Cirque, Oregon-California

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Location: 42o 00' 30" N, 123o 16' 10" W.

Dimly visible in the foreground shadows are loose rocks indicating the surface is glacial till. We are standing in a small cirque in the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon, with the California state line about at the shadow line in the distance. The foreground has a curved profile but the distant valley is V-shaped. There was a small glacier here that carved a small cirque but never extended far down-valley. The elevation here is only about 4000 feet. These mountains could host glaciers at such low elevations because heavy winter snowfall exceeded summer melting, even though the climate here was temperate during the Ice Age.

On the mountainside in the distance, Interstate 5, which runs from Mexico to Canada, is visible as a straight line in a couple of places. Where it crosses the ridge on the left, at Siskiyou Summit just inside Oregon, is the highest point on the highway.


Original Scene

(author's image)

Possible Coloring


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Created 19 February 2008, Last Update 14 December 2009

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