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Friday Field Photo #181: Fault Scarps on Badwater Fan

March 22, 2013

badwater-scarps

This week’s photo features a rather famous alluvial fan, the Badwater Fan just south of the tourist stop in the lowest spot in the continental United States (at -282 ft) in Death Valley National Park. The east side of Death Valley has numerous small and steep (for depositional systems) alluvial fans. These piles of sediment are aggrading as fast as they can to keep up with the basin dropping out from under them. Further evidence of the movement along the boundary fault (between the uplifting range and the downdropping basin) are the fault scarps in the photo above. Good stuff.

Here are a couple GoogleEarth snapshots of this fan.

fan1

fan2

Happy Friday!

More photos from a trip to Death and Panamint Valleys here.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob Schwartz permalink
    March 22, 2013 7:21 am

    Brian – we must have been right on your heels. Good seeing you on Aguereberry Point. We survived the trip to Ubehebe with only 3 flat tires.

    • March 22, 2013 7:49 am

      Bob, yeah it was great to run into you out there. Small world!

  2. March 23, 2013 7:13 pm

    Nice pic. Do you know if the road ever gets shut due to sedimentation on the fan? There is a similar fan in the Corinth Rift and someone built a church in the middle of it. The church periodically gets knocked over. The hand of God is indeed strong…

    • March 24, 2013 6:36 am

      Chris … good question. I imagine that every now and again there’s a new debris flow lobe that covers the road, but I don’t know how frequently that happens. I’d like to see that while it happens (from a safe vantage, of course).

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