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Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:34 am
by cubfan64
I ran across this near the head of Pistol Canyon a couple years ago when Roger and I were hiking/camping/exploring up on Peter's Mesa.

I should have placed something there to give some perspective, but if I recall it was in the 2-3 foot diameter range and there were no other depressions or anything similar near it.

I figure it's quite likely one or more of you have come across this same feature in your time exploring out there, so I was hoping someone could help me figure out whether this is just one of those natural features, or if it's something man made - and if so, what would it have been? I'll re-size the photo tonight so it's easier to see.

I'm going to follow this up with some other photos from that trip as well, but it might take a few more days.


Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:29 am

My guess is that was a small bubble associated with an ash deposit or lava flow that burst. I have seen a few in the mountains over the years. If they are in a position to collect water from precipitation the coloration in the basin will change. Peter's Mesa is a massive volcanic area and most of the rock is extrusive, meaning basically it cooled in the atmosphere after eruption. However, there can always be another possible explanation.

Tom K.

Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:04 pm
by cubfan64
That makes the most sense of anything I've had others offer. It doesn't have the appearance of a "grinding" area even though it seems so uniform. I didn't dig around in it as I didn't have time, so I don't know if it's really pitted the way it looks, or if that's just alot of dirt and debris that built up over time.

Thanks for the idea - the fact that you've seen other things that look like that makes it that much more likely.

Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:48 pm
by roc2rol
That is really interesting, Paul
I like Tom’s explanation
with out it-- I would assume man made
Hard to tell in the pic
how deep the impression is ?
& how much is sediment
Is it at an angle on the side of a rock
or does it lay relatively flat?
Regardless good eye and great you had the camera
That’s interesting pic!
second thought!
one wonders if it was a meteor?

Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:30 am

There is a nice example of a lava bubble burst near Garden Valley on the west side. The bowl is filled with sediments also. And again it could be something else. Nature is known to play tricks on us.

Take care,

Tom K.

Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:07 pm
by GeorgeW

This iron ring is filled with either cement or concrete. It's resting in the Superstitions near a trail. I was thinking it might be used to crush ore. Any thoughts?

Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:31 pm
by roc2rol
Well the above is another mystery
one at time please! :lol:

There is a picture in the book
“Hiker Guide…. Superstition Wilderness” (page 157)
that shows similar type holes in the Garden Valley region.
Not sure if these would be the ones Tom is referring too?
The author seem to indicate they are man-made.

Another mystery I find fascinating are holes that
were made to support wood stumps.
Perhaps, for a WoodHenge?
They have been found in the Cahokia area
of the Midwest Indian mounds.


Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:37 pm
by cubfan64
Hi roc2rol - I'm gonna check with Tom and see if he can point me towards the round impressions he's talking about in Garden Valley that appear similar to what I have a photo of - I've seen the ones you are talking about from pg 157 of Hiker's Guide and those are much smaller.

The one I posted a photo of to start this thread was about the size of a large garbage can lid - I've since learned my lesson now to always put something like a glove down next to something I photograph to give a little perspective on the size.

I think Tom is probably correct that they are from imploding bubbles of magma, but it sure stood out to me when I first saw it :)

Re: Any thoughts on what this is?

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:31 pm

The steel cylinder filled with concrete was part of a small crusher used by Chuck Aylor. He packed in a piece of channel iron and rolled the steel cylinder filled with concrete in the channel iron. I have photos of the Aylor designed crusher in my collection somewhere. This round cylinder filled with concrete was located were the trail intersects La Barge Canyon north of Battleship Mountain. Of course somebody could have moved it to a new location.

Take care, if I find the photo I will scan it and post it. I believe I took the photo around 1981.

Tom K.