The geology of Siphon Draw

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Areas none
Post Reply
User avatar
Al_HikesAZ
Ol' Kokopelli
Posts: 1348
Joined: May 16 2005 1:01 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

The geology of Siphon Draw

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Nov 15 2008 10:51 pm

In a different thread Tibber asked:
tibber wrote: Thanks to the keepers of the Geology tab... now I'm going to see if there is anything on the Siphon Draw formation as Joe and I had a discussion awhile back on what kind of rock Siphon Draw was...but I may have to come back here to ask :?
First off, I think geologists would define Siphon Draw as a “feature”. It is not a Formation. Geologists have precise definitions for their jargon. We have started a glossary in the Geology Section to help with some of the terms.

That being said, I am going to refer to parts of an article written by Tom Kollenborn and published in the AJ News. Tom is a respected authority on all things Superstition. You can google him and find out more info on Superstition Wilderness Legend & Lore.

"The geology of the Superstition Wilderness Area can be divided into three distinct categories. They include (1) rock type, (2) structure and (3) process. The rock type consists primarily of extrusive igneous rocks associated with vulcanism. Structure is consistent with the type of landforms that result from volcanic action and tectonic activity. The process is related to mass wasting, erosion, faulting, mountain-building and volcanic activity. All three of these categories contributed to the rugged and spectacular beauty of the Superstition Wilderness Area we enjoy today.
The western portion of the wilderness area is dominated by igneous rock whose origin is primarily volcanic action. There are examples of sedimentary and metamorphic activity within the boundaries of the wilderness; however this activity is very limited. There are Pre-Cambrian granites in a few isolated areas of the wilderness that were formed from intrusive igneous rocks. Intrusive rocks are formed from molten magma that cooled beneath the surface of the earth. In other words, the melt (magma) was not exposed to the atmosphere while it cooled. Eventually intrusive rocks are exposed on the earth’s surface by erosion.

Erosion is the wearing away process of the earth’s surface by wind, water and ice. These intrusive rocks can be found along the First Water Road and the Apache Trail (SR 88) northeast of Apache Junction. Granite diabase can be found east and south of the IV Ranch.

Common volcanic landforms found in the area include calderas, blister cones, lava flows, mudflows and ash deposits. Dacite, andesite, rhyolite, and breccia are the common igneous rocks found in the area.
. . .
The geology of the Superstition Wilderness Area is a fascinating study of igneous rock and their various formations. The rocks of the western portion of the Superstition Wilderness are eruptive igneous in origin. These rocks formed a wonderland of beautiful volcanic formations deposited between 3 – 25 million years-ago. We can only marvel the beautifully textured landscape the Superstition Wilderness Area provides for us."


The expert on Superstition Wilderness Geology was Dr. Michael Sheridan, Vulcanologist at Arizona State University from 1970-1989. There are some anomalies creating some disagreement on the exact processes in the geologic evolution but there is general agreement.

Dr. Ivo Lucchita in his book “Hiking Arizona’s Geology” has a detailed description of the Peralta Canyon Trail Geology on page 174.

If you made it all the way up Siphon Draw you will probably be glad to know that erosion has removed about 3,000 to 4,000 feet off the mountain. :sweat:
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

User avatar
azbackpackr
River Paddler
Posts: 8113
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Flag-summer-Needles-winter

Re: The geology of Siphon Draw

Post by azbackpackr » Nov 16 2008 6:51 am

Reading this reminds me of my most recent posted hike, Signal Hill. I was hiking down and took up with a fellow hiker, started a conversation. This conversation quickly drifted to his religion, and his intense study of creationism. I decided to be a listener, because I LOVE geology and paleontology, and wanted to hear from this guy the rationale behind creationism. It is very scary to me that people actually believe in creationism. I did listen, and what I learned is that there are apparently hundreds of books out there that people who want to believe in creationism are reading to bolster their beliefs. One that this guy mentioned was called something like Darwin's Black Box. This guy was one of the type of creationists who believe the world is only a few thousand years old. Again, I find this to be very scary, that there are millions of people out there who have taken up this belief in recent years. It is not a good trend, I don't think. These people want this stuff taught in public school.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

User avatar
tibber
Huckleberry Picapelli
Posts: 651
Joined: Feb 26 2004 1:27 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: The geology of Siphon Draw

Post by tibber » Nov 16 2008 9:53 am

Al_HikesAZ wrote:In a different thread Tibber asked:
tibber wrote: Thanks to the keepers of the Geology tab... now I'm going to see if there is anything on the Siphon Draw formation as Joe and I had a discussion awhile back on what kind of rock Siphon Draw was...but I may have to come back here to ask :?
First off, I think geologists would define Siphon Draw as a “feature”. It is not a Formation. Geologists have precise definitions for their jargon. We have started a glossary in the Geology Section to help with some of the terms.

"The geology of the Superstition Wilderness Area can be divided into three distinct categories. They include (1) rock type, (2) structure and (3) process. The rock type consists primarily of extrusive igneous rocks associated with vulcanism. Structure is consistent with the type of landforms that result from volcanic action and tectonic activity. The process is related to mass wasting, erosion, faulting, mountain-building and volcanic activity. All three of these categories contributed to the rugged and spectacular beauty of the Superstition Wilderness Area we enjoy today.
The western portion of the wilderness area is dominated by igneous rock whose origin is primarily volcanic action. There are examples of sedimentary and metamorphic activity within the boundaries of the wilderness; however this activity is very limited.

The geology of the Superstition Wilderness Area is a fascinating study of igneous rock and their various formations. The rocks of the western portion of the Superstition Wilderness are eruptive igneous in origin. These rocks formed a wonderland of beautiful volcanic formations deposited between 3 – 25 million years-ago. We can only marvel the beautifully textured landscape the Superstition Wilderness Area provides for us."

If you made it all the way up Siphon Draw you will probably be glad to know that erosion has removed about 3,000 to 4,000 feet off the mountain. :sweat:
That was a very thorough explanation. Thank you for taking the time to write it up. There are several rock formations in the western Superstitions that are curious and I suspect they are made of the same material, extrusive igneous rock (molten rock). I was reading that there are 700 types of igneous rocks.

Based on your information, where in geology labels would you place this picture?
http://hikearizona.com/phoZOOM.php?ZIP=58263
Wouldn't it be neat if someone could do a college project using time lapsed photography showing the formation of Siphon Draw? But I guess we'll just have to leave that to our imaginations. :-k

and if I understand the reading I just did, the Camp Creek Falls hike with all that beautiful granite is intrusive igneous rocks.

User avatar
Al_HikesAZ
Ol' Kokopelli
Posts: 1348
Joined: May 16 2005 1:01 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Re: The geology of Siphon Draw

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Nov 16 2008 10:16 am

tibber wrote:Based on your information, where in geology labels would you place this picture?
http://hikearizona.com/phoZOOM.php?ZIP=58263
I'm trying to stay just a step behind you :)

I added "Igneous - Extrusive" and would suggest adding it there. I also added "Igneous - Intrusive".

We brought the Geology Section online in just the last couple of weeks and we still have lots to do to get it up to speed. Comments and criticisms are welcome.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

Post Reply

Return to “Geology”


cron