BASIN RANGE SLIDESHOW Adobe Flash Player Required
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©0986 Crump Lake - Hart Mountain to Adel
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©0983 Dust Storm on the Alvord Desert
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and panorama options
©0981 Freshwater Lakes of the Warner Basin
|Oregon Basin Range
©0978 Goose Lake by Lakeview, Oregon
|Oregon Basin Range Pictures
©0990 Quarter Horse Sale near Burns
|©0982 Alvord Desert
Mickey Hot Springs
|©0330a Basin Range
Run Free-Wild Horses
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©0977 Summer Lake Paisley, OR
|Oregon's Basin Range
|©0997 Oregon Basin Range
Hart Lake in Reflection
|©0980 Campbell Lake - Hart Mt's Poker Jim Ridge||©0985 Rain on the Alvord Desert (where only 9"/yr falls)|
Range Horst & Graben
©0988 Steens Mountain (& Alvord Desert)
|©0989 Cattle Drive on Diamond Crater Road|
|South Eastern Oregon
©0987 Pueblo Mountains - Road to Fields
|©0998 Salty Banks of Lake Abert (Playa Lake)|
|©0991 Sunrise on the Alvord Desert||©0992 Steaming Hot Springs on the Alvord||©0993 Pahoehoe Lava-Diamond Craters Field|
|©0996 Coyote- Hart Mt
|©0995 Pete French Round Barn||©0994 Antelope Parade
on Hart Mountain
This Gallery is
about the area called the "Empty
Quarter", the Oregon Basin, part of the *Hydrographic Great
Basinof the United States, is among the most sparcely-inhabitated
areas of Oregon. It is not one but several basins with similar characteristics.
There's Harney Basin, Silver Lake Basin, Warner Basin, Goose
Lake Basin, Catlow-Pueblo-Alvord Basin, and Summer Lake-Abert
In all the basins, the land has fractured allowing one area to rise abruptly and the rest to settle into a flat plateau. These striking variations in landscape are called horst and graben or quick rising mountains and very flat valleys.
The Oregon Basin also includes remnants of prehistoric lakes which are now shallow, salty lakes which can't grow fish but do grow brine shrimp for migratory fowl. These "playa lakes" are in the flat basins and have no outlet. Geological Faulting through time has obstructed their seaward path. Hot summers dry the precipitation which falls as snow...then in spring it melts temporarily filling the playa lakes. The result? Salt! Abert Lake has the distinction of being the third largest salt lake in North America!
Slightly salty lakes, such as Crump Lake and Campbell Lake of the Warner Basin , Goose Lake, or Summer Lake are excellent stop overs for migratory birds.
The Steens Mountain, rich with Aspen Trees, is a raised fault-block mountain of 9773ft and is a "horst". The Alvord Basin, the flat adjacent area is a "graben". The Alvord Desert rests 4000' above sea level and is in the rainshadow of the nearby Steens Mountain so it's a barren desert floor of dried caked mud.(white rhyolyte) The Alvord gets about 9" rain/year, to be there during a rainstorm is a unique treat.
The Alvord is alkaline and supports little vegetation except sagebrush which is fairly good as cattle, antelope, and deer food. The Pueblo Mountains near Fields (spring board to the dusty Alvord Desert) is made up of two fault block ranges. Hot springs of bubbling, steaming Water also punctuate the desert. These springs start several thousand feet below the surface and begin their trip upward at 220 degrees!
The Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge (established in 1936) is located on another horst (ie fault block ridge). Hart Mountain is in south-central Oregon and is visited by antelope herds and the coyote that enjoys their taste. Predation is so severe by coyotes that fawn survival has fallen drastically. When cattle were allowed to graze the refuge, the coyote problem was less severe as the antelope would birth their fawns amid the cattle herd for protection. In 1991 cattle were no longer allowed on the refuge...gone is the shield!
Ever since Pete French built his round barn (to break horses for herding) there have been large cattle ranches in the area and self sufficient cattle folk to tend them. Cattle andcraters populate the area. Diamond Craters is a 60 sq mile basaltic lava flow between Burns and Steens Mountain. East of Diamond wild horses ! Seeing an Alvord Sunrise is why this area is part of the GREAT basin!
Strength in Perspective
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Last Updated 2-16-2017