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San Francisco Peaks - Research Paper Example

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Instructor Name: San Francisco Peaks The San Francisco Peaks have the geological significance ever since these peaks came into existence. Many considered it to be a geological mystery until it was recognized in the 1980s by the modern science that helped in identifying the real reason of its formation…
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Download file to see previous pages However this entire mystery was resolved in 1980 when Mount St. Helen’s erupted. It is because of this erosion that the scientists and geologists were able to figure out that due to volcanoes a mountains entire face can disappear. Further, with the help of the geological testing and aerial photos it was concluded that the San Francisco Peaks experience the same kind of erosion and that is why it took a unique formation. It is believed by the geologists that the actual peaks were more than 16,000 feet high (San Francisco Peaks) The Peaks The San Francisco Peaks are located to the north of Flagstaff, Arizona and has a height of about 12,633 feet. It is considered to be the most distinct geological mark of the Colorado Plateau. These peaks have been named after the settler in the region the early 1620s named St. Francis of Assisi, however in the local area these are referred to as Peaks. The peaks are a collective formation of six summits that encircle the volcanic crater, which is now a quiet volcano. Out of all the six, the highest peak in Arizona is Humphreys Peak that is 12,633 feet high, Agassiz Peak is about 12,356 feet and the Fremont Peak soars up to 11,969 feet. The remaining three peaks; Aubineau Peak, Reese Peak and the Doyle Peak climb up to 11,838 feet, 11,474 feet and 11,460 feet respectively. Together all these peaks make a circular ring making the peaks the most significant geological display of volcanic rocks, together with the picturesque view of the lava flows and the deep alpine forest. As the peaks are a unique formation, they provide a dramatic landscape of the Flagstaff that is isolated, huge and quite unexpected. Since the peaks are quite tower-like, these can be viewed from quite a distance even from the Wupatki National Monuments (Priest, Duffield and Malis-Clark). Today these peaks have become tourist attractions as millions of people visit this place every year. The Peaks have a protected alpine environment (Inner Basin), a ski resort (Arizona Snowbowl) and the Humphreys Peak (the highest point of Arizona). People visit the place for hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, and skiing and wilderness seclusion. The Formation of the Peaks Arizona’s volcanic pleasures begin to form about 6 million years ago when there were 600 volcanic eruptions in the region. It was due to these volcanic eruptions that the Peaks were formed, mainly the Humphrey’s peak that soared above the terrain making it a geological landscape, otherwise it would just have been a dry and arid plateau. Although the history of the formation of the Peaks varies in the region however the general geologic history remains quite the same. Nearly about 500 million years ago the Plateau region was below or at the sea levels and the sediments of limestone began to accumulate underneath. Although most of the volcanic eruptions are near the tectonic plates in the earths crust however Arizona has been quite far from the North American Plate. The reason of volcanic eruptions in this region is believed to be the molten rock that is the trapped area beneath the Northern Arizona named as the hot spot. This molten rock occasionally rises, moving the plate to the west and creating volcanoes. The Peaks are believed to be formed nearly 500,000 to 1 million years ago however its inner basin has been quite since its formation (Jones). Many geologists name this formation of the San Francisco Peaks as a stratovolcano meaning that it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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