white fibrous material in Barks Canyon Creek

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llinderman
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white fibrous material in Barks Canyon Creek

Post by llinderman » Jan 27 2007 1:34 pm

On 1/26/07, I was hiking Barks Canyon Creek. I noticed a lot of white fibrous material. It clung to the rocks and gravel; sometimes it looked kind of spider webby or like paper that had been wetted and then reconstituted.. I thought it might be asbestos, but I never really saw raw asbestos before.

Any ideas?

Larry Linderman

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Grimey
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Re: white fibrous material in Barks Canyon Creek

Post by Grimey » Jan 27 2007 3:59 pm

In response to llinderman's reply: How much of it was there?

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azbackpackr
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Post by azbackpackr » Jan 27 2007 4:37 pm

I'd be willing to bet it was biological rather than geological. Some sort of algae?

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llinderman
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Re: white fibrous material in Barks Canyon Creek

Post by llinderman » Jan 27 2007 4:44 pm

In response to Grimey's reply:

There was a lot. We entered the creek at the intersection of the Bluff Springs and Terrapin trails. I'd say it was abundant for about 3/4 mile then thinned out. You could easily pick it up. As I said, it was very fibrous but not very strong; it pulled apart easily.

No way was it algae. I'm a biologist and very familiar with algae. It was pure white, even the stuff under rocks which couldn't have been bleached out by the sun. It was plastered against the rocks and gravel, probably water born.

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azbackpackr
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Post by azbackpackr » Jan 27 2007 4:45 pm

Eeeyuck!

OK, stay on top of this. Now I'm really curious!

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joebartels
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Post by joebartels » Jan 27 2007 5:00 pm

When you picked it up was it about an 1/8th inch thick and remarkably light?
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big_load
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Post by big_load » Jan 27 2007 5:46 pm

FWIW, asbestos is formed by igneous intrusions metamorphosing limestone. My maps of that region aren't real good, but I'm pretty sure its almost entirely tertiary and later volcanics (and their erosion products) overlaying precambrian granite and schist, with no intervening sedimentaries. There is definitely asbestos NE of Globe. Maybe also in the vicinity of Picketpost Mountain running north to Haunted Canyon, but no seds anywhere else in the Sups that would be close enough to the surface to weather out. However, somebody with more detailed maps could set me straight.

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Post by azhiker96 » Jan 27 2007 9:11 pm

I hiked that path a couple of weeks ago. I saw several tp cairns which I didn't have a good way to pick up. I did pick up two dead mylar balloons, a candy bar wrapper, and a couple of aluminum cans. Could the fibrous material you mentioned have been rain upon TP?
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llinderman
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Post by llinderman » Jan 27 2007 9:28 pm

It was less than 1/8 inch and, yes, it was very light, like gossamer. It wasn't TP.

I wish someone would go out there and take a look.

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Post by Tortoise_Hiker » Jan 27 2007 10:47 pm

In response to llinderman's reply:

Any Cottonwood trees in the area?

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nonot
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Post by nonot » Jan 27 2007 10:48 pm

I went that way 2 weeks ago. To be honest it looked like wet paper blanketed over everything. There was so much there it was hard to imagine it could be anything except maybe natural fiber disintegration from leaves, etc which kind of formed up into a solid sheet when the water evaporated. Just my guess.

There is alot of trash from campers too, too bad some seem to feel they can leave it for someone else to pick up.

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Post by llinderman » Jan 28 2007 9:12 am

In response to Tortoise Hiker's reply:

Yes, there are some cottonwood trees but there are also cottonwoods where there is none of the material in question.

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AZHikr4444
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Post by AZHikr4444 » Jan 28 2007 8:31 pm

There is a photo of the stuff in my lower Barks photoset. I remember it as well- I thought it was some type of algae.
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Post by djui5 » Jan 28 2007 8:37 pm

That stuff is all over the mountains. If you look in just about any canyon, especially a week or so after a hard rain, you'll see the boulders covered with it. It's in Le Barge, West Boulder, East Boulder, Barks Canyon, Needle Canyon, First Water, etc etc. I always figured it was that green alge stuff that grows in the water, dried out after the water dried up.

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Post by llinderman » Jan 28 2007 9:45 pm

In response to AZHikr4444's reply:

Yes AZHikr4444. That's it! I'm sure it's not algae. And considering it's so plentiful, it's probably not a paper product.

Is there a source of industrial pollution in that watershed?

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Post by hikeaz » Jan 28 2007 10:01 pm

I've often wondered if that stuff could be the dried "soup" of "cotton" from Cottonwood trees mixed with the creek water................
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Post by joebartels » Jan 28 2007 10:09 pm

I always thought it was the dried up scum/froth layer floating on top. Maybe take some some samples and have a micro biologist or specialist of some sort look it over.
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Post by djui5 » Jan 29 2007 5:50 pm

What is that green moss? That's what it is, that green moss that grows on the water pools.

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AZHikr4444
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Post by AZHikr4444 » Jan 29 2007 6:23 pm

Definately wasn't green- although I guess it could have been bleached from the sun. Joe's description was adequate- looked like very thin saturated paper. I can't say tactically, cuz I didn't touch.

Do Fremonts even produce the tell-tale Cottonwood "Fluff"? Honestly, I don't think I have ever seen any fluff in great quantity in the mtns in AZ. I don't think there are many, if any, Cottonwoods in Lower Barks- let alone enough to make this much stuff. It was everywhere!
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Post by big_load » Jan 29 2007 7:04 pm

AZHikr4444 wrote:Do Fremonts even produce the tell-tale Cottonwood "Fluff"? Honestly, I don't think I have ever seen any fluff in great quantity in the mtns in AZ.
I'm not sure about Fremonts. I would gues s that they shed in mass quantities. It's not AZ, but I have seen fluff so thick in Colorado that I wished for a face mask.

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