R.E. Stinson; May 22, 1915
Lassen Peak Eruption from Red Bluff
Lassen Peak Eruption from Red Bluff
Lassen Peak in eruption seen from Red Bluff
R.E. Stinson; May 22, 1915
Lassen Peak Eruption from Anderson
Lassen Peak Eruption from Anderson
Lassen Peak in eruption seen from Anderson
 R.I. Meyers; May 22, 1915
Lassen Peak Eruption near summit
Steaming crater on Lassen Peak summit
 Mrs. Bond
Smoke on Lassen Peak Crater
Smoke on Lassen Peak Crater
Steam and ash cloud from Lassen Peak eruption
Mrs. Bond
Lassen Peak Eruption over Reflection Lake
Lassen Peak Eruption over Reflection Lake
Lassen Peak in eruption over Reflection Lake. First of four successive views of eruption.
Chester Mullen; October 6, 1915
Lassen Peak Eruption over Reflection Lake
Lassen Peak Eruption over Reflection Lake
Lassen Peak in eruption over Reflection Lake. Second of four successive views of eruption.
Chester Mullen; October 6, 1915
Men and horse on summit
Men and horse on summit
Men and horse on Lassen Peak summit near steaming crater
Hampton; 1914
Steaming Crater
Steaming Crater
Steaming crater on Lassen Peak summit
B.F. Loomis; October 20, 1914
Eruption from Manzanita Lake
Eruption from Manzanita Lake
One of two successive views of Lassen Peak in eruption from Manzanita Lake
Chester Mullen; October 6, 1915
Eruption from Red Bluff
Eruption from Red Bluff
View of Lassen Peak in eruption from downtown Red Bluff
R.E. Stinson; May 22, 1915

All images from Lassen NPS album on Flickr

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lassen Peak 100 Years Ago to National Park Today

By James Irwin & Brandon Mercer
Lassen Peak Eruption
The Lassen Peak in eruption, June 14, 1914. (Photo by B.F. Loomis via National Park Service)
LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK (CBS SF) — It quietly built up magma for 27,000 years before beginning a 7-year-long series of eruptions on May 30, 1914 and today geologists closely monitor Northern California’s most active volcano for any signs that last century’s eruptions could resume.

Lassen Peak, commonly known as Mount Lassen, is surrounded by placid blue lakes, green meadows and sparse population which convey an air of tranquility. It’s so literally radio silent that the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array is based here, far removed from the electronic pollution of cellphones and broadcasters in the cities to the south. All this beneath the shadow of a towering mountain, one that awoke 100 years ago this Friday from a 27,000 year sleep.

Lassen Peak was the only volcano to erupt inside the borders of the United States until 1959, when Hawaii and Alaska were added to the union.

That first, small eruption of May 30, 1914 was followed by more than 180 outbursts the following year, climaxing, in May 1915, with two big blasts that melted the summit snow pack and sent mudflows roaring down Lassen’s northeast flank, damaging cabins and ranches in its path and knocking down trees along a wide swath now called the Devastated Area.

Lassen Peak continued to pop off sporadically for several more years. When the activity was finished in the early 1920s, the death toll stood at a perfect zero, despite a few close calls when sightseers, scientists and photographers got caught on its slopes during eruptions.

Lassen Peak is at the southern end of the Cascade Range which includes nearby Mount Shasta and the still-active Mount St. Helens. Scientists believe all those volcanoes could erupt again explosively at any time.

The U.S. Geological Survey takes measurements of volcanic gas and constantly monitors ground movements around the mountain, transmitting the data to Menlo Park for real-time analysis. If anything changes, scientists can race to the region to take the volcano’s vital signs. So far, it remains quiet.


One of the old eruptions is thought to have been captured on motion picture film by Justin Hammer, who lived on Catfish Lake near Lassen Peak. This film is believed to have been shot in 1917. It is a silent film, but sound effects were later added by Hammer’s grandson, Craig Martin.

MORE DETAIL ON THE FILM: http://www.networkedblogs.com/Dp6i0
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: Mount Lassen History & Eruption Danger

 source

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hooked on Geology (via the arts)

Thanks to a mid-winter blitz in the nether workings of my computer, I am at a loss for my images, as they are no longer neatly filed, ready to be placed here to accompany my musings. However, since the time has been so long between posts, I thought I would hybridize my love of geology and the English language and post those resultant mutations here. As I have said many times before, I "married" one and carried on an illicit affair with the other. With neither school of learning complaining, I think I managed to get away with it.

For my first foray into this newfound realm, I begin with Scotland's famed Isle of Staffa (which is on my infamous bucket list). On that uninhabited island, located within the Inner Hebrides, lies a sea cave known as Fingal's Cave.This enormous and stunning sea cave gained its name from James Macpherson, the 18th century Scot poet, who immortalized the 3rd century Finn McCool, who defended the island from Viking invaders.


The entire island is the product of a Paleocene lava flow that cooled into the hexagonally jointed basalt columns that we know today; similar structures can be found all over the world, such as Devil's Postpile in California, Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, the island of Ulva, and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, to name a few.

Many artists have made a point to immortalize Staffa, but probably the best known of the lot is Felix Mendelssohn. Listen to his "Fingal's Cave" from the Hebrides Overture, Opus 26, and hear within the music, the violent forces that created this monument in the sea.


My great English profs would never let me live it down if I didn't include the poet, William Wordsworth's contribution to this Scottish landmark:

Staffa, the Island
Cave of Staffa

I.
WE saw, but surely, in the motley crowd,
Not one of us has felt the far-famed sight;
How could we feel it? each the other’s blight,
Hurried and hurrying, volatile and loud.
O, for those motions only that invite
The ghost of Fingal to his tuneful cave
By the breeze entered, and wave after wave
Softly embosoming the timid light!
And by one votary, who at will might stand
Gazing, and take into his mind and heart,
With undistracted reverence, the effect
Of those proportions where the Almighty hand
That made the worlds, the sovereign Architect,
Has deigned to work as if with human art!
II.
THANKS for the lessons of this spot,—fit school
For the presumptuous thoughts that would assign
Mechanic laws to agency divine;
And, measuring heaven by earth, would overrule
Infinite Power. The pillared vestibule,
Expanding yet precise, the roof embowed,
Might seem designed to humble man, when proud
Of his best workmanship by plan and tool.
Down-bearing with his whole Atlantic weight
Of tide and tempest on that structure’s base,
And flashing to that structure’s topmost height,
Ocean has proved its strength, and of its grace
In calms is conscious, finding for his freight
Of softest music some responsive place.
III.
YE shadowy Beings, that have rights and claims
In every cell of Fingal’s mystic grot,
Where are ye? Driven or venturing to the spot,
Our fathers glimpses caught of your thin frames,
And, by your mien and bearing, knew your names;
And they could hear his ghostly song who trod
Earth, till the flesh lay on him like a load,
While he struck his desolate harp without hopes or aims.
Vanished ye are, but subject to recall;
Why keep we else the instincts whose dread law
Ruled here of yore, till what men felt they saw,
Not by black arts but magic natural!
If eyes be still sworn vassals of belief,
Yon light shapes forth a bard, that shade a chief. (1)

Staffa the Island,
Fingal's Cave 
by John Keats

NOT Aladdin magian
Ever such a work began;
Not the wizard of the Dee
Ever such a dream could see;
Not Saint John, in Patmos’ isle,
In the passion of his toil,
When he saw the churches seven,
Golden aisled, built up in heaven,
Gazed at such a rugged wonder!
As I stood its roofing under,
Lo! I saw one sleeping there,
On the marble cold and bare;
While the surges washed his feet,
And his garments white did beat,
Drenched about the sombre rocks;
On his neck his well-grown locks,
Lifted dry above the main,
Were upon the curl again.
“What is this? and what art thou?”
Whispered I, and touched his brow;
“What art thou? and what is this?”
Whispered I, and strove to kiss
The spirit’s hand, to wake his eyes.
Up he started in a trice:
“I am Lycidas,” said he,
“Famed in fun’ral minstrelsy!
This was architectured thus
By the great Oceanus!—
Here his mighty waters play
Hollow organs all the day; 
Here, by turns, his dolphins all,
Finny palmers, great and small,
Come to pay devotion due,—
Each a mouth of pearls must strew!
Many a mortal of these days     
Dares to pass our sacred ways;
Dares to touch, audaciously,
This cathedral of the sea!
I have been the pontiff-priest,
Where the waters never rest,  
Where a fledgy sea-bird choir
Soars forever! Holy fire
I have hid from mortal man;
Proteus is my sacristan!
But the dulled eye of mortal   
Hath passed beyond the rocky portal;
So forever will I leave
Such a taint, and soon unweave
All the magic of the place.”
So saying, with a spirit’s glance      
He dived! (2)


The above image was created by J.M.W. Turner for the cover of Sir Walter Scott's book of poetry. The university of Edinburgh has a fine description of how deeply impressed Sir Scott was by his visit to Staffa in 1810; he declared it:

... 'one of the most extraordinary places I ever beheld' which 'exceeded in my mind every description I had heard of it' (Letter to Joanna Baillie, July 19, 1810). He was particularly struck by Fingal's Cave: 'the appearance of the cavern composed entirely of basaltic pillars as high as the roof of a cathedral and running deep into the rock, eternally swept by a deep and swelling sea, and paved as it were with ruddy marble baffles all description'. He subsequently described Fingal's Cave in The Lord of the Isles (1815), canto IV, stanza X: 'that wondrous dome, | Where, as to shame the temples deck'd | By skill of earthly architect, | Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise | A Minster to her Maker's p raise!' (lines 13-17). (3)

Jules Verne also became duly inspired by Fingal's Cave and included a reference to it in his novel, The Green Ray. The following is an illustration by Léon Benett from Verne's book.
What becomes obvious is the view from inside the cave is contagious, as the opening perfectly frames the sister island of Iona.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, who I mentioned before, also painted a moody and impressionistic view of Staffa in 1831-32.


Next, is "Fingal’s Cave, Island of Staffa, Scotland" by Thomas Moran, who painted this version in 1884-5. Notice how he incorporates Ireland's Giant's Causeway within the picture...

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, also visited Fingal's Cave during his early years as a poet and if there is any doubt that that this island inspired his zest for the natural sublime in his poetry, then I invite you to read, "Sea Dreams." One can sense the raging waves, and see the inhabitants in the dimly lit caves and "grots." There is even the stark grasp of natural law in his "Break, Break, Break" that relies on the images of a turbulent sea railing against the cliffs. 

There are a few others whose connection to the Island of Staffa was felt within their particular art form, but these great talents listed here were the first explorers who envisioned the geology of a 65 million year old volcanic eruption as a vehicle to convey the life, the disappointments, the darkness and the light of the human spirit.

~~Lin

 1. & 2.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
3. "Staffa."  Engraving of a cave at Staffa by E. Goodall after J.W.M. Turner.The University of Edinburgh Image Collection. http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/detail/UoEwal~1~1~69552~101055:Staffa . March 19, 2014
4. All non-referenced images are courtesy of Wikimedia and are in the public domain.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Alaskan Earthquake 1964: U.S. Department of the Interior USGS (video)


An examination of the 1964 Alaska Good Friday Earthquake from a geological point of view; produced by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Color/Sound

Though the Earth be Moved-The US Office of Civil Defense & the 1964 Alaska Earthquake (Full video)


Though the Earth be Moved-The United States Office of Civil Defense and the 1964 Alaska Earthquake (ASL-0052-Film_16mm)

A documentary chronicling the first 72 hours after the 1964 Alaska Earthquake and the response to the disaster by the United States Office of Civil Defense, U.S. Military, and local, state, and federal officials, both civilian and military. Includes extensive archival footage of the earthquake and aftermath.