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Tarns

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Tarns

Postby Hetchy » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:58 pm

How about your photos of Tarns? Those snowmelt fed mini-lakes so often found in the heights of the Sierra. Some are scarcely more than puddles at the end of summer. Yet they can be every bit as interesting as the big lakes. I will kick it off here with this photo:
The Tarn at Mule pass:
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Re: Tarns

Postby Buck Forester » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:55 pm

That's gorgeous!


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Here's a Fall shot of the tarn to the south of Pinchot Pass just before you drop down into Woods Creek. (This is looking north back up towards Pincho Pass). I dunno, this might not technically be classified as a true 'tarn', maybe more of a pond, depending on the definition of tarn.
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Re: Tarns

Postby Buck Forester » Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:35 pm

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Here's a couple remote tarns way up Cartridge Creek. In order to fit all this in one image I used my 15mm fisheye. We visited these tarns (on our Circle the Cirque Crest trip) and I remember the one on the left was filled with colorful goldens of decent size. The scale of topography was amazing, my fisheye lens shrinks the crud out of the peak.
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Re: Tarns

Postby copeg » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:15 pm

You guys are killing me here. All these sweet pics!
This was taken during one of those magical afternoons after hiking a very long day, the pack went down, and suddenly the eyes opened wide. I guess this classifies as a tarn, just below Vee Lake at the base of Seven Gables
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Re: Tarns

Postby will_jrob » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:58 am

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Looking east over Rubicon River canyon to Jacks and Dicks peaks, Desolation Wilderness.
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Re: Tarns

Postby treadwell » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:57 am

North of Ramona Lake with Pilot Knob in the background.

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Re: Tarns

Postby SSSdave » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:37 pm

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A tarn is a small lake left by the retreat of a glacier. May fill a basin formed by a moraine dam or eroded by the glacier into bedrock.

http://www.geologicalglossary.com/t.html

I would tend to refine even the above definition to only include such lakes at higer elevations as there a re a great many bodies of water below treeline that are glacial in origin but hardly worthy of the term. There are many little swampy mud lined depressions formed in glacial granite bedrock that by late summer become warm with black water of organic life one would never consider drinking from. Per the above definition it might be a tarn.

Some may think any small lake aka a pond at higher elevations is a tarn, however the term in strict geological terms per above is somewhat more narrow. For instance one often finds small turfy pools in meadows but they are certainly not tarns but rather ponds. Regardless in the narrow sense most small lakes and ponds in the higher timberline and alpine areas of the Sierra could be classified as tarns because glaciers have been the dominant force sculpting the granite bedrock. There are of course other ways lakes and ponds form like the above. One of the more common is debris blockage of a stream path where its course narrows that leads to further siltation and damming. For me the perfect example of a tarn is the one at the toe of the little glacier below Larmarck Col.

One question is at what size ought one call a body of water a lake or a tarn ? And what about ephemeral tarn/ponds that dry up by mid summer? Are they tarns? My own sense is a body has to be rather small to be called a tarn and not a lake. Shallow ponds at mid and lower forest elevations though glacial in origin tend to evaporate by summer whereas there are a great many ponds in higher alpine areas though small and shallow that always last through the summer because the season they emerge from winter snows is short and there is often permanent snowfields and streams nearby that replenish their waters.
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Re: Tarns

Postby lostcoyote » Sun May 31, 2009 6:45 pm

south west of mt. brewer

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Re: Tarns

Postby MountainMinstrel » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:54 pm

This is one of my favorites, (possibly due to the fact that we were close to runninig out of water).

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The tarn is on the north side of Tuolumne peak. It looks very different from the snowfield.

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Re: Tarns

Postby calipidder » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:05 pm

One of my favorites, simply for the color vs the granite. Have only photographed it with a point and shoot, unfortunately.

South side of Glen Pass:

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Re: Tarns

Postby Sierra Maclure » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 am

This is a sweet little tarn in McGee Canyon on a magical summer evening:
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Re: Tarns

Postby fishmonger » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:04 pm

South of Pinchot Pass

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60 Lakes basin

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And another look at the puddle north of Glen Pass, July 1989

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