Gnarly Notch Anomaly Near Keane Wonder

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Death Valley Dazed
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Gnarly Notch Anomaly Near Keane Wonder

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:44 am

At sunset, while driving up the Daylight Pass Highway towards Beatty, NV I happened to glance over my left shoulder into the setting sun and noticed a notch in a long flat gravel bar that I had never noticed before. By the time my curiosity seizure set in I was at the Keane Wonder Mine turn off, so I parked there, grabbed my camera and rushed back down a few hundred yards to the location. The wind was howling with the same intensity it had been all day. The sun was setting rapidly so I breathlessly scrambled and scampered about to snatch all of the angles, compositions, and panoramas I could muster.

Attention geology junkies, I've got questions here.

These gravel bars separated by a sharp notch about 25 years at the bottom and 35-40 years at the top do not appear to be old Manly Lake beachfront property. Both gravel bars are flat on the top, lose elevation almost in a straight arrow down south-southwest at about a 6-10% grade. The notch does not appear to be cut by a stream flow and the stream bed is clearly along the west, bypasses the notch and ends up in what looks like a drainage catchment basin at the south end of the second gravel bar. It got too dark for me to scamper way down to the end of the second gravel bar to explore the whitish colored basin. I hope to do this my next trip out.

So I have no idea how this anomaly was formed, why it is in this location in this condition? Any theories are sure welcomed here.

In spite of the strong cold wind, I certainly enjoy the light show Mother Nature displayed against the sky, clouds, mountains, and highway. The notch in the gravel bars is easy to miss because usually when driving this area one is looking ahead rather than sideways. I've driven this road at least twenty times and never noticed it before.

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Gowergulch42
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Re: Gnarly Notch Anomaly Near Keane Wonder

Post by Gowergulch42 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:28 pm

At some point when the level of the alluvial fans were at that level (I think about 10k years ago, but I'd have to check my books for that) the flow pattern changed to cut through that bar there, and as the level of the alluvium has dropped from erosion and the uplift of the mountains, it has continued to carve through there. It doesn't flow very often, which we can tell because the channel is not very well defined there (filled with plants and windblown dirt), but just often enough to keep the ground level through the notch. Eventually it will get abandoned and just be a dip along a ridge.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Gnarly Notch Anomaly Near Keane Wonder

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:27 am

Gowergulch42 wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:28 pm
Eventually it will get abandoned and just be a dip along a ridge.
Andrew, I was hoping that you would be kind enough to provide some of your expertise to my questions. Thanks!
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TonyG
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Re: Gnarly Notch Anomaly Near Keane Wonder

Post by TonyG » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:18 am

Dazed, I love your discerning eye and thought-provoking questions! :idea: I often wonder how various geological features came to be and I dream of seeing a movie that would compress thousands or millions of years of geological changes into a short movie... That certainly should be an easier task than to provide answers to questions like

"What you can call and think must Being be
For Being can, and nothing cannot, be."

;-)

More seriously, is it likely that the flood waters rushing from the slopes visible in the distance were hitting the bank of the bar and simply breached it? The notch crosses the bar at an angle consistent with the water flow direction...

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Gnarly Notch Anomaly Near Keane Wonder

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:13 am

TonyG wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:18 am
... is it likely that the flood waters rushing from the slopes visible in the distance were hitting the bank of the bar and simply breached it? The notch crosses the bar at an angle consistent with the water flow direction...
Thanks and I'll have to defer to Andrew (Gowergulch42) who currently majors in geology and also loves DV for those answers. DV geology takes a mind that can conceptualize three dimensions and then throw in the time element for fun. LOL

For even more mind-expanding ideas, theories and experiments about the geology in and around Death Valley check out how The Electric Universe Model explains some of what we see outdoors in Utah, Nevada, and California. Keep your eyes and mind wide open next time you visit DV.

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TonyG
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Re: Gnarly Notch Anomaly Near Keane Wonder

Post by TonyG » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:39 pm

Well, I tried to watch it without laughing too much... The guy reminds me of the infamous Archimedes Plutonium from the early days of Usenet... :roll:

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