Crater Lake

Crater Lake is a caldera lake located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a nearly 4,000 foot (1,220 m) deep caldera that was formed around 5,677 (± 150) BC by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama.

On June 12, 1853, John Wesley Hillman was reportedly the first European American to see what he named "Deep Blue Lake" in Oregon. The lake was renamed at least three times, as Blue Lake, Lake Majesty, and finally Crater Lake.

Crater Lake is known for the "Old Man of the Lake," a full-sized tree that has been bobbing vertically in the lake for more than a century. Due to the cold water of the lake, the tree has been rather well preserved.

While having no indigenous fish population, the lake was stocked from 1888 to 1941 with a variety of fish. Several species have formed self sustaining populations.

The commemorative Oregon State Quarter, which was released by the United States Mint in 2005, features an image of Crater Lake on its reverse side.

Dimensions and depth

The lake is 5 by 6 miles (8 by 9.6 km) across with an average depth of 1,148 feet (350 m). Its deepest point has been measured at 1,949 feet (594 m) deep, though as with any lake its depth fluctuates with the climate, particularly rainfall. This makes Crater Lake the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest lake in North America (Great Slave Lake is the deepest) and the ninth deepest lake in the world (Lake Baikal is the deepest). Crater Lake is often cited as the 7th deepest lake in the world, but this ranking excludes Lake Vostok, which is situated under nearly 13,000 feet (4000 m) of Antarctic ice, and the recent soundings of O'Higgins/San Martín Lake, which is located on the border of Chile and Argentina.

However, on the basis of comparing average depths among the world's deepest lakes, Crater Lake becomes the deepest lake in the Western Hemisphere and the third deepest in the world. Comparing average depths among the world's lakes whose basins are entirely above sea level, Crater Lake is the deepest.

The caldera rim of Crater Lake ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,130 to 2,440 m).

Geology

Шаблон:Main

Mount Mazama, part of the Cascade Range volcanic arc, was built up mostly of andesite, dacite, and rhyodacite over a period of at least 400,000 years. The caldera was created in a massive volcanic eruption that led to the subsidence of Mount Mazama around 5700 BC: about 50 cubic kilometers (12 cubic miles) of rhyodacite was erupted in this event. Since that time, all eruptions on Mazama have been confined to the caldera.

Lava eruptions later created a central platform, Wizard Island, Merriam Cone, and other, smaller volcanic features, including a rhyodacite dome that was eventually created atop the central platform. Sediments and landslide debris also covered the caldera floor.

Eventually, the caldera cooled, allowing rain and snow to accumulate and eventually form a lake. Landslides from the caldera rim thereafter formed debris fans and turbidite sediments on the lake bed. Fumaroles and hot springs remained common and active during this period. Also after some time, the slopes of the lake's caldera rim more or less stabilized, streams restored a radial drainage pattern on the mountain, and dense forests began to revegetate the barren landscape. It is estimated that about 720 years was required to fill the lake to its present depth of 594 m. Much of this occurred during a period when the prevailing climate was less moist than at present.

Some hydrothermal activity remains along the lake floor, suggesting that at some time in the future Mazama may erupt once again.

Water quality

Due to several unique factors, most prominently that it has no inlets or tributaries, the waters of Crater Lake are some of the purest in terms of the absence of pollutants in North America.

Secchi disk clarity readings have consistently been in the high-20 meter to mid-30 meter (80–115 ft) range, which is very clear for any natural body of water. In 1997, scientists recorded a record clarity of 43.3 meters (142 ft).

The lake has relatively high levels of dissolved salts, total alkalinity, and conductivity. The average pH has generally ranged between 7 and 8.

Sacred significance

The Klamath tribe of Native Americans, who may have witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama and the formation of Crater Lake, have long regarded the lake as a sacred site. Their legends tell of a battle between the sky god Skell and Llao, the god of the underworld. Mount Mazama was destroyed in the battle, creating Crater Lake. The Klamath people used Crater Lake in vision quests, which often involved climbing the caldera walls and other dangerous tasks. Those who were successful in such quests were often regarded as having more spiritual powers. The tribe still holds Crater Lake in high regard as a spiritual site.

Notes

Шаблон:Reflist

References

  • Fire Mountains of the West: The Cascade and Mono Lake Volcanoes, Stephen L. Harris, (Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula; 1988) ISBN 0-87842-220-X
  • Geology of National Parks: Fifth Edition, Ann G. Harris, Esther Tuttle, Sherwood D., Tuttle (Iowa, Kendall/Hunt Publishing; 1997) ISBN 0-7872-5353-7
  • Eruptive history and geochronology of Mount Mazama and the Crater Lake region, Oregon, Charles R. Bacon and Marvin A. Lanphere, Geological Society of American Bulletin v. 118, p. 1331–1359 (2006) DOI: 10.1130/B25906.1

See also

  • List of lakes in Oregon
  • Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

External links

Шаблон:Commonscat

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Mary S
1 September 2015
One of the most beautiful places I've ever been. They allow backpack camping and have multiple trails throughout.
CNN
4 May 2015
There's only one safe and legal way to get to the icy lake: Cleetwood Cove Trail, a 1.1-mile (one-way) trail that usually opens in June and drops nearly 700 feet to the lake shore.
Lucy F
4 August 2013
Get there by 4pm at latest. Hike down to boat launch and cliff jump. Get to the sunset ranger hike on watchman trail by 6:45. Amazing.
Amy Johnson Cook
12 September 2014
Rim trail has stellar views and photo ops with far less crowds than pull offs. Get out and hike for a bit, you won't regret it. Also the PCT section in the park is breathtaking.
Condé Nast Traveler
4 August 2016
At 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S., and one of its most stunning. There are no streams or rivers feeding it—the lake is the product of pure glacial runoff and precipitation.
Ashley Carter
10 December 2012
Pack a lunch; not only will you save A LOT of money over the lodge, but you will be guaranteed to have exactly what you want. Cram it in a backpack, take a hike and have a picnic with GORGEOUS views.
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