geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

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blisterfree
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geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by blisterfree » Feb 09 2015 9:20 pm

Here's a question that has flummoxed me for some time. Does it have an answer? Where does the Mogollon Rim "begin" and "end"? Surely it runs at least to the Sedona area on the west, and to the White Mountains on the east. But just as "The Rim" is defined in more of a conceptual way in between these two areas wherever it happens to be less prominent, so too one would assume it continues perhaps farther west and east before finally and permanently dissolving into neighboring geographic "provinces" and the like. It seems the Mogollon Rim is characterized by its overall linear elevational prominence above the neighboring Transition Zone to the south, as well as forming a portion of the boundary of the Colorado Plateau region. So it is both these things, and never just the latter. Is it continuous within its overall areal extent, or is it fair game to call it a broken feature, appearing wherever the right criteria are met? Again, where does it ultimately end for good, west and east? Can anyone really say? :?

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by chumley » Feb 09 2015 9:39 pm

Try this
:)
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by big_load » Feb 09 2015 9:54 pm

The map on Page xiv of "Roadside Geology of Arizona" show it extending from the New Mexico border to a point on I-40 a bit east of Kingman, close to where it intersects with Hwy 93. That point is a triple intersection of the three provinces it defines (Colorado Plateau, Central Highlands, and Basin and Range).

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by blisterfree » Feb 09 2015 10:24 pm

@chumley Are you directing me off-site or something? :scared:
Last edited by blisterfree on Feb 09 2015 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by blisterfree » Feb 09 2015 10:26 pm

@big_load Yes, I've seen that, thanks. Every map I've seen is vague and paints more of a provincial picture than a literal one. I'm beginning to suspect the Rim, as a tangible feature on the ground, is in the eye of the beholder. Who would point to the area just east of Kingman and confidently declare, "thar be Rim"? By the same token, where would a reasonably knowledgeable person declare same and have his not-so-knowledgeable companion respond, "Oh yeah, for sure man, here be Rim"? There must be a point of social equilibrium on the matter, both east and west.

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by chumley » Feb 09 2015 10:41 pm

Also. Where does the Atlantic ocean turn into the Arctic Ocean? Or the Pacific and Indian? Valleys, rivers, peaks, and ridges are pretty defined. But not everything is so clearly defined. Yay earf!
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by big_load » Feb 09 2015 11:18 pm

@blisterfree
I've discussed this at length with the various geologists in the family, and the most satisfying argument is based on the roots of the Colorado Plateau. To quote Halka Chronic: "Here on the Colorado Plateau, a great block of the earth's crust has remained coherent and recognizable through 600 million years and more, while blocks around it have been tilted and squeezed and broken". The west edge she identifies by the Grand Wash fault, and the most familiar part is eroded back from the Verde fault (and actually dropped down relative to the south side). The boundaries throughout won't be precise, since faults and their connectedness aren't that simple. The provinces are not as clear cut as a jigsaw puzzle, not because their definition is arbitrary, but because there are transition regions of varying width and shape.

One cousin in particular chides me for focusing on surface expressions of structures that extend down to the mantle. FWIW, he thinks of the Plateau just as Chronic described it

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by blisterfree » Feb 10 2015 12:49 am

Okay guys, if the Mogollon Rim isn't clearly defined, then how about we clearly define it. Because it ought to be clearly defined, right? It's a Rim, after all. Like the edge of a mesa. Forget about the geologic provinces and pay no attention to the Earth's mantle and all that. This bad boy is exclusively in the realm of the experiential. At least the way everyone ordinarily thinks of it. Fair enough?

Except that the Mogollon Rim clearly presents as a series of rims rather than a singular Rim. And by rim we naturally mean an area of mesa-like uplift, with steep sides, an appreciable elevation difference between the base and top, and of course the Colorado Plateau up yonder and not down below. So I guess the, ahem, thrust of the inquiry might reasonably turn to the matter of where this baby ceases to present any more classical Rim-esque features, both westward and eastward toward its proper, geologist-designated bounds, however non-specific with respect to pinpoint locality the geologists' definitions may be.

And Chumley, you're starting to sound like an Arizona native, replete with folklore and hand-me-down riddles. We are trying to have a serious-minded, Yankee boy discussion here.

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by JasonCleghorn » Feb 10 2015 6:28 am

I wonder if its lack of definition has left it void of self confidence, riddled with doubt, trembling in cowardice?
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by CannondaleKid » Feb 10 2015 7:00 am

blisterfree wrote:Okay guys, if the Mogollon Rim isn't clearly defined, then how about we clearly define it.
Or why not create a Mogollon Rim Trail that traverses its full expanse... from wherever to whatever.
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 10 2015 7:21 am

CannondaleKid wrote:
blisterfree wrote:Okay guys, if the Mogollon Rim isn't clearly defined, then how about we clearly define it.
Or why not create a Mogollon Rim Trail that traverses its full expanse... from wherever to whatever.
:whistle:
Here's the thing about that. A Mogollon Rim long trail could start in the Gila Wilderness and staying in high country most of the way could head toward Flagstaff and beyond. It makes a lot of sense as a long trail because you could stay in the high country all summer while hiking it and there are many water sources, unlike the AZ Trail.

I mentioned this idea one time to some Forest Service types who were busy planning and building those sort of useless and ridiculous 8-mile loop recreation trails which litter the Apache Sitgreaves NF and other forests. Those trails which have no real destination or meaning, other than you can get outside and get some exercise on them. Those trails which were built using federal grant money and now are rarely maintained properly.

So, when I brought up the idea of a long trail these FS types looked at me like I was nuts. They said that would mean not only would they have to coordinate with other Ranger Districts (Oh, Horrors!) but with other National Forests (more horrors!) That simply can't be done, you see.

So, if a long trail were to be built using existing trails and building some links here and there it would take a concerted effort on the part of a very small population of hikers: long distance backpackers.

In other words, it probably ain't gonna happen.

What could happen is a far-seeing FS ranger district could START building such a trail, and then they could try to influence the other districts it would have to go through to continue on.

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by chumley » Feb 10 2015 7:47 am

azbackpackr wrote:Comments?
Interagency cooperation for trail construction seems to have little to do with the geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim. :-k

As for the topic of this thread, I'm perfectly happy with the wiki answer easily found in the link above:
The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature cutting across the U.S. state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km), starting in northern Yavapai County and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico. It forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona.
Anything more specific than that would be arbitrarily defined. Which obviously I'm not opposed to either. :)
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by friendofThundergod » Feb 10 2015 8:09 am

@CannondaleKid
Or why not create a Mogollon Rim Trail that traverses its full expanse
I may be grabbing at straws here, but being that blisterfree is the main architect behind the GET, perhaps that is what he is getting at with this forum topic, maybe he has something up his sleeve? Although, that's all speculation ;)

In regards to what Chumley wrote, I tend to agree, wiki and the forest service seem to provide pretty established boundaries for the beginning and end of the rim. In fact, I can't remember which trip log it is in now, but the last time I hiked Rose Spring, I believe I quoted something from the Apache-Sitgreaves hiking guide that refers to that area as the "terminus" of the Mogollon Rim and I have always been satisfied with those general boundaries...

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 10 2015 8:58 am

chumley wrote:
azbackpackr wrote:Comments?
Interagency cooperation for trail construction seems to have little to do with the geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim. :-k

As for the topic of this thread, I'm perfectly happy with the wiki answer easily found in the link above:
The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature cutting across the U.S. state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km), starting in northern Yavapai County and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico. It forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona.
Anything more specific than that would be arbitrarily defined. Which obviously I'm not opposed to either. :)
Oh, heresy, strayed off topic a bit answering someone else's comment about a trail. Maybe I should do this even more often since it's so easy to push Chum's buttons, and then I can laugh.
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by big_load » Feb 10 2015 9:53 am

friendofThundergod wrote:I may be grabbing at straws here, but being that blisterfree is the main architect behind the GET, perhaps that is what he is getting at with this forum topic, maybe he has something up his sleeve? Although, that's all speculation ;)
That's an interesting speculation. The Highline trail covers a good chunk, but it would take some doing to hook up the rest.

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by hippiepunkpirate » Feb 10 2015 10:07 am

azbackpackr wrote:Comments?
Inter-agency cooperation is always an obstacle, of course. But if such an undertaking was so far fetched, how do we have in existence trails such as the Arizona Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Colorado Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Appalachian Trail, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera? There must be inter-agency cooperation happening out there somewhere!
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by chumley » Feb 10 2015 10:17 am

blisterfree wrote:if the Mogollon Rim isn't clearly defined, then how about we clearly define it. Because it ought to be clearly defined, right?
Yes. And the government beat you to it. As defined by the USGS in a board decision termed "official", the Mogollon Rim has a specified beginning and ending point.
http://geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=gnisp ... _FID:31945

I've even put it on a convenient HAZ map for you.

The west end is at Nash Point, overlooking Fossil Creek. The east end is at the head of Petrified Creek, near Show Low.

One could argue that the actual escarpment ends near the reservation boundary east of the head of Canyon Creek.

The National Weather Service has a forecast area defined as the "Western Mogollon Rim" which encompasses an area not defined as such by the USGS ... the area from north of Strawberry to west of Flagstaff (think of the lands above the drainages of West Clear Creek, Wet Beaver Creek, Woods, Munds, Oak Creek, and Sycamore Canyons.) But no map I've ever seen lists any of that as the Mogollon Rim.

If you use the "Colorado Plateau" as a guide, good luck finding two maps that shows the same boundary of the Colorado Plateau in central and western Arizona. Apparently that's vaguely undefined too.

As for the Apache Forest, that requires the "rim" to go through the White Mountains, where the boundary would be pretty arbitrary! (Though FOTG is not wrong ... they have published that information in their trail guide).

The Apache Forest definition can be supported by an elevation map of Arizona, where the Mogollon Rim can be loosely defined by about the 6000-foot contour. But I think if you want it to be clearly defined, stick with the official USGS designation.
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by friendofThundergod » Feb 10 2015 10:35 am

@chumley
Though FOTG is not wrong
Phew...I could have swore that was in there guide book lol

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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by JasonCleghorn » Feb 10 2015 10:56 am

@chumley

Your post above is why I love HAZ. People that are as passionate about knowing 'things' and explaining them to others as I, about subjects arcane enough to be considered slightly nerdy, but not so nerdy that you're an outcast! LMAO.
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Re: geographic extent of the Mogollon Rim

Post by BobP » Feb 10 2015 11:02 am

Chums wrote:Though FOTG is not wrong
He just doesn't know the difference between there and their ;)
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