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Friday, August 08, 2014

Newberry Volcano - day one

While visiting Lava Butte, the Ranger at the lookout at the top of Lava Butte pointed out the less than completely prominent rise towards the south and said that that was the largest volcano in Oregon and that it was not only still potentially active but had two lakes in its caldera.  He also pointed out that the Newberry Volcano had undergone a blast even larger than the one at Mt. Mazama that created Crater Lake but that it had done so about 80,000 years ago (Mt. Mazama blew its top about 7,700 years ago).  So we decided we needed to visit this mysterious volcano on our way to Crater Lake.

This map shows the location of Newberry Volcano and its two lakes near the bottom.  The green represents major lava flows from the Newberry complex.  Highway 97 comes from Bend Oregon to the north and passes Lava Butte near the Lava Lands visitor center.  The nearby Lava Caves are part of the complex.  Inside the caldera is Paulina Lake and East Lake.  The youngest lava flow in the area is called the Obsidian Flow and is composed of obsidian lava.  The flow is just 1,300 years old and along with some hot springs in the lakes are evidence of recent and potentially future activity in this volcano.

The two lakes are a busy place in the summer with lots of boaters and campers.  This image is from the dock and boat ramp in at the south end of Paulina Lake, the western of the two caldera lakes.  The view east across the lake shows the central volcanic hills that separate the two lakes.  This image was taken with my 18-250mm Sigma lens at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/160 seconds at f/11, ISO 200.

A closeup of one of the many boats on the lake.  This image was taken at 250mm focal length with an exposure of 1/50 seconds at f/11, ISO 200.  The 18-250mm Sigma lens has image stabilization built in and it appears to have helped greatly with this longer handheld exposure.

From the boat ramps and dock, this is the view of Paulina Peak which is the highest peak around the rim of the caldera.  A dirt road allows visitors access to this peak and the views are spectacular as you'll see in a later blog.  This image was taken with my 18-250mm lens at 128mm focal length and an exposure of 1/125 seconds at f/11, ISO 200.

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