Mima Mounds Topography

This was taken at a local preserve where I’ve been volunteering the last twenty odd years. The Mima Mounds formation is interesting and there’s still a ton of debate over how they’re formed. The type site is a state natural area and it about 3 miles north of me whereas this site is directly south but is only open to the public for Prairie Appreciation Day (which we unfortunately had to cancel this year). We’re doing a “virtual” prairie appreciation on our website, so I’ve been culling my files for appropriate images and thought this one also fit this weeks challenge.

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Pertinent technical details or techniques:

This is a three image stack taken on may 1st 2014 and stacked this morning. After stacking it was processed in LR & PS CC. I reduced the exposure a trifle, brought down the highlights to bring that bright sky down a bit, and removed a tree in the middle ground that just ruined the composition. For reference, the typical mound here is roughly 20-25 feet in diameter and 4-5 feet tall.

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Dennis: Beautiful light and the ground fog is a special treat. Goes to show that it doesn’t take a grand scene to produce a superb image. :+1: :+1:>=))>

I like the flowers amidst the layers. The sky is a bit featureless but there is little to be done about that.

Very interesting shot, Dennis - I would love to know what one or two of the theories are about the formation. The mounds remind me of some I’ve seen in New Zealand, which were definitely caused by volcanic action ( something to do with lava flow if I remember correctly ! ). As to the shot, I like the misty light very much and the scattering of flowers in the fg with the warm light playing on the grasses.

Dennis the mist adds well to showing of all of the mounds. The wildflowers are a great addition. This is a fine prairie morning scene.

That’s a neat shot Dennis; I like how you started with the top of one mound in the foreground, which leads my eyes to the 2nd and 3rd. The sprinkling of wildflowers and ground fog add interest, as well as the low tree line in the background. I would probably like to minimize the gray sky a little more because it doesn’t add much to the overall scene.
Can you tell us where this is? I think everyone should give a general location for their photos because I’m always wondering where that beautiful place is. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Native American shell mounds found in FL.

Hi @Jim_Lockhart and @Ian_Wolfenden . The classic Mima Mounds formations are located near Littlerock, Washington about 10 miles south of Olympia. They’re scattered around the area south and east of Puget Sound here. There are other examples in widely scattered areas around the world.

Theories of origin include: Melting pockets in glaciers that dumped mounds of debris, Earthquakes causing standing waves in the then very soggy runoff area of the glaciers, River formations formed when a glacial lake burst its barrier and flooded through this area, and gophers competing for scarce soil in the gravelly terrain left by the receding glaciers. All of these theories have some merit and some faults and none of them can account for all of the worldwide examples of the formation.