Encore - Toroweap and Vulcan’s Throne

November 25, 2017

Toroweap and Vulcans Throne Alight c r1 copy (3)

Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: Bret Webster 
Summary Author: Bret Webster

March 2012 Viewer's Choice The photo above showing a dramatic view of Toroweap Point was taken from the north rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This is one of my favorite locations in the entire southwest U.S., but it’s fairly difficult to get to. The nearly 70 mi (113 km) dirt road becomes increasingly rough as the Grand Canyon National Park entrance is approached. Once inside the park, a number of cinder cones can be seen. The largest, Vulcan’s Throne, sits right on the edge of the 3,300 ft (1,006 m) deep inner gorge. Here the lava flowed from this cone right down into the canyon. One can’t help but imagine what the tumult, steam and noise must have been like when the lava flowed into the canyon and made a natural dam on the Colorado River. The remnants of that dam are still present as the infamous Lava Falls rapids -- one of the last rapids on the Colorado within the Grand Canyon. This shot was taken at sunset and happily the elements cooperated; a summer thundershower, with occasional lightning, was backlit by the setting Sun. Photo taken on July 5, 2011. [Revised November 2017]

Photo Details: Using the lightning trigger on my Canon 5D Mk II camera I was just fast enough to capture the main bolt but missed any leaders. This image is a high dynamic range shot with the range increased by superimposing three automatic bracketed images, separated by two exposure stops. Only the first image captured any part of the lightning stroke. Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Focal Length: 15mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.250 s (1/4); ISO equiv: 50;  Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Windows.