Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 349: Alive

click to enlarge images

"This is the sort of place where you really do not put a nuclear power plant...there was other action in the neighborhood at the same time- in the Stillwater Range, the Sonoma Range, Pumpernickel Valley. Actually, this is not a particularly spectacular scarp. The lesson is that the whole thing- the whole Basin and Range, or most of it- is alive. The earth is moving. The faults are moving. There are hot springs all over the province. There are young volcanic rocks. Fault scars everywhere. The world is splitting open and coming apart. You see a sudden break in the sage like this and it says to you that a fault is there and fault block is coming up. This is a gorgeous, fresh, young, active fault scarp. It's growing. The range is lifting up. This Nevada topography is what you see during mountain building. There are no foothills. It is all too young. It is live country. This is tectonic, active, spreading, mountain-building world. To a nongeologist, it's just ranges, ranges, ranges."
- Kenneth Deffeyes, in John McPhee's Basin and Range

No comments: