It is currently Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:28 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 180 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:28 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah fellow explorers,

I'm hoping to gauge the general interest out there for a personal project of mine that I've been working off and on since mid-2008, after the last Cavern closure. At that time, I'd only been in the Cavern for a few months when the bad news broke that the Cavern would be closing soon. Along with everyone else, I was dismayed and saddened but determined to continue exploring all things Myst in the coming months.

So during the autumn of 2008, I started some online research regarding the geographic location of The Cleft and caldera. I've lived in New Mexico for most of my life and so for me, this was a perfect pastime and helped keep me connected to the Cavern and the D'ni during that dry spell.

Anyway, from time to time I have continued to pursue this project, mostly online (Google Earth is a fantastic tool!!). But at some point, when I have narrowed down the possibilities a bit more, I am hoping to do some road trips here to see what I can find (New Mexico is the 5th largest state geographically, after all, so I have to be practical about such trips).

So I'm wondering if there are other explorers out there who are interested in participating in some way? Although I still don't have a great deal of time to devote to this project (I'm still on the hook to the D'ni Museum of Arts and Sciences for their Age survey project), I've always felt it was truly important. Very much worth doing.

At this point, I'm lucky to revisit this puzzle every few months, which is why it's been going so slowly. But if there are other explorers who have clues, photos, locations etc. from here in the U.S. southwestern desert, it would help me narrow down the likeliest destinations for said road trips. That DRC photo of the caldera is certainly real enough!! So I know it's out there somewhere...

[Eagerly awaiting your responses! :D ]

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:32 am
Posts: 3
Location: New Mexico (for real)
Hi Ainia,

I've lived in NM all of my life as well. I don't know if you've included these locations in your research but when I look at the landscape surrounding the cleft in the game, it seems to appear to be in central or northern NM. Not so much like the Carlsbad area. I don't know if you've been to the underground glacier cave in Grants
Image or El Malpais
Imageor Capulin

Image
Image and Petroglyph National Monument
Image
When you're ready to mount the expedition, let me know :D

Here's an interesting paragraph from the 2006 Geologic Resource Evaluation Scoping Summary El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico:
" Cave Features and Processes
Investigators have inventoried the major lava tube systems in El Malpais National Monument. Research of the major lava tube systems is discussed in Natural History of El Malpais. By contrast, the secondary cave systems have not been extensively studied (e.g., Hoya Volcano). Most of what is known about the secondary systems has been interpreted during overflights, for example, during fires. Ken Mabery noted that he has seen a “collapse structure” from the air, which has not been thoroughly studied."

What do you think?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:25 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 109
Location: The Age of Reason
A "collapse structure". Hah! If he only knew...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:37 pm
Posts: 68
That Petroglyph shot is almost a dead ringer, and the petroglyphs pictured on its Wiki page look awfully familiar...

_________________
Prepare for Descent...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Wow!
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:37 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah again,

Glad to see I'm not the only New Mexico native who is interested in this! Thanks for the pics Poji Bonzai.

Yes, I'd considered Capulin but decided firstly it was way too big and secondly that the vegetation was wrong (too many trees, i.e. too far north). I've been thinking similarly to you that the DRC photo looks more like central/northern NM (particularly since there aren't any volcanic features anywhere in Eddy County, not to mention the vegetation there is too different). And no, I've never gotten around to visiting the glacier cave (but assume it's too small to qualify as the Cavern :wink:).

I agree Top Gun, that the Petroglyph National Monument image looks the closest (though if so, then the DRC photo was either taken from the opposite side, or they published a reversed image). It looks like the image is of Vulcan Volcano, the northernmost of the Three Sisters on Albuquerque's west mesa. I like the Petroglyph area as a possibility because each of the Three Sisters (Las Tres Hermanas) has a suggestive shape:

[Reveal] Spoiler: JA Volcano--southernmost sister
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Black Volcano--middle sister
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Vulcan Volcano--northernmost sister
Image


I've found a couple of very good online resources for New Mexico geology: USGS web page (no illustrations) and a very impressive geology guide for a University of Texas/Austin course apparently scheduled for this July.

The West Malpais Wilderness near Grants NM is a nice possibility, particularly the Chain of Craters area. Cerro Americano there looks promising from Google Earth, though as far as I can tell, I can't capture the exact view I found with a web link. However if you follow this link and fool around a bit with the view (the one I liked best was looking directly south where you can see a suggestive white spot that I can imagine is Zandi's silver bullet), you can see the possibilities. There are lots of other old volcanoes here, but most no longer have much of a crater in the middle.

In practical terms, the chances are fairly good that the DRC photo wasn't captured too far off the beaten path. However, the volcano is so far in the distance that its scale is hard to guess. But overall it has that familiar funny pointed tip along the left rim and a shoe-shaped slope to the right. The vegetation in the foreground is very typical for the Albuquerque area (and areas north). When the photo was taken, the sun was toward the left, so the chances are fair that the view is toward the west (depending on the time of day and season, naturally). Judging from the strength of light, it's late morning to mid-afternoon and not wintertime. Judging from the vegetation, again it's not winter, but probably late spring to early summer, before the summer monsoon rains have started (the snakebush and sage are doing well but the grasses are still yellow and dry).

Anyhow, so far I haven't found a bingo perfect match. But there are some appealing possibilities. :D Keep those suggestions and images coming in!! And yes, Poji Bonzai, I will let you know when I'm ready for a road trip! (I'm near the Albuquerque area, where are you??)

[[Edit: fixed Black Volcano link--wikipedia moved its location]]

_________________
ImageImage


Last edited by Ainia on Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:13 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:00 am
Posts: 538
I know Cyan sent a small team of artist to New Mexico to gather "inspiration" for designing the Cleft. I remember seeing a photo in the Prima Official Strategy Guide of some people (I think Robyn and/or Rand was amongh them) out exploring a countryside that looked exactly like the area around the caldera. Have you thought about messaging someone from Cyan and asking where they went? I don't know if you'll get a response, but it's worth a shot.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Cleft location follow-up
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:20 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah again, everyone!

Thanks for the tip sideshow118 about the Prima Guide. The image they published there (page 280) clearly is a different shot than the one on the DRC website; but it also clearly is the same formation. And if I'm not mistaken, it appears that there are a series of power lines crossing the view, which provides a good clue that this caldera is relatively near civilization (that there is a community or business in the vicinity that is using power). Very nice!!

I recently spent a long evening with Google Earth viewing all the major power lines between Taos and Albuquerque (and yes, they can be found, though require a good bit of visual hunting). I think I can safely say that the power lines in the Prima Guide photo are most probably for local service.

The only other things I note in the photo are that the vegetation appears a bit more well-watered (the grasses appear to be starting to flourish), so this likely was taken in the early summer shortly after the monsoon season began. Or shortly after an early rain shower (which can happen at times in the spring).

The Prima Guide top photo definitely is from northern New Mexico, with the bright sheer cliff faces. The bit of stonework in the lower right of the photo is typical for archeological sites here that have been partially restored and opened for visitors. The mesa in the distance is Enchanted Mesa, so we know that the photo was taken at Acoma Pueblo, 60 miles west of Albuquerque. Numerous similar images can be found on the internet as this is a particularly popular view with photographers. Just google Enchanted Mesa.

The Prima Guide bottom photo could be pretty much anywhere in northern New Mexico and is a good visual example of the typical vegetation we see here (and at The Cleft). Seasonally, this image is a much better match for the DRC site photo of the caldera, as the sage, snake bush and grasses all are in pretty much the same state in both.

Conclusions? Assuming that all three Prima Guide photos were taken during the same trip, the Cyan folks likely spent their time in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area touring the countryside in general and at least one Pueblo in particular. My next task will be to check Google Earth for the Acoma Pueblo area and see if I find anything suggestive of the caldera there.

BTW, sideshow118, your suggestion is a good one, though I agree that it's likely Cyan will not respond. I assume as with similar questions, they prefer to preserve the mystique. Plus, since this is something of an out-of-cavern adventure, I'm not yet ready to resort to the walk-through (in a manner of speaking :wink:).

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Enchanted Mesa update
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 3:35 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah again,

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I was able to use Google Earth to find a close approximation of the Prima Guide Enchanted Mesa photo view. I'm including a screenshot of the guide image (copyright Prima and Cyan Worlds) as well as the four Google Earth screenshots I took.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Prima Guide photo of Enchanted Mesa
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Google Earth view of Enchanted Mesa from Acoma Pueblo
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Google Earth closer view of Enchanted Mesa
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Google Earth even closer view of Enchanted Mesa
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Google Earth closest view of Enchanted Mesa
Image

As you can see, the first Google Earth view of Enchanted Mesa (the closest I could come to the guide photo view) shows it as the wrong shape, which gives us a good baseline for the distance/accuracy we can expect with Google Earth. (But note that the rest of the skyline looks the same as in the guide photo.) The second Google Earth view of Enchanted Mesa was taken at the farthest distance where I could view it with a semi-corrected shape. And the third view is the farthest distance where it finally takes the correct shape we see in the guide photo. Just for grins, I zoomed as close as I could to Enchanted Mesa just to see what it looks like up close and personal in Google Earth.

So in terms of finding the caldera using Google Earth, I'm assuming I will need to be viewing it from a similar distance before I can hope to recognize its distinctive shape. Good data but also a bit unfortunate and frustrating since it will be more work (obviously). But the hunt is now on! If anyone out there is inspired to try their hand with Google Earth and caldera hunting, I would love to hear from you! :D

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:04 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 2:18 am
Posts: 1420
Wow, this is fascinating. At various times in the past I've done similar research myself, and while I found a few "likelies," there was nothing that I could point to definitively and say, "There it is."

And unfortunately, while Google Earth is an amazing tool, the elevation data in this part of New Mexico isn't as precise as, say, around Mt. St. Helen, where they really drilled down to the details. (Take a look, it's incredible.)

Ainia, I'll be following this thread!

Mowog

_________________
MOUL KI: 174162

Image


Last edited by Mowog on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:27 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:00 am
Posts: 538
My own "research" has consisted of watching You Tube postings of people's trips through New Mexico and scanning the horizon for a certain familiar landmark. So far: lots of "almost but not quites" and a good deal of eye strain. :shock: :?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Three Sisters Field Trip
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:38 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah fellow explorers!

It's been quite a while since I've posted here (and surface responsibilities have been keeping me very busy), but things have been happening in the interim with this project. Most importantly, I was finally able to make a day trip out to the Albuquerque volcanoes to see personally how close a match they are for the Cleft caldera.

In a nutshell, as we'd already surmised, the caldera itself is elsewhere. Nevertheless, it was a fruitful journey. I will provide a small sample of the highlights below. To take the entire virtual tour via my updated journal, you can either download the PDF (15MB) version or view the online flip book (the watermark will be removed later, when I upgrade the conversion software to the full version). The flip book also can be viewed on an iPad or smartphone without the watermark.

[Reveal] Spoiler: I started my tour by visiting the Petroglyph National Monument visitor center to get some trail maps
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The trailhead from the visitor center
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Up the trail, the Three Sisters viewed from the top of the volcanic mesa
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Heading back to the highway, I stop by to visit some petroglyphs
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: One of the several interesting bits of rock art there
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Heading toward the volcanoes access road and parking lot
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The southernmost Sister, JA Volcano
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Just north is Black Volcano
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Farther north is Vulcan Volcano
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Ainia and her shadow back at the parking lot and ready to head home
Image

Enjoy!!

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:13 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah again!

Last Friday, I finally had the opportunity to finish up my survey of the Three Sisters, visiting and documenting Vulcan, the third Sister. I've been busily working at identifying all the zoological and botanical specimens I found while there and am nearly done. There is one elusive plant that still remains...

Here is a photographic synopsis of the survey. Those of you who wish to view the complete virtual tour can check my updated Cleft Location journal (24 MB). The journal very likely will get updated again once I have that last botanical specimen nailed down.

[Reveal] Spoiler: The view of the Sandia Mountains from the base of Vulcan
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The pathway up to the Vulcan summit
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Partway up, there is a small natural arch
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Near the summit, there is a larger natural arch
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The view from the Vulcan summit
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Climbing down the east-facing slope, I find a small natural cave
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Upon crawling inside, I can see dried moss on the walls
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The walls inside are very colorful and rugged
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Many of the rocky slopes have a variety of lichen upon them
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A view of the open pit at the base from upslope
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: I make a circuit of the base and find a return path partway upslope; the path is covered with grass circles
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: There are numerous wildflowers to be seen; here is a Shrubby Cinquefoil
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The Red-Whisker Clammyweed is an interesting plant
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: I encounter a Dunes Sagebrush Lizard on the return path
Image

No telling when I'll have time to work on this project again--other Uru responsibilities are clamoring for my attention! (Participation from the peanut gallery is always welcome! :wink:)

Enjoy!

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:16 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah all,

Although things have been quiet on this thread, I have been continuing work on this project. However, I've reached a point where I need to see if anyone out there can help me. In particular, I'm hoping to track down a particular photograph:

[Reveal] Spoiler: Cleft Caldera
Image

Obviously, I have a version of this image, which was snagged from the Prima Guide eBook for UruCC. However, I'd really like to get a high-resolution image scanned directly from the printed book.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Prima Guide Book Cover
Image

Anybody out there happen to have one of these guys laying about? And if so, would you be willing to scan page 280 and post here or send to me? High resolution scans are particularly needed!

Many thanks!!

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Wow, that was fast!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:02 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
The subject line says it all... and DimensionTravelerCalum is officially my hero for the day!! :D I am now the proud possessor of a high-resolution scan of the caldera photo:

[Reveal] Spoiler: Prima Guide photo
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: DRC photo
Image

Using this along with the published DRC caldera photo, I can make out more detailing and form a more precise description of the location and its features. For instance:
    It looks like there is a small wash between the fence and the caldera (the narrow shadowed patches in similar locations in both photos)
    It looks like the fence is probably at the side of a dirt road (which can be seen faintly in the DRC photo)
    There is an enigmatic tree-like structure at about the location of the wash and in front of the caldera
    The apparent power lines are puzzling as the DRC photo doesn't show any sign of them
There are several possibilities regarding the power line puzzle. Since we don't know when the DRC photo was taken, the power lines may have been absent at that time. Or if they are smaller, local lines (which may make more sense since such things tend to run alongside local roads), they may be too short and small to be seen from such a distance as in the DRC photo. Or there may be some completely other explanation.

Assuming the tree-like structure isn't some odd glitch akin to a dust spec on a photo, it would make sense for a tree to be near a wash. And it could prove to be a very helpful landmark, assuming it is still there. If it is a dead tree, it's quite possible that it's long gone.

In other aspects of my more recent research, I decided to learn more about the Zone-Tailed Hawk. The D'ni Zoological Society has only tentatively identified the Cleft bird as this hawk, but in reviewing all the NM raptors, the Zone-Tail is definitely the bird that bears the closest resemblance.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Cleft Hawk
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Zone-Tailed Hawk
Image

And in learning more about the territory for this bird, some very interesting things come to light. It is migratory, living in New Mexico during its breeding season and then returning south. I found several territorial maps online, showing some suggestive boundaries for this bird.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Zone-tailed Hawk territory
Image

This bird's NM territory is primarily in the south with a interesting pocket zone up north in the Taos area. Most of its southern territory is in the southwest corner of the state with another pocket zone at the NM-Texas border east of El Paso.

More clues!!

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:26 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah everyone,

Although I haven't posted here in a while, I have by no means been idle! I spent the recent Labor Day holiday on a road trip with a friend to check out El Malpais and the Chain of Craters west of Albuquerque. For the full story, see my journal (stored in my Relto Library). A shorter synopsis is below:

[Reveal] Spoiler: Google satellite map showing the initial leg of our journey driving Highway 6 from Los Lunas up to Interstate 40
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: In this area south of I40 there are old volcanoes similar to those on the Albuquerque west mesa
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Just outside of Grants we can see the northern parts of the Malpais with volcanic basalt capping the distant mesa and newer lava flows in the foreground
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A map of El Malpais and the Chain of Craters to the west
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: As we drive south into El Malpais itself there are strangely shaped formations everywhere
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We stop for a short hike to view a natural arch
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: On the trail back I capture our shadow portrait
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Farther south the Chain of Craters side road veers to the northwest toward the old volcanoes
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: As we near the southernmost volcano the vegetation shifts from desert scrub to a pinion/cedar mix
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Partway up the 35-mile dirt road we find a volcanic outcrop in a meadow
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: At about two-thirds up the road swings back to the western edge of the Malpais volcanic flow
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We get back to the main road just as the storm clouds are getting very near
Image

Although El Malpais and the Chain of Craters weren't a good match, the early part of the trip between Los Lunas and I40 seemed promising. I will need to look into that area more carefully in the near future.

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 180 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: