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Wed., Jan. 8, 2014

Map the basalt blobs

The Jan. 4 stories about Spokane’s fault line(s) centered somewhere around North Central High School seem to tie in with the very interesting distributions of large basalt deposits that apparently popped up along that line eons ago.

Spokane is ringed, north, south and west, with series of basalt bluffs. In the center of these rings are surprisingly large blobs of basalt. The blobs at Rock Pointe buildings at North Washington and West Boone connecting to those at North Central are examples.

It may be that this ring-and-blob situation cannot be deciphered in relation to the faults. But maybe the ring-and-blob situation holds a story of the fault opening up eons ago to release pressure from below.

A basalt mapping of the rings and blobs surrounding Spokane are unique and might shed light on the fault’s past role in the area. Perhaps Spokane’s historians and geologists could lead the charge in such a mapping. Many residents in Spokane can look out their windows at large basalt blobs, and who hasn’t noticed the blobs of basalt while driving around the city or visiting, for example, Manito Park.

Such a mapping project could be fun applied science.

Larry Vandervert


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