Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Philatelic Photograph: Wizard Island in Crater Lake

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Wizard Island in Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park, OR
Topic: Philatelic Photograph; Superlatives (Deepest)

GPS: N42° 55.217; W122° 09.743

Quick Description: 

Wizard Island, an ancient volcanic cinder cone, rises from the westernmost part of Crater Lake.

Long Description:

Crater Lake is the water filled collapsed caldera basin of an extinct volcano, Mount Mazama in the volcanically active Cascade Mountain Range of western Oregon. Since there are no streams entering or leaving the lake, the entire volume of water is derived from rain and melted snow. The average annual precipitation of 66 inches is in equilibrium with the evaporation and seepage rate maintaining the lake level at 6178 feet above sea level. The lake level has varied over a range of merely 16 feet in the past 100 years.

Crater Lake is known to be the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh deepest in the world. According to the United States Geological Service, it has a maximum lake depth of 1,996 feet as measured by sonar.

The extremely deep blue color of the water, for which the lake is famous, is due to the clarity of the water due to lack of suspended sediments. Long wavelengths of light can penetrate quite deeply while only the shorter, blue wavelengths, are scattered back to a viewer on the rim of the caldera.

Wizard Island is an ancient cinder cone, a remnant of the volcano that formed Crater Lake. It is located in the extreme western part of the lake. Wizard Island is 6,933 feet above sea level at its peak or about 755 feet above the lake. The tree covered cone itself has a smaller crater, the "Witch's Cauldron" which is about 500 feet wide and 100 feet deep.

The National Park Service maintains a road - Rim Drive - that follows the top of the caldera which provides excellent views of Wizard Island and Crater Lake.

The stamp was issued by the United States in 1934 as part of the ten stamp National Parks Series. 

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