Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shockingly Voluminous (Once Dreaded) Rim Gravel, redux

Alas, brother spud, unless we are on different conceptual planes here, the paper in question does not directly address the SV(OD)RG. Instead, it is focused on the fluvial sediments in the middle Miocene part of the section, specifically the arkosic sandstone and mudstones that we see interbedded with rhyolite just downstream from AM-PM camp:

In the context of our studies, this part of the record is only a glimpse into an ancient precursor drainage system. In fact, I think that a fair amount of the SV(OD)RG in our study area is related to lava damming events in the latest(?) Miocene and into the Pliocene (i.e. the Bogus Rim).Thus, is is possible that the SV(OD)RG represent blockage of an integrated / partially integrated Owyhee. Recall that the base of the Bogus lava sits on river gravel in various places between Iron Point and Birch Creek. I suspect it was the blockage of this system in the early Pliocene to late Miocene(?) that deposited the gravels that form a flat surface at 3900'. Subsequent and possibly sporadic incision through the gravel cover after the breach formed several discernible levels of gravel. This is directly analogous to the distribution of the much less widespread and voluminous gravels above the Quaternary blockages. It is that latter point that really pulls me in. Any counter arguments? Anyone?

In the figure below, I have pointed out some features of the gravel. I have approximated its MINIMUM extent using the snow-like pattern. Have also noted the problem with the Ice Axe as Bogus Rim (stay tuned for explanatory post on that one). This is a crude mock-up. A more formal figure will be forthcoming with lots of elevation data...(just got me a Trimble XH...arrived today!).

(click on image for full size)

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