Showing posts from 2018

Cleanup and Graffiti Removal at Black Mountain

It's infuriating to any decent human that some fools find beautiful places and destroy them. Case in point, Black Mountain, a rock town in Cumberland County, and a segment of the Cumberland Trail State Park has been a location growing in popularity with these idiots. I became aware of some black spray paint on the boulders below a few months ago and it had been sitting in my mind for some time. The amazing Chattanooga photographer, Kelli Lewis and I planned to catch sunrise there on Saturday, and it was decided that we would put some time into cleaning up and attempting to remove the vandalism there. Terri Likens, Caleb Ottinger, Brandon Mullins, and Cody Julian also joined us participating in the cleanup as well as the graffiti removal. Upon arrival I noticed plenty of other recent graffiti in the form of blue and green spray paint. Given the vastness of the surface covered in spray paint, I decided to treat only select areas this day. Here are the before photographs by loc

Landslide on Gee Creek

While hiking in the South Cherokee National Forest and Wildlife Management area this weekend I observed what appeared to be a fresh landslide. I was excited at the chance to look closely at this and document a fascinating geologic event. The location of the rockfall is at 35.246533, -84.529235 , on the north side of Gee Creek right above the cement tunnel formerly used by the mill operation. The rock that dropped is Nebo Sandstone , part of the Chilhowee Group. In the photos and map below you can see the steeply dipping in-situ rock unit. 

Oddities of Official Place Names of the United States

There are 2,278,005 registered place names in the United States.  The average length of a place name is 19.46 characters.  The average number of words in a  place name is 2.89. At 117 characters, the longest official place name of the United States is Center Street Colored Methodist Episcopal Church-Chestnut Street Colored Methodist Episcopal Church Historical Marker . There are 25 places which have short names of only two characters:  Ai, AL , Ai, GA , Ai, OH , Ai, MH , Ai, NC , Ex, AK , Hy, MO , Ii, PW , Iw, FM , Kì, HI , Ka, VA , Le, WY , Mo, FM , Na, FM , Ni, MH , Or, FM , Ot, FM , Ot, FM , Ow, FM , Oz, KY , Ri, FM , Ti, OK , To, FM , Uh, FM , and Yo, MH With 19 unique words, the building  San Juan County Fire District 2 / Orcas Island Fire and Rescue Station 24 Deer Harbor / Spring Point tends to stand out. You may find it frustrating as a resident of  Grant's Vacation Park Recreational Vehicle and Mobile Home Park if you are having to write your address frequently

Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave

This is mostly macro work that I did at Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave. I experimented with extension tubes shooting water drops at the end of soda straws. The photos aren't as crisp as I would like. Next time I will use a different lens. If anyone sees this, let me know what you think. :)

Water Feature Names

I was curious after a conversation with fellow geographer, David Starnes, what the frequency of descriptors (which I call classes for the purpose of this analysis) like stream, creek, branch, prong, fork, etc. are regionally. I did some analysis, and here are some tables of what I found. Details of the analysis follow the tables. I very well could have called this "Hierarchical Water Feature Name Frequency using GNIS in the NHD Regions 5 and 6" but opted for a more user friendly title given my audience. For this analysis I utilized the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) which gets names for features from the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). I joined NHD data to the NHD Plus data to get stream order information, which for the lay user could be considered a measure of the size of the stream. Since I was interested in changes in the descriptors of smaller water features grading upwards to larger water features, stream order was the easiest measure to

Waterfalls and Wildflowers at Standing Stone

Standing Stone is an area named for the monolith that once stood in Monterey. (Sadly, little remains of the original monolith .) The area consists of a state park, state forest, and a wildlife management area. I spent several days over the last week exploring Standing Stone trying to catch wildflowers in their prime. My timing was excellent and the showing of wildflowers was as well. After a few hours of exploration I noted that the Chattanooga shale exposed in the park often produced nice cascades and waterfalls. Unfortunately, most were ephemeral features. On a hunch I ended up walking up Bryans Creek and found the most beautiful undescribed 35' waterfall.  Previous to my documentation of Bryans Creek Falls, I had bumbled around with my friends Kurt Heischmidt and Haley Dickson. We visited OV440 (a cave whose name I feel best to withhold), and a few other interesting features. Then there were the wildflowers. Five species of trillium, and plent

Fort Payne Formation & Chattanooga Shale Contact Waterfalls

Part of the beauty of the Eastern Highland Rim is that the morphology of landforms is largely consistent along its north-south axis. Waterfalls are especially predictable when one knows some basic geology, and can recognize the patterns. It's hard to talk about waterfalls in Tennessee without mentioning the webpage Tennessee Landforms . Tom Dunigan has invested a lot of time in cataloging the resources of the state and making them available to outdoor enthusiasts. The existing waterfall data used in this post all originates from his webpage and my own exploration. The map below illustrates the relationship to known waterfalls and to the contact between geologic units. Note that described waterfalls are found where streams cross the Fort Payne formation and (since there is no Chattanooga shale on this map, we'll use the next lower strata...) Leipers-Catheys limestone. Examples of its waterfalls on this geologic contact include Cummins, Burgess, Twin, and many of the ot