Crater Lake, Oregon (NASA, International Space Station Science, 07/19/06)
Editor's Note: This is an archive image from 2006.
Crater Lake, Oregon is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 13 crewmember on the International Space Station. Crater Lake is formed from the caldera (collapsed magma chamber) of a former volcano known as Mount Mazama. Part of the Cascades volcanic chain, Mount Mazama is situated between the Three Sisters volcanoes to the north and Mount Shasta to the south. While considered a dormant volcano, Crater Lake is part of the United States Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory seismic monitoring network. The dark blue water coloration is typical of the 592 meter (1943 feet) deep Crater Lake; light blue-green areas to the southeast of Wizard Island (along the southern crater rim) most probably correspond to particulates either on or just below the water surface. A light dusting of snow fills the summit cone of Wizard Island. Some of the older lava flows in the area are associated with Mount Scott to the east-southeast of the Lake. Water is lost only by evaporation and seepage, and is only replenished by rainwater and snowmelt from the surrounding crater walls. These processes help maintain minimal sediment input into the lake and exceptional water clarity. The Crater Lake ecosystem is of particular interest to ecologists because of its isolation from the regional landscape, and its overall pristine quality is important to recreational users of Crater Lake National Park (447,240 visitors in 2005). The United States National Park Service maintains programs to monitor changes (both natural and human impacts) to Crater Lake.
Image credit: NASA
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