A prediction

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 10:02:27 07/17/15

In Reply to: Upper Terrace Drive Temporarily Closed **NEWS RELEASE** posted by greywolf

Nature's gonna win!!

Anyone that has done any skiing, snowshoeing, or simply walking around the loop has witnessed how much area in and around that parking lot remains snow-free. We also know that the ground can provide an insulation buffer between subsurface hydrothermal heat and the air above ground. The fact that Hank's holes both produced hydrothermal flow tells us that the insulation "blanket" is thin in that area. We also know that carbonic acid in the hydrothermal fluid continues to etch the travertine, eroding it, even in the face of the opposite effect, where calcium carbonate is separated from the fluid via degassing and evaporation, which deposits the travertine on the terraces. These processes have the net effect of growing the terraces and moving the action around. It is only a matter of time until that parking lot is reclaimed by nature, the same way the old trail and boardwalks by Canary Spring vanished.

I hope someone in Roads Maintenance is developing a long term plan for the eventual relocation of that parking lot. (It would sure improve the skiing.) The hairy aspect of siting a parking lot is that you need to exploit the capabilities of the latest ground penetrating radar. We know there are caverns underlying the terraces that were created by the ongoing processes. I just know there is a handy flattish area to the left of the Upper Terrace Drive a little ways before you reach today's parking lot. Point used to take novice skiers over there for lessons, because the snowpack was reliable.


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