Elk Mountain, in the eastern Wichita Mountains
|Peak||Haley Peak (officially unnamed)|
|Elevation||2,481 ft (756 m)|
|Length||60 mi (97 km)northwest-southeast|
|Width||10 mi (16 km)|
|Age of rock||Cambrian, Pennsylvanian, Permian|
|Type of rock||granite, rhyolite, gabbro, conglomerate|
The Wichita Mountains are located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. 1,000 feet (305 m) of topographic relief in a region otherwise dominated by gently rolling grasslands.It is the principal relief system in the Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen, being the result of a failed continental rift. The mountains are a northwest-southeast trending series of rocky promontories, many capped by 540 million-year old granite. These were exposed and rounded by weathering during the Pennsylvanian & Permian Periods. The eastern end of the mountains offers
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
The Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen
The mountains are home to numerous working ranches and quarry operations, the state reformatory, recreational homes and campsites, and scenic parklands. Fort Sill, home of the U.S. Army Field Artillery School, occupies a large portion of the southeastern end of the mountains.
The Oklahoma State Reformatory is a medium-security facility with some maximum and minimum-security housing for adult male inmates. Located off of State Highway 9 in Granite, Oklahoma, the 10-acre (4.0 ha) facility has a maximum capacity of 1042 inmates. The medium-security area accommodates 799 prisoners, minimum-security area houses roughly 200, and the maximum-security area with about 43 inmates. The prison currently houses approximately 975 prisoners. The prison was established by an act of the legislature in 1909 and constructed through prison labor, housing its first inmate in 1910. The facility is well known for the significant roles women played in its foundation and governance, most notably having the first female warden administer an all-male prison in the nation.
Fort Sill, Oklahoma is a United States Army post north of Lawton, Oklahoma, about 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. It covers almost 94,000 acres (38,000 ha).
The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, a favorite for hikers and rock climbers in the region, is located adjacent to Cache, Medicine Park, Indiahoma, and historic Meers, and is a short drive from Lawton and Walters. Bison, elk and deer are protected on the 59,020-acre (23,880 ha) wildlife refuge. The refuge also manages a herd of longhorn cattle. A scenic highway traversing the park permits leisurely views of these and other fauna.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, located in southwestern Oklahoma near Lawton, has protected unique wildlife habitats since 1901 and is the oldest managed wildlife facility in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service system. Measuring about 59,020 acres (238.8 km2), the refuge hosts a great diversity of species: 806 plant species, 240 species of birds, 36 fish, and 64 reptiles and amphibians are present. The refuge's location in the geologically unique Wichita Mountains and its areas of undisturbed mixed grass prairie make it an important conservation area. The Wichitas are approximately 500 million years old.
Cache is a city in Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 2,796 at the 2010 census. It is an exurb included in the Lawton, Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the location of Star House, the home of the Comanche chief Quanah Parker, the major leader of the Quahadi Comanche in the years of Indian Wars and transition to reservation life.
Medicine Park is a town in Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States, situated in the Wichita Mountains near the entrance to the 60,000-acre (240 km2) Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Medicine Park has a long history as a vintage cobblestone resort town. Medicine Park is located near the city of Lawton and Fort Sill. It is an exurb, part of the Lawton Metropolitan Statistical Area. Many of the original structures are constructed of naturally formed cobblestones—these red granite cobblestones are unique to the Wichita Mountains. The population was 382 at the 2010 census.
Backcountry camping is available in the Charon Gardens Wilderness area.The park is home to a small number of popular fishing lakes. There are numerous trails for hiking. The Treasure Lake Job Corps site is located here. Additional points of interest are the refuge's visitors center, Holy City of the Wichita, Quanah Parker Lake & Dam, Lake Jed Johnson, and Lake Lawtonka.
A wildlife refuge, also known as a wildlife sanctuary, is a naturally occurring sanctuary, such as an island, that provides protection for wildlife species from hunting, predation, competition or poaching; it is a protected area, a geographic territory within which wildlife is protected. Refuges can preserve animals that are endangered.
Lake Jed Johnson, named for Jed Johnson (1888–1963), is third largest of thirteen small reservoirs in the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, located in southwestern Oklahoma. Lawton, Oklahoma, southeast of the lake and the fourth largest city in the state, is the nearest major population center. Smaller communities of Cache, Medicine Park and Meers lie north of the lake.
Lake Lawtonka is a lake in Comanche County in the state of Oklahoma in the United States.
Great Plains State Park is located near the geographic center of the Wichita Mountains, north of the town of Mountain Park.
Great Plains State Park is a 487-acre (1.97 km2) Oklahoma state park located in Kiowa County, Oklahoma. It is located near the city of Mountain Park, Oklahoma. Located south of Hobart off Hwy 183, Great Plains State Park is nestled between the Wichita Mountains and the Tom Steed Reservoir. The area offers water sports, boating, boat ramps, camping, RV parking, swimming beach, playground, picnic areas, cycling, mountain biking and hiking trails. The campground spans approximately 460 acres (1.9 km2) of park land with 56 RV hookups and 30 tent sites. RV sites consist of 14 modern water, sewer, and electric sites and 42 semi-modern sites with water and electric. Located on the shores of Tom Steed Reservoir, a large lake with 31 miles (50 km) of shoreline.
Quartz Mountain Nature Park and Arts Center is a noteworthy recreation area located north of the city of Altus.
Quartz Mountain Nature Park is located in southwest Oklahoma at the western end of the Wichita Mountains, 13 miles (21 km) east of Mangum, Oklahoma and 20 miles (32 km) north of Altus, Oklahoma. The nearest community is Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, about 9 miles (14 km) northeast of the park. It is operated by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The park began as a 158.3 acre tract adjacent to Lake Altus donated to the state by local residents, who had bought the land for $51.58. It was designated as Quartz Mountain State Park, one of the original seven Oklahoma State Parks designated in 1935. Additional land has been donated since then, and the park now encompasses 4,540 acres (18.4 km2). The park occupies land on the west side of Lake Altus-Lugert, which was originally built in 1927, then expanded in 1940 and renamed Lake Altus-Lugert. The park contains 4,284 acres (17.34 km2) of land and more than 6,000 acres (24 km2) of water.
At 2,464 ft (751 m) Mount Scott is the second highest mountain within the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge boundary. Mount Pinchot in the Special Use Area is 12 feet (4 m) taller. A paved road leads to the summit of Mount Scott, offering a stunning view of the granite promontories to the west, the wind farm on the Slick Hills to the north, the lakes to the south and east, Fort Sill, and Lawton. The highest peak in the Wichita Mountains (including areas outside the refuge) is Haley Peak, at 2,481 ft (756 m). Haley Peak (officially unnamed) is located on private property just outside the northwest corner of the refuge.
When the area was part of Indian reservations and therefore off-limits to non-Native Americans, the Wichita Mountains were rumored to contain rich gold deposits. When the area was first opened up for settlement, many prospectors staked mining claims, and towns were laid out to serve the presumed bonanzas, but no economic deposits were found. The gold boom was prolonged by some unscrupulous assayers who found gold in every sample, but the miners eventually gave up, leaving behind ghost towns such as Wildman, Oklahoma.
In simplest terms, the Wichita Mountains are rocky promontories and rounded hills made of red and black igneous rocks, light-colored sedimentary rocks, and boulder conglomerates. The Wichita Mountains were formed in four distinct geologic episodes following a failed continental rift.
The mountains themselves are Permian landforms covered and preserved by river-borne sediments in the Permian and partially excavated only in recent geological times. Exposure of these fossil mountains is greatest towards the southeast; much of the western part of the Permian range remains buried under sandstones and shales.
The geologic history of the region began with the deposition of late Precambrian to early Cambrian sandstones collectively known as the Tillman metasedimentary group.These sediments were intruded by a coarse mafic layered complex about 575 million years ago as the region began to rift apart in an aulacogen during breakup of the Neoproterozoic continent, Pannotia. The exposed portion of this unit, named the Glen Mountains Layered Complex, consists of gabbro, anorthosite and troctolite. These are the dark gray rocks found throughout the Raggedy Mountains, the central region of the wildlife refuge, and to the immediate north of the refuge.
Uplift and erosion followed, as the layered complex is uncomformably overlain by the extensive lava flows of the Carlton Rhyolite. mm orange-colored alkali feldspar crystals. Most of the rounded hills on Fort Sill are made of this rhyolite, including Medicine Bluffs. Additional exposure of the rhyolite is found in Blue Creek Canyon, where Oklahoma Highway 58 cuts through the Slick Hills. Tabular intrusions of granite and hydrous gabbro exploited the boundary between the layered complex and the rhyolites. The granites, collectively named the Wichita Granite Group, vary slightly in composition and texture. The granites form the peaks and highlands in the eastern Wichitas and the isolated peaks of the western Wichitas. Some are equigranular, others are porphyritic. The Mount Scott Granite is the most extensively exposed Wichita Granite. It forms the topographic feature from which it takes its name, and it is distributed throughout the northern half of the wildlife refuge. Dark rounded alkali feldspars, typically one centimeter or less in diameter, dominate this rock. SiO2 levels in this granite range from 72.8% to 75.8%.This is an brown-red to orange porphyritic rock with 5–10
Relatively small and compositionally distinct plutons, known as the Roosevelt Gabbros, are found in the eastern and central Wichita Mountains. Like the layered complex, these are dark rocks. Unlike the layered complex, they contain appreciable amounts of biotite, a mineral that forms in magmas with elevated dissolved water. One of these bodies, the Mount Sheridan Gabbro, is exposed in roadcuts at Meers and underlies the Mount Scott Granite on the north side of the wildlife refuge. Weathered gabbroic soils are thicker and support more vegetation than those generated on weathered granite, so the tree line on the north side of Mount Sheridan approximates the contact between the Mount Sheridan Gabbro and the Mount Scott Granite. Geologic relationships suggest that the granites and gabbros intruded at depths no greater than half a kilometer in the crust.Minor uplift ensued, and magmatism concluded with the intrusive emplacement of subvolcanic features: rhyolite and diabase dikes. These are poorly exposed, with the exception of a large diabase dike in the Mount Scott Granite revealed during the recent widening of Oklahoma State Highway 49, just west of Interstate 44. Following the cessation of magmatism, the region subsided and was inundated by a shallow sea, resulting in the deposition of detrital sediments followed by carbonates. The light-colored rocks exposed in the Slick Hills are lower Paleozoic marine sediments.
During the Pennsylvanian Period (330–290 million years ago) the region was subjected to intense pressure during the continental collision or orogeny which produced the Ouachita Mountains to the east. 20,000 feet (6,100 m) of local uplift occurred during this time.This resulted in faulting and folding striking along a WNW direction and includes the Arbuckle and Wichita Mountains of southern Oklahoma and the Amarillo Uplift of the Texas Panhandle. Up to
This uplift locally created rugged mountains reduced by erosion to their present state largely during the Pennslyvanian & Permian Periods. Extensive weathering produced the tors of the Charon Gardens region and the "river" of boulders that descends the west slope of Mount Scott. Likewise, weathering produced the bowling-ball sized boulders in the Permian-age Post Oak Conglomerate locally found in and around the mountains. In addition to outcrops of the conglomerate, the boulders are preserved in the distinctive rock buildings of Medicine Park. As the Permian progressed, river sediments buried the Wichita Mountains, preserving them from further weathering. Recent geological erosion has removed these sediments, excavating these once buried fossil landforms.
Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic rock, of felsic (silica-rich) composition (typically > 69% SiO2 – see the TAS classification). It may have any texture from glassy to aphanitic to porphyritic. The mineral assemblage is usually quartz, sanidine and plagioclase (in a ratio > 2:1 – see the QAPF diagram). Biotite and hornblende are common accessory minerals. It is the extrusive equivalent to granite.
The Llano uplift is a low geologic dome that is about 90 miles (140 km) in diameter. It consists of an island-like exposure of Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks surrounded by outcrops of Paleozoic and Cretaceous sedimentary strata. At their widest, the exposed Precambrian rocks extend about 65 miles (105 km) westward from the valley of the Colorado River and beneath a broad, gentle topographic basin drained by the Llano River. The subdued topographic basin is underlain by Precambrian rocks and bordered by a discontinuous rim of flat-topped hills. These hills are the dissected edge of the Edwards Plateau, which consist of overlying Cretaceous sedimentary strata. Within this basin and along its margin are down-faulted blocks and erosional remnants of Paleozoic strata which form prominent hills.
The St. Francois Mountains in southeast Missouri are a mountain range of Precambrian igneous mountains rising over the Ozark Plateau. This range is one of the oldest exposures of igneous rock in North America. The name of the range is spelled out as Saint Francois Mountains in official GNIS sources, but it is sometimes misspelled in use as St. Francis Mountains to match the anglicized pronunciation of both the range and St. Francois County.
An aulacogen is a failed arm of a triple junction. Aulacogens are a part of plate tectonics where oceanic and continental crust is continuously being created, destroyed, and rearranged on the Earth’s surface. Specifically, aulacogens are a rift zone, where new crust is formed, that is no longer active.
The Arbuckle Mountains are an ancient mountain range in south-central Oklahoma in the United States. They lie in Murray, Carter, Pontotoc, and Johnston counties. The granite rocks of the Arbuckles date back to the Precambrian Eon some 1.4 billion years ago which were overlain by rhyolites during the Cambrian Period. The range reaches a height of 1,412 feet above sea level. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):
The Arbuckles contain the most diverse suite of mineral resources in Oklahoma: limestone, dolomite, glass sand, granite, sand and gravel, shale, cement, iron ore, lead, zinc, tar sands, and oil and gas; all these minerals are, or have been, produced commercially.
Texas contains a great variety of geologic settings. The state's stratigraphy has been largely influenced by marine transgressive-regressive cycles during the Phanerozoic, with a lesser but still significant contribution from late Cenozoic tectonic activity, as well as the remnants of a Paleozoic mountain range.
The Solitario is a large geologic formation in Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas. When viewed from above, it suggests an impact crater; though it is actually the eroded remains of a laccolith. The approximate center of the Solitario is located 56.8 km (35.3 mi) east southeast of Presidio, Texas, just west of the line dividing Brewster County, Texas and Presidio County, Texas. The formation covers a circular area of approximately 135 km2 (52 sq mi). The geology of the Solitario is complex. In 1988 the state of Texas purchased the property containing the Solitario and created Big Bend Ranch State Park.
The Geology of Pennsylvania consists of six distinct physiographic provinces, three of which are subdivided into different sections. Each province has its own economic advantages and geologic hazards and plays an important role in shaping everyday life in the state. They are: the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province, the Piedmont Province, the New England Province, the Ridge and Valley Province, the Appalachian Plateau Province, and the Central Lowlands Province.
The Geology of Kansas encompasses the geologic history of the US state of Kansas and the present-day rock and soil that is exposed there. Rock that crops out in Kansas was formed during the Phanerozoic eon, which consists of three geologic eras: the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Paleozoic rocks at the surface in Kansas are primarily from the Mississippian, Pennsylvanian and Permian periods.
West Virginia's geologic history stretches back into the Precambrian, and includes several periods of mountain building and erosion. At times, much of what is now West Virginia was covered by swamps, marshlands, and shallow seas, accounting for the wide variety of sedimentary rocks found in the state, as well as its wealth of coal and natural gas deposits. West Virginia has had no active volcanism for hundreds of millions of years, and does not experience large earthquakes, although smaller tremors are associated with the Rome Trough, which passes through the western part of the state.
The geology of Alderney includes similarities in its rock to the neighbouring Normandy and Guernsey. Although Alderney is only five kilometers long, it has a geological history spanning half of the life of the earth. It is part of the Armorican Massif.
The main points that are discussed in the geology of Iran include the study of the geological and structural units or zones; stratigraphy; magmatism and igneous rocks; ophiolite series and ultramafic rocks; and orogenic events in Iran.
The geology of Niger comprises very ancient igneous and metamorphic crystalline basement rocks in the west, more than 2.2 billion years old formed in the late Archean and Proterozoic eons of the Precambrian. The Volta Basin, Air Massif and the Iullemeden Basin began to form in the Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic, along with numerous ring complexes, as the region experienced events such as glaciation and the Pan-African orogeny. Today, Niger has extensive mineral resources due to complex mineralization and laterite weathering including uranium, molybdenum, iron, coal, silver, nickel, cobalt and other resources.
The geology of Arizona began to form in the Precambrian. Igneous and metamorphic crystalline basement rock may have been much older, but was overwritten during the Yavapai and Mazatzal orogenies in the Proterozoic. The Grenville orogeny to the east caused Arizona to fill with sediments, shedding into a shallow sea. Limestone formed in the sea was metamorphosed by mafic intrusions. The Great Unconformity is a famous gap in the stratigraphic record, as Arizona experienced 900 million years of terrestrial conditions, except in isolated basins. The region oscillated between terrestrial and shallow ocean conditions during the Paleozoic as multi-cellular life became common and three major orogenies to the east shed sediments before North America became part of the supercontinent Pangaea. The breakup of Pangaea was accompanied by the subduction of the Farallon Plate, which drove volcanism during the Nevadan orogeny and the Sevier orogeny in the Mesozoic, which covered much of Arizona in volcanic debris and sediments. The Mid-Tertiary ignimbrite flare-up created smaller mountain ranges with extensive ash and lava in the Cenozoic, followed by the sinking of the Farallon slab in the mantle throughout the past 14 million years, which has created the Basin and Range Province. Arizona has extensive mineralization in veins, due to hydrothermal fluids and is notable for copper-gold porphyry, lead, zinc, rare minerals formed from copper enrichment and evaporites among other resources.
The geology of Laos includes poorly defined oldest rocks. Marine conditions persisted for much of the Paleozoic and parts of the Mesozoic, followed by periods of uplift and erosion. The country has extensive salt, gypsum and potash, but very little hydrocarbons and limited base metals.
The geology of Turkmenistan includes two different geological provinces: the Karakum, or South Turan Platform, and the Alpine Orogen.
The geology of Croatia includes Precambrian rocks, covered over by younger sedimentary rocks and deformed or superimposed by tectonic activity.
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