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Geology of the National Parks


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Dungeness River

STOP 2: Royal Basin

Several large creeks in the upper Royal Creek area issue from underground channels. They are simply normal surface streams that flow more easily under large permeable accumulations of basalt blocks such as in talus or landslides (fig. FT4).

Royal Basin
Fig. FT 4. Royal Basin. Royal Lake is in the foreground, and beyond it, a waterfall issues from coarse talus. Mount Deception, center backgound, rises above the defile leading to Surprise Pass to the right off the photo.

The cirque at the head of Royal Creek is a delightful area of glacier-carved basins and polished knobs. Ancient terminal moraines are conspicuous in many places, especially below the small dying glacier at the east face of Mount Deception. Royal Lake is a tarn, that is, a lake occupying a glacier-carved depression. There may well have been more lakes in the basin at one time, but they have turned into meadows as they filled with sediment.

On to Stop 3. Surprise Pass

Material in this site has been adapted from Guide to the Geology of Olympic National Park by Rowland W. Tabor, of the USGS. It is published by The Northwest Interpretive Association, Seattle.

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