Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Comments from a friend

A friend of mine sent an email - he can't comment from his work computer due to firewalls and doesn't really have a computer at home. So here are his comments:

Regarding the Terrero spring (I can’t “comment” from here):

According to [a local], a fire once occurred in an upstream side canyon (trib to the Mora), and it colored the water. The Mora is maybe 1/2-mile upstream on the east side of the Pecos. The spring is on the west side.

So, the source water appears to be the main stem within 1/2 mile upstream of the spring.

(Call it a fortuitous tracer study.)

[Note: the Mora here is a trib to the Pecos, not the Mora on the east side of the Sangres that is a trib to the Canadian]

[Another local] took that culvert photo. I think it was north of SF.

The Red Dot Trail runs below White Rock. Down there, I saw a plumed serpent petroglyph near remnant irrigation ditches (lots of springs). (The “Aztec” Triple Alliance apparently arose only in 1300s.)

Saturday Site Visits, White Rock Area, NM

My apologies for the late post. Busy, sick, picking up mini-coco from ABQ airport, all those good things kept me from writing. I'm still slightly feverish, but hopefully on the mend.

I got the opportunity to drive over to the Los Alamos area on Saturday, to visit the Don Quixote Distillery with a friend. I really like their ports, and the rose wine (roses used in the making, not a pink wine), though somewhat herbal/medicinal, is good when you prefer something a little different. I'm definitely thinking of these for local gifts. The setting in White Rock is quite nice, very close to White Rock Canyon.

Afterward, we went for a little walk at the Tsankawi outlier to Bandelier National Monument. The photo below is looking east towards Santa Fe (and the beautiful fall colors in the aspen band) from Tsankawi. The reddish-buff cliffs in the foreground I believe are the Quaternary Tshirege member of the Bandelier Tuff. San Idelfonso and other Tewa pueblos claim ancestral ties to Tsankawi. I found disparate estimates of occupation on various websites, ranging from a vague 1400s to 1400-1550.

On the way back, an image of the Pliocene Cerros del Rio basalt overlying Puye fanglomerates. We had just crossed the Rio Grande, upstream of White Rock canyon. The canyon formed by the Rio Grande cutting through the Cerros del Rio basalt (yes, I'm a little late to the basalt columns meme). The canyon has been dammed on at least three occasions in the last 3 Ma both by Cerros del Rio basalts and the Tshirege member ofthe Bandelier Tuff, forming lakes that backed up into the Espanola area.

At Tsankawi, a lupine still blooms.

References: various articles, road logs in : Geology of the Jemez Region II, New Mexico Geological Society Fifty-eighth Annual Field Conference, 2007

Link: http://www.nps.gov/band/photosmultimedia/tt-vt-intro.htm

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Culverts 2: Piping?!!!

A friend sent me this photo. It's somewhere in New Mexico. He's not sure where. He suggested calling it "piping" which is the term used to described water flowing around instead of through a culvert.
Umm...clearly piping is what is occurring here. I like the leftover headwall.

That is all.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday Site Visits, Spring at Terrero (Holy Ghost Canyon)

The spring you see in the picture at the left, flows out of the hillside near the west bank of the Pecos River at Terrero, NM. The flow rate varies during the year from less than one cubic foot per second up to around five cfs. The spring is in a limestone formation, whose name I am not sure. The geologic map for the Rosilla Peak quad is in draft form and hard to read. It doesn't include much detail in the mapping on this hillside, either.

There are also caves just around the hillside (fenced) that have cultural significance to the Jemez Pueblo; when the Pecos Pueblo was so decimated by disease there were few people left, the remainder joined the Jemez. The Jemez were trying to purchase and remove access to this tract (owned by the state, now) some time ago; I'm not sure if they are still working on it.

When the flow increases, occasionally there is some local hullaballoo about cars driving through the spring flow across the road and increasing turbidity and the sediment load in the Pecos, into which the spring flows, albeit through a very nice wetland complex in between the road and the river (just outside the field of view to the right of the photograph to the left). The increased turbidity in the Pecos is not a good thing, and it does piss off the fishermen and women who have likely traveled a ways to get to what is known as a very good trout fishery.

Occasionally, someone will bring up an earthquake somewhere that occurred just about the same time the flow increased. Local knowledge puts it that the flow increase is sourced much more locally (upstream a ways). The rationale is that the flow has, in the past, included fire debris from a canyon about 1/2 mile to a mile upstream that did not occur any further upstream on the Pecos. Presumably, the flow pathways through the limestone include a source in or near that canyon. (Did that make any sense? I'm still a little under the weather.) Nobody knows for sure, as no hydrologic studies have been done on the spring of which I am aware.

It's a lovely spot, and well worth a visit. Just drive up the canyon almost to Terrero, turn left up Holy Ghost canyon, turn right and cross the creek toward the campground, and you'll cross the spring flow in a very short distance.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Accretionary Wedge #27 - Important Geological Experiences

I have no pictures for this one, just the vivid, graphic impressions of a 9-year-old living in Seoul, Korea in 1972. I was already in a foreign land, where the pine trees didn't grow like the pines at home. When I first arrived, at age 7, I went through quite a bit of culture shock, from the smells, the sights, the sounds of Seoul when sewage ran down the streams and there was still no subway. My hair got touched everywhere I went (I was blond as a little girl) and always, crowds of people would gather around me to see the little foreign girl.

After a time I (mostly) got over that, but visits to art museums and palaces with lots of Chinese art always left me with the sarcasm that only a 9-year-old could have: "Mountains don't grow like that!" That thought crossed my mind every time I would see a Chinese scroll or print with these funny tall mountains that didn't have an inverted "v" shape.

That is, until Nixon went to China in February of 1972. Some of the officers who were attaches on the trip were somehow allowed to go to Guilin. And they brought back pictures. And us kids in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades at Seoul American Elementary School (at the post on Yongsan, for those in the know) were among the first to see them.

It blew my mind that day, that mountains did "grow" that way, that the art I had seen was not all wrong. I looked at those slides with wonder and awe. And they inspired a love of landforms and earth processes I've never lost.

Wikepedia link to Guilin image:


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Site Visits, Tecolote Creek Falls

A few weeks ago, after offering advice to a sand and gravel mining company, I got to do a quick side trip to these falls on Tecolote Creek, near Apache Springs, San Miguel County.

We turned off Hwy 84 onto CR B27, for a not unpleasant drive south (this road, even though dirt, provides access for a number of folks living out this way). Took about 10 minutes or so to get to the fall. Views of tires used as small erosional feature bank stabilization and bypassed culverts provided for much humor on the drive.

We were hoping there was still a little flow over the falls, but, as you can see, they were dry.

There were still a few small pools, or tenajas. I've also seen usage of aguaje applied, but don't have a very good translation of that term.

The creek, in this area, loosely follows the axis of the Tecolote Creek anticline (plunges to southeast). In the upstream reaches, the overlying San Andres has eroded away, largely exposing the underlying Permian Glorieta Sandstone. As one follows the axis of the anticline to the southeast, more of the younger formations are exposed. The falls occur pretty much where Tecolote Creek starts eroding through the Permian San Andres limestone, to spectacular effect.
A view looking upstream.

A view of the top from below. I'm looking forward to seeing this when it flows, maybe next spring runoff (if La Nina gives, and we get snow).

Google Earth image.

Portion of the Apache Springs USGS 1:24,000 geologic quad map. Falls are in the southwest center, where the dirt road crosses the creek in the Psa.

Thanks to an unnamed compatriot at arms for showing me this great location.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Culverts 1: A case of the F***its

I'm planning a series on culvert whoopsies that I find along my journeys around the desert southwest. Culverts are a necessity for roads and other short crossings. It is also important that culverts be appropriately sized and placed within/on the substrate. Culverts can also have incredibly damaging consequences on the aquatic environment if improperly sized/placed. Even bad culverts in ephemeral streams can have downstream consequences (via excess sedimentation from erosion, for example). I come across a lot of bad (and some good) examples in my travels and am happy to share them for discussion.

This is a set of culverts on an small, ephemeral arroyo near Apache Springs, NM. Normally, these small (-ish) arroyos only run in response to heavy rain events and when they do flow, they often flow very big. They are characterized by either upland or no vegetation, and in this neck of the woods, are easily erodible.

The landowner, at some time in the past, installed the series of five culverts in an attempt to provide a crossing that would work during inclement weather. You can also see that the culverts have no road base or other roadway material on top of them. It's been eroded over time to the point of being non-functional. If you look to the right of the photo, you can sort of see the ad-hoc at-grade crossing that the landowner has used to bypass the failed culverts. When we drove by, I had my colleague stop and back up so he could see it, as well. We both laughed and said this landowner had a case of the "aww, f***its" with respect to the culvert. It's a pretty common sight, here in the low-income, rural southwest.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Site Visits, Folsom Falls on the Dry Cimarron

In June, I had the opportunity to look at a restoration project on the Dry Cimarron River, near Folsom, NM. On the way back, we stop for a quick look at Folsom Falls. I wished I had the chance to stay longer and really hike around the fall for better vantage points, but we had a long drive back to our respective starting points.

Folsom Falls is formed by the Dry Cimarron River flowing over a lip of what Baldwin and Muehlenberger identified as the Baby Capulin basalt of the Raton-Clayton volcanic field (RCVF). The RCVF comprises mostly basaltic to nepheletic cinder cones, andesitic to dacitic necks and domes, and a very cute shield volcano named Sierra Grande (Baldridge, 2004). The RCVF is Pliocene-Quaternary in age, with volcanism commencing around 7.2 Ma and ending with the Capulin eruption around 60ka. RCVF is approximately contemporaneous with the Ocate Volcanic field, about 50+ miles to the west and is on the Jemez lineament, a zone of volcanism extending from the Springer volcanic field in east-central AZ to the RCVF. The Jemez lineament cuts across tectonic provinces, and as such, its origin is not well understood (Baldridge, 2004).

The view above looks south across the falls. The view to the left is looking downstream. The riparian habitat is well-developed, suggesting the surrounding ranchers aren't letting their cows in to graze (yay!). However, the local kids apparently use it as their party spot, judging from the amount of broken glass and other anthropogenic detritus.

I like the area, because it is very reminiscent of my home country in eastern WA, with lots of basalt, grasslands and the occasional hidden ponderosa stand, much like the landscape near Spokane, WA. There's a Spanish word, querencia, for a place from which one draws strength, which tugs at one's heartstrings. This area of New Mexico is definitely one of mine.

Google Earth image of the location.

Baldwin and Meuhlenberger sketch of Folsom Falls stratigraphy.

Link: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/NewMexico/Capulin/VisitVolcano/framework.html


Baldridge, W. Scott, Pliocene-Quaternary Volcanism in New Mexico and a model for genesis of magmas in continental extension, in, The Geology of New Mexico, a Geologic History, NMGS, 2004

Baldwin, Brewster and Muehlenberger, William R., Geologic Studies of Union County, New Mexico, Bulletin 63, NMBMMR, 1959

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Park Meme

Okay, so I'm slow on the uptake. Here's mine:

Most visited:
10: Glacier
9: Acadia
8: Grand Teton
7: Cuyahoga Valley
6: Rocky Mountain
5: Olympic
4: Yellowstone
3: Yosemite
2: Grand Canyon
1: Great Smoky Mountains

Least Visited:
10: City of Rocks NR, Idaho
9: Cumberland Island NS, Georgia
8: Florissant Fossil Beds, Colorado
7: Chiricahua NM, Arizona
6: Tonto NM, Arizona
5: Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
4: Katmai NP & Preserve, Alaska
3: Kalaupapa NHP, Hawaii
2: Hagerman Fossil Beds NM, Idaho
1: Russel Cave NM, Alabama

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Evidence of change - Relict channels and wetland soils in the Dry Cim and Gold Creek, NM

In the last couple of weeks, I've been able to see some relict fluvial features that are indicative of a former landscape condition. Sometimes there is enough local history/knowledge to get a very good idea of when major landscape change occurred (as in the case of the Dry Cimarron), in others you can make inferences from historical activity, but it's difficult to derive specific dates of change.

In both these cases, the specific change has been incision due to anthropogenic changes to the landscape combined with flood/erosion events. The Dry Cim has been heavily grazed in the past, and had specific flood events that caused channel avulsion/incision to bedrock in the location where my photos were taken.

This photo shows the relict channel, with fine-grained sediment accumulation. One might think that it is a far-in-the-past feature, until you start talking to the landowner and/or folks who know the local hydrograph. Though one would need to age-date material in the relict channel to get an actual date range of the channel deposits, it's quite possible that it may be quite young. There was a ripper flood in 1910 or so, and the rancher indicated that floods in the 40s and 50s caused an extensive amount of incision - maybe 15-20 feet or more (down to bedrock in this location). So, much of the landscape change isn't actually in the far distant past.

The wider view of the above. It is interesting to note that the sediment in the relict channel is mostly clay-to-sand. Just below the relict channel in this photo is a large gravel bar deposited last year, mostly cobble-sized grains. I saw nothing that size in the relict channel.

The rancher here has reduced his herd from about 1200 to 500 head, and has mostly rested this reach for the past 4 years. The resulting riparian and fluvial changes from the release of grazing pressure have been phenomenal. He has beaver dams/ponds and a well-wetted, vegetated channel bottom, increasing bank storage and aquifer recharge. It's unlikely that the system will aggrade back to its original, pre-grazing, agriculture and logging elevation, but it is in much better condition than I had hoped before I went out there. It helped to have a very wet winter for this region.

We also talked a lot about wetlands, and what anoxic environments are and the soil columns/profiles that occur in these environments. It just so happened that there was a big grey blob of soil on the opposite slope/bank of the relict channel. It was a splendid opportunity to discuss hydric soil indicators such as gleyed soils and oxidized root channels, even if relict. In this photo, you can see the oxidized root channels that occur when roots of hydrophytic plants carry oxygen down into the reduced environment. Rust then occurs along the root channels. In this instance, they are pervasive through the entire exposure. This blob of former wetland is also about 15 feet up from the stream bottom. Again, little grain size larger than sand. There was also a lens of shells near the bottom, and frequent scatterings of charcoal throughout, indicated upstream or adjacent fires. The three of us there that day loved the fact that even without a lab, a handlens, or a rock hammer, we could infer such a great deal about the landscape.

Speaking of relict wetlands, at Gold Creek in Valle Vidal, I got this great bank shot that's actually about 8 feet tall from stream bed to top-of-bank. Below the most recent soil column at the top, you can see a well-reduced horizon. Though I wasn't able to get a good close-up, it too has relict oxidized root channels and other hydric soil features.

Gold Creek had intensive logging in the past, as well as intensive grazing pressure prior to its acquisition by the USFS (it's still grazed, but I don't think as heavily). Looking at the surrounding landscape, we all surmised (me, especially) that it was likely that this drainage and others like it likely had fens at the extreme headwaters, that have now been incised and drained due to the landscape changes. This creek is now incised about 10-12 feet, but the channel bottom seems to be recovering to the point that it is forming an E-type channel. [We kind of puzzled about the gradient, though. Seemed too steep for an E, but my thought is that the source material grain size is too small to support any kind of a step-pool environment that the gradient would suggest. Crappy weathering volcanics, I think.]
Looking downstream towards Comanche Creek. There's probably about 200 or so feet of drop between the photo point and the confluence with Comanche Creek.

I'm amazed everytime I venture into the field about how much of an impact we have had on our environment, even on a little stream up at 9500 feet. I'm also amazed at, and thoroughly appreciate the dedication of the people I work with to restore these landscapes, from the rancher on the Dry Cim, to the folks working here. I may get frustrated on a day-to-day basis, but this, and they make it all worthwhile.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's Blooming in the Yard?

I have a lot of wildflowers coming up in the garden. It's hard not to spend at least a few minutes during the day wandering around to see what's up. There are also a bunch of other flowers in the neighborhood that are blooming, but not in my yard. Another post (to include some of the penstemons I've been itching to see on the Mesa).

Oenothera (evening primrose) -

This one is smaller than the first evening primrose that blooms in the spring (that one, I think, is Oenothera caespitosa and seems to prefer disturbed or shaley slopes). This one is about 1.25-1.5 in diameter, and I haven't yet figured out any particular habitat for it. Or it's scientific name, for that matter. But I'm closing in on it.

Linum lewisii (blue flax) One of the books I have differentiates between a Euro import and a native, but I sure can't tell the difference.

Penstemon - I have several varieties that I've planted as well as the ones that come up naturally (or at least from a SF Gardens seed mix for the Sangres). There are about 15-20 of this particular species in full bloom around the yard.


Another penstemon - this one I planted. Rocky Mountain
penstemon, I believe.


This one didn't get planted, but it's a different penstemon than all the others in the yard. Found growing under a juniper. It must have been here a year or two, as it is a fairly big patch, but I didn't notice it last year.

Castilleja or Indian paintbrush.

Gaura (whirling butterflies), with a penstemon backdrop. This one is going crazy this year.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A day near Mt. Taylor

I got to spend a day this last week near Mt. Taylor, a composite volcano north of Grants, NM. It was active approximately 3.3 to 1.5 million years ago, and overlies Cretaceous Interior Seaway sediments. The OF-GM-186 for the area is unavailable from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources at this time, so its difficult for me to tell you which of the Cretaceous sediments are exposed in my photos, but I do assume they include the Mancos Shale in one of its forms.
Mt. Taylor is sacred to most of the Native American tribes and pueblos in the southwest and much of the surrounding mesa-tops and the mountain itself have recently been designated a traditional cultural property, requiring both tribal and State Historic Preservation Officer consultation for federalized projects.
This designation makes uranium exploration and development more complex on private, state and federal lands. The price of uranium has risen in the last few years, making extraction more economically feasible, but the cost of environmental evaluation, permitting, and consultation must be absorbed into development costs. Though exploration companies may balk at the process, it's the cost of doing business in the area.
As an aside, the uranium source is mostly in the Jurassic Morrison and Todilto formations (Grants Mineral Belt), which do not surface in the immediate area where I was (though there has been considerable exploration, mining and milling on the east side in the past).

Photo 1 is a dome/neck on the southeast side of Mt. Taylor, near Seboyeta.

Photo 2 is the scenic potty view through the junipers. Basalt-capped Chivato Mesa, with Cretaceous sediments below.

I don't have detailed geologic maps for the area (see above), but I'm presuming this is Pt. Lookout with Mancos below?

Looking south from atop the mesa.

Looking east, with the Sandias in the distance.

I used the below websites and the 1991 Field guide to geologic excursions in New Mexico and adjacent areas of Texas and Colorado (Bulletin 137, NMBMMR) as references.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Palm Canyon, CA, June 2005

I don't have a lot of time, but want to post some pix from a hike up Palm Canyon a few years back. I haven't the resources to really say too much about the geology, either, as my references for the area are still packed away. This will have to do. Pictures courtesy of MK, 2005.

One of my favorite places in desert SoCal is Palm Canyon. I first went with the ex on a planning trip for a GSA field trip he was organizing for the Salton Trough and Sierra al Mayor in Baja, way back when. I loved it on that trip, and still do.

In 2005, I had some field work in Coachella Valley, on the Whitewater River. We all had some extra time, so we decided to hike up to Palm Canyon at the end of our work day. It's on the Agua Caliente Reservation, so you have to pay to enter the park, but it's well worth it. The first photo shows the view from the upper parking area northeast towards Palm Springs with the Little San Berdoos in the way background (the thin grey line on the horizon).

This is a waterfall in a side canyon to the main canyon. The stream has carved smooth notches into the boulders making up the canyon walls and floor. As we hiked out from this side canyon, we all felt an earthquake, one of about three that day, if I recollect correctly.
Though it was a pretty warm day out (as summer days in Coachella usually are), it was cool and misty in the side canyon.
The hike up the canyon is spectacular, both geologically and botanically. The palm oases were well-managed as a food, water, clothing, and shelter source for the Coachella Valley tribes (as well as AZ tribes with access to oases). Plant, bird, herp, and insect species pretty much abound. There are a few good references, but Jim Cornett from the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert, has published quite extensively on the natural history of the Lower Coloradan desert.

Hiking down to the side canyon, just before the earthquake. Palm Canyon is also home to a primary fault in the Santa Rosa Mylonite zone, the Palm Canyon Fault. For about a couple miles or so, as you drive south from Palm Springs to Palm Desert, you can see the deformation of the granodiorite wane as you get closer to the edge of the deformation zone. The fault trends southwest-northeast, and the deformation (if I recollect correctly and please correct me if I misremember) is evident primarily on the southeast side or upper plate.

This side canyon is in the lower plate, and has relatively undeformed geology, as compared to the other side of the canyon.

This speaks for itself. This photo was taken on the main trail, fairly close to the fault. The granodiorites are well-sheared.

Yours truly, gesticulating madly at the surface expression of the Palm Canyon fault. It's pretty beat up, here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random photos/thoughts from the last 2-3 months

IMHO, this doesn't work as an energy dissipation stucture. One ends up with bale structure material floating downstream for redeposition (and remobilization, and repeat over and over until said bale structure material is either in the ocean or a reservoir).

Mid to late March, looking west at the upper Sangre de Cristos. There was snow down to between 8-9K feet. It's now between 9-10K feet, with bare stone showing on most of the high peaks. Most of the lower snow is now gone, and we've reached, essentially, the early low snow peak runoff. Many of the streams draining the Sangres have reached near bankfull. It's hard to tell what the rest of spring will bring. A hard warm rain on the remaining snowpack will bring a rapid peak; a gradual rise in temp from now til June will slowly melt the remainder. All the folks I talk to prefer the latter. Better for towns with constrained streambanks, better for farmers dependent on acequias to water their fields, better for the riparian habitat to thrive through summer.
Last week, I visited a very overwound meander on El Rito de la Vaca. We all stood around and scratched our heads about what to do, and we included a geologist, stream ecologist/geomorphologist, aeronautical engineer, and local rancher. A fire a few years back resulted in floods that dumped a boatload of sediment in the valley, messing with equilibrium and setting this meander up for an avulsion. This would create some awful problems for the rancher, including wiping out his only access as well as the forest road providing the main valley access. The final result? We said to contact the head of the local watershed group and get recommendations for a good hydrologist skilled in natural channel design work who can carefully evaluate the reach and design an appropriate solution. Maybe the watershed group can come up with a grant project (there's one more overwound meander just like this immediately downstream) to help defray the costs. And yes, it was snowing.
Last, this is the first Persian tulip to flower in my yard this spring. I wasn't in Iran early enough ten years ago to see the native tulips bloom, and haven't had the chance, until this last fall, to plant any. I'm awfully excited that they're blooming and that spring is really, truly finally here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Late April Snow, edited

We usually get at least a dusting or two between mid-April and mid-May, but I wasn't quite expecting this much accumulation, at least on the ground (the concrete patio retained enough heat to melt the snow).

It's been quite a hard winter, here in the upper hinterlands of New Mexico. We've probably had between 6-7 feet total over all the storms we've had at the house, since October. The last of that just melted last week. It's been hard on me, on the kid (and even the dog) schedule-wise, workwise, schoolwise, and otherwise. Only the SO has been okay with the long, hard winter we've had this year. But, he's a mountain man, so it's to be expected.

I'm a SoCal girl, though, and these hard winters are equally hard on me. Six months of snow and cold weather is more than enough for me to want to bolt to a warmer clime. But I won't, because I quite like NM, and really can't think of taking my daughter away from what's really her home, now. I can't fathom trying to bring her back to an urban environment and expect her to thrive as well as she is here on our little acre of ponderosa/pinyon-juniper. She's very comfortable in her rural, forested environment. I'm getting there, now that (ahem) the worst of winter is over and I can at least wear sandals occasionally.

I think it would be fine with all of us, really, for winter to be over, and to have the apple trees blossom, the penstemons bloom, and green grass abounding enough to make me sneeze. Even the SO.

The color of a snowy morning at the mesa.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Runoff - Coyote Creek, NM

On Monday, I had all day meetings in Angel Fire. The drive up was beautiful, as the east side of the Sangres always is. Fortunately, I had enough time on the drive home to stop and take pictures of Coyote Creek reaching bankfull during the spring freshet.

I start at the point where Coyote Creek first crosses paths with Hwy 434,near Black Lake Resort. I'm still trying, sporadically, to figure out the local geology. In a nutshell, 434 traverses Jurassic, Triassic, Permian, Pennsylvanian, and Missipian seds in the south end of Moreno Valley, to (?) Pig-Nog and Quaternary basalts in Guadalupita Canyon, to Precambrian metamorphics on the west side of the Crestone anticline and more JTPPM on the east past Guadalupita, once you get to the flat (more or less). The Crestone is a near-vertical outcrop of JTPPM along one of the main Sangre de Cristo uplift faults, the Romero Fault. It extends from near Guadalupita south to past Las Vegas (the other one) and transitions from the Romero Fault to the Hermit Peak Fault. It's a way cool structural feature of the landscape and characterizes the drive north from LV to Angel Fire, at least for me.

This is where Coyote Creek first encounters 434, one of many xings. We (colleagues and me) think its a Rosgen E in these parts. In most locations (where it hasn't been messed with), it has that classic E shape, with overhanging banks great for the fishes to hide under. [Can you tell I'm not a fish squeezer?]

Even with big-ass culverts (in non-scientific parlance), the creek is backing up and flooding.

The other side of the big-ass culvert xing. Channel has a more normal shape. Downstream of this, there's a stocked, dammed pond in the Black Lake Resort property. After the dam, the creek returns to a slightly degraded E, but we're making sure it gets a little TLC.

Between here and the next photo, Coyote Creek starts dropping through the inaccessible canyon, turning into much of a step-pool stream.

After the primary gradient drop, the stream again interweaves with 434. Here, north of the state park, the stream is clearly reaching bankfull. Spring runoff at its best!

Beavers are busy. Still above the park, but right next to the road. If flow increases, NMDOT might have a problem.

Just downstream of the state park, the valley widens (out of the volcanics and into seds on the east). This view shows the extensive willows/wetlands in the valley.

Saying goodbye to Coyote Creek as it goes through a water gap in the Crestone. Not sure of the formation forming cliff in distance. May be Glorieta SS, from map in NMGS 1990 "Tectonic Development of the Southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains." As there's no topography in the map I've been examining, it's difficult to tell.