HST Community      Emerald waters mystery ???

Emerald waters mystery ??? | High Sierra Topix  

Emerald waters mystery ???

A place to explore the natural setting (geology, flora & fauna), people, constructed infrastructure and historical events that play and have played a part in shaping the Sierra Nevada as we know it today.

Emerald waters mystery ???

Postby SSSdave » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:56 pm


A current HST thread:


By Bluewater links to his blog at:

http://seatosummitultralight.blogspot.c ... -high.html

There he discusses a fascinating geological phenomenon in the basin due east of Arrow Peak that is west of Bench Lake and Taboose Pass. Thought this deserves a thread of its own.


It was in this basin that I came across some white-washed waterfalls. The water was especially clear and the rocks in the creekbed and in the waterfalls were all white. After a while I came across some beautiful emerald pools. . . but they were an emerald color I had only seen in the hot sulfur pools in Yellowstone. As I continued through the basin I found more of these amazing emerald pools. I could hardly believe my eyes. How could I have never heard of these emerald pools? Eventually I found the source of the pools at the headwaters of the creek and lakes. A large rust colored area was visible along the steep ridge at the top of the basin, and there was a lake with the same emerald colors at the base of the ridge. One proposal I will make is that we call the Emerald Creek.

This is the basin on the topo:


I am taking care of some packing loose ends this evening as after my workday ends tomorrow afternoon, I am on the road to Bishop so I can pick up my reservation for Bishop Pass Thursday morning and then spend 4 days about Dusy Basin. But am stirring up this mystery this evening so other members can kick this around some. Will be interested in what giantbrookie has to say. So when I get back there will be more to amuse this person. I've noticed in the past that lots of mountain enthusiasts have never loaded Google Earth on their pc's and it has become obvious that includes most of the HST members. Accordingly so you non GE can see something, I'll take a few screenshot jpgs. The current GE imagery is nicely sharp dated July 16, 2013.


When one looks at this area on GE it becomes very interesting. The speculated mineral source is a light tan to light brownish yellow lens on steeps slopes of the southern headwall of the basin. One thing I notice is the meadows coming off the headwall slope look a bit odd and sort of reminds me of some weird stuff I've found up in Convict Creek Canyon in the big meadow above Mildred Lake. Also a month ago west of Red Slate below Red and White Lake. However southwest of the upper meadow are granite talus slopes that potentially could be the actual source as flowing water and any solutions within in talus are down below inside boulders where one cannot see. There is some bedrock that does have a slight blue hue. The most bluish green areas are the deeper areas of the pools and that could be the result of heavier mineral solutions sumping to low points then accumulating or creating a layer by mineralizing out of solution.



One cool looking place on the creek is way down at 3040 meters


Here is an actual pic I took mid July of the area below Red and White Lake.


More detail about that here:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/2016_Trip_C ... 16-12.html

Some unusual water plants were growing and the moss was vibrant green like on steroids. The water had an odd sparkling clarity. All 3 of these areas are about ancient metamorphic rocks that have complex geologies. One last thing before I return to my packing is I've had a very detailed 10-day trip planned to go over Taboose I planned several years ago that has been queued up behind Shepherd Pass another Sierra monster. But now am going to have to amend my itinerary to fit some of this stuff in.

User avatar
Topix Junkie
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

Return to Sierra Nevada History / Natural History & Setting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests