Three Sisters and Virga

October 25, 2007


Provided by: Alan Beeler
Summary authors & editors: Alan Beeler

The photo above shows the Three Sisters volcanoes of the Oregon Cascades, individually named Hope, Faith and Charity, from north to south (north is on the right). Their elevations are 10,085 ft (3,074 m) 10,047 ft (3,062 m), and 10,358 ft (3,157 m), respectively. North Sister is a shield volcano, whereas middle and south are stratovolcanoes. The foreground volcano, Broken Top, also a stratovolcano, is easily distinguished from the other three by its (you guessed it) broken top.

This volcano cluster is photographed from the rim of another Oregon shield volcano; 7,984 ft (2,434 m) high Newberry Volcano. At some 40 miles (64 km) distant, the sunbathed volcano cluster is seen as they would appear from about ten miles through the use of a 380 mm equivalent lens. About halfway between the camera’s vantage point and the volcanoes, an ominous storm can be seen above the high desert in the lee of the Cascades. However, like much of the precipitation above the Oregon High Desert, it evaporates as virga before reaching the ground. Photo taken on July 6, 2007.

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