Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Idaho

There's beaucoup to like about Idaho. Books have been written extolling its many virtues. Other than the work of Carrey and Conley, I will leave it up to you the reader to find your own books. Johnny Carrey and Cort Conley have written my favorites on Idaho though....

Anyway, my number one favorite thing about Idaho is...wait for it....the Salmon River and its tributaries. Let's just call it the whole watershed.

What next after that though? No this is not a Top Ten. It's a Top Two. drum roll please....

My second favorite feature in Idaho is the Snake River Plain. Years ago my wife gave me a map of the USA. That is where I first saw the SRP. It's this strange half moon shaped landform in the midst of Idaho. Mountains all around and poom this smooth plain thing.

Well it gets better. Turns out that the SRP basically is the record of an underlying hotspot as the continental plate that is the USA "floats" over it. Yes. The hotspot is basically a volcano down in the crust. The continental plate is "light" so it floats on top of the crust and this crust is moving. The hotspot is basically searing its mark in the plate as the plate moves over top. Here's what the Snake River Plain looks like as that feature. You'll see it straight away in the lower middle of the image.
The eastern tip of it is Yellowstone Park. Yes the hotspot that the continent is moving over is what is providing all the kinetics in Yellowstone. As always, Wikipedia provides a superb article on the Snake River Plain.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been to Idaho. I'd like to see Snake River Plain, though. :)

    -Chrys Fey
    Tremp’s Troops - A to Z Co-co-host
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