Those informational signs at various attractions can sometimes be more aptly described as mis-informational. This tends to frustrate the geotraveler: responses may include groans, gripes, and rolling eyes. One severely-annoyed geologist at Summer Lake, Oregon took matters (and a Sharpie) into their own hands, and engaged in a little correcting-their-fieldwork.
If it’s educational, is it still vandalism – or a public service?
One sign that’s just begging for the Sharpie treatment is this one at Deception Falls.
It’s displayed at a fascinating part of the Tye River, where it goes from a broadish (if rocky) channel
to a rather vigorous falls
and then makes a razor-sharp 90° turn and flows through a narrow, straight grandiorite channel for a bit.
Wow, right? That’s some dramatic geology, that is. Rivers don’t usually do that.
The sign gives three speculations as to how this odd feature formed. See if you can spot the laughably ridiculous one:
1. Log Jam: Did logs carried down and crammed in during a maclargehuge flood dam the river long enough to divert it 90°?
2. Dike. Did the river erode away a dike of softer rock?
3. Fault. Did the river attack the crushed and broken rock of a fault, finding it easier to remove than unbroken bedrock?
Bonus geoblogosphere points shall be awarded to those who make a case for one or both of the remaining options.
And, for those who like falling water, you can haz some video I shot.
Lovely, isn’t it? Shame about the sign. Who’s bringing the Sharpie for our next visit?