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Crater Lake Essay

974 words - 4 pages

Crater Lake

     Crater Lake is located at southwestern off Highway 62 in Oregon. It is Oregon?s only national park. It is the deepest lake in the United States and is the seventh deepest in the world. Crater Lake has an average diameter of 5.3 miles in length and is approximately 1,932 feet deep.
     Crater Lake is a result of a volcanic explosion that happened about 7,000 years ago. A long time ago, the pacific oceanic plate was gradually moving under the pacific continental plate in the process of plate tectonics. The pressure shaped the land to move upward and create a line of mountains that are currently located on the Cascade Range. These lavas piled and cooled on top of each other resulting in mountains like Mazama and Hood. Mount Mazama was built by successive flows of both andesite and dacite lavas. Mount Mazama was a stratovolcano, which was about 12,000 feet high after series of ash, cinders, and pumice explosions built it upward. During it?s final eruption the magma chamber was emptying and the underlying support for the mountain was lost and the walls of the volcano began to collapse. In just a matter of days the top of the mountain was destroyed and left a caldera. A caldera is a word used by geologists to describe large basin-shaped volcanic depressions. The destruction Mount Mazama was what marked the beginning of the formation of Crater Lake. The caldera was about 3,000 feet deep and over time, snow and rain fell into it and would eventually be filled. The lake would stop filling and the water gradually cleared to form one of the world's purest and deepest lakes. The water in Crater Lake is very clean and clear because it contains few dissolved minerals and particles, and no streams run into or out of the lake. Precipitation entering the lake was offset by evaporation and seepage. The current variation of the lake?s surface level is only about three feet every year.
As seen in person and in pictures, Crater Lake appears to have a very blue appearance. Crater Lake's depth and extreme clarity allow sunlight to penetrate many tens of feet into the water. Sunlight is made up of all colors, and as it passes through the water red light is the first to be absorbed. Orange, yellow and green are absorbed next, leaving only blue light to be scattered back to the surface. The color of the lake changes as the sun and clouds shift, and the appearance of the lake's surface is also altered by wind and wave patterns.
     One of the most popular features of the lake are it?s 3 islands and the probably the most popular one is Wizard Island because it is the only one of the 3 that is above water. Wizard Island is called Wizard Island because of its resemblance to a sorcerer's pointed hat and because it is a cinder...

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