Sunday, December 11, 2011

WOGE 323

When I saw the rugged mountains in WOGE 322 I immediately thought that they seemed "Himalayan."  (This probably indicates that I have spent too much time on Google Earth lately.)  I focused on that part of the world, and specifically on areas where reddish images met grayish ones.  I discovered that we were looking at a spectacularly beautiful portion of the Zanskar Shear Zone in Kashmir.  I envy Simon Wellings, who has visited the area in person rather than by computer.

For WOGE 323 I will offer an area that would be considerably easier to visit, if you cared to.  The oddly colored lake in the picture has both a ancient and a modern geologic story to tell.  Neither one is complicated or difficult to find (once you know the name of the lake so you can Google it :-)  However, be sure to read far enough to get the right facts.  One source contains incorrect information that is corrected a little further down the page.

For anyone new to Where on Google Earth, the winner is the first person to post a comment with the coordinates of the location shown and some information about the geology of interest.  More complete rules and hints can be found here.  No restrictions on this edition.  Have fun searching!

It has been a few days so I will provide another view.  The mystery lake is not visible in this image, but it should provide a few clues about where to look for it.


  1. Well, the hint didn't worked (well ... at least for me!)
    Anything else (to help someone who don't know geology but loves the idea of the game)?

  2. I am not a geologist either, but I will be happy to share a few things I find useful. First, check out the hints that Felix Bossert gives for new players at (numbers one to four all apply to my hint picture).
    To help you find areas with the proper geological features you could try downloading the "Google Earth Placemarks" from
    And to help you identify the kind of agriculture seen in this area I have posted a close-up image above. Pretty nice house for a farmer!

  3. Thurston Lake in California.
    38°55'35.75"N 122°39'35.62"W.
    One website says that the pale blue color is caused by a build-up of volcanic ash from a nearby hillside, but another says no-one really knows the reason. What is certain is that the hillock feature Matthew highlighted is a cinder cone. The bright red stone is where it is being quarried. So, the Geology of the area is dominated by recent (<1Ma vulcanism).
    Oh, and Merry Christmas!

  4. We have a winner!
    Congratulations to Simon Wellings. The location is in the Clear Lake Volcanic Field in Northern California. Volcanism there is related to the San Andreas fault system. The cinder cone being mined is called Round Top Mountain and is one of the more recent eruption sites (
    Thurston Lake was originally formed when lava blocked a drainage. Much more recently, local residents cut a channel through another lava flow in order to drain an area to the southwest called Manning Flat. The resulting erosion has created deep gullies in the flat, built a sediment delta at one end of the lake, and discolored the water.(See the detailed picture above.) Source
    WOGE now returns to Simon. We look forward to seeing what he selects.

  5. WoGE 324 can be found at
    Good hunting!