Crater Lake can’t hide its bottom
July 31, 2000
Most people already know the beauty of Crater Lake from the surface. Its steep walls and blue waters are a trademark site in Oregon.
But it’s what’s under water that has scientists really excited now, KOIN 6 News reports. Scientists want to know what the lake looks like nearly 2,000 feet beneath the surface.
The spectacle of a helicopter lowering a boat called the “Surf Surveyor” into Crater Lake last week caught everyone’s attention. But now, this science vessel will work hours on end for the next few days using brand-new sonar technology called multi-beam mapping, scanning the mysterious bottoms of one of the world’s deepest lakes.
But what are they finding?
The finished product looks like a map of Mars’ surface, but in fact, it’s the floor of the lake in amazing detail. The survey will provide detail never seen before, and within a week, the information will be offered to the public online.
“(Web site visitors) are going to see Crater Lake without any water in it,” marine geologist Jim Gardner told KOIN. “We have the technology to see from a
biological and technological point of view. We find the unexpected features that surprise us.
People will know how caldera, as one of the bottom formations is called, form and evolve. They’ll know more about why it’s here and see what they can’t see with their own eyes.
The survey crew will crisscross the lake 200 times. It’s a painstaking effort, KOIjn reports, but it’s a far cry from basic sonar used to try and answer those
same questions 40 years ago.
“This is state of the art, most advance around,” said U.S. Park Service spokesman Mac Brock.
Just six months ago, the technology didn’t exist. It’s just been devised, and the crew didn’t waste any time coming to Crater Lake to answer age-old questions about what lies below.