Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reply to depocenter in middle of WC flow

Yes, the comment fcn on the blog seems to be out of order--this post is in regard to Dr. Jerque's post of WC in VR hindsight, etc. etc.

Dr. Jerque,

The area marked by a question mark on the image you posted could certainly contain sediment from the Owyhee River as the river flowed over the top of the WC lava. I have been there and was impressed by this expansive, low relief area made mostly of silts. I will review my notes at home tonight on the matter. I do recall also acknowledging that the area could easily be a depocenter for Bogus Creek. The road that you can see in the upper right corner of the image is built on a ~1.5-2 m high (man-made) berm (levee!!) that ensures all of Bogus Creek flows north rather than between some tumuli down to the low relief silty area as it clearly could do in the drop of a hat (or a March rain-on-frozen-ground event).

Yes, there are some large gravel/cobble bars along the lower reaches of Bogus Creek near the kipuka. If i recall correctly, these happen to be low enough in elevation and downstream enough to be within reach of overflows from the Owyhee River passing through the possible depocenter but also from other overflows further downstream. (Having said that, there are some sizable ephemeral channels that pour off the Bogus Rim directly to the east of the kipuka and these could contribute a lot of discharge in a large convective event or spring rain on snow.) It may be worth considering auguring this silty depocenter or digging some test pits there to understand the deposits or find some datable material.

And yes, there are several different lobes and inflationary flow fronts to the WC lava flow that wrap around Bogus Point and create some unique positive and negative relief. I looked at these in stereo many times and walked around on the ground there with an eye towards assessing the timing of these lava pulses and the potential interaction with the river. After a lot of back and forth, I continue to return to my original interpretation that there is only one lava flow in the area--the WC-- and that water flowed through a narrow gap between several tumuli far more upstream than the rounded boulders on the edge of the modern cliff of WC adjacent to Chalk Basin show. I am pretty sure that this nascent paleo channel is the upstream-most one shown on my maps of several years ago. Furthermore, there probably is a complex set of damming and overflow events because even though there is probably only one lava flow there, it probably made several surges or advances in its battle with the river and rising lake.

I sure wish I could have come to Bend!

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