Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And now for something completely different

Near the end of our recent two-day visit to the Salton sea area, we visited the volcanic mud pots at the intersection of two gravel roads off Highway 111: Davis Road and Schrimpf Road.
According to "There you can see some cones built up out of viscous mud that bubbles up through central vents. This area is near a former ... commercial carbon dioxide gas field. Pressurized carbon dioxide gas is probably the driving mechanism for the bubbling mud."
According to the Cajun's blog on this phenomenon: "The geothermal area sits on the southern end of the San Andreas fault atop a fumarole, an opening in the earth's crust that emits steam and gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and sulfur dioxide."
According to the San Diego Reader newspaper: "[C]arbon dioxide rises to the surface and pushes up water from a shallow aquifer. Sulfurous odors waft on the breeze, and hisses, burps, and other rude noises emanate from shallow pools and conical mounds of mud being built in front of your very eyes." (Definitely click on top of the photo above to make it bigger and see the mud actually spurting.)
It was 115 degrees F. as we snapped these pics (46.1 C.) I felt like I was about to start bubbling as well.
The blupp-blupp-blupping noises were super-freaky.
Is that cool or what? The Cajun has a map and directions on his blog. He says: "Drive about three miles south of Niland on Highway 111 to Schrimpf Road and hang a right. Drive about three and a half miles until the intersection with Davis Road." The latitude and longitude of the place is N33.20025, W115.57864, -80m (WGS84).

Salton Sea blog entry #1 - Salton Sea blog entry #2 - Salton Sea blog entry #3
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