Troublesome Creek, Kachemak Bay

Troublesome Creek, Kachemak Bay

by | Sep 9, 2019

Troublesome Creek is a stream on the Kenai Peninsula that flows west for 3.5 miles (5.5 km), where it is joined by Travers Creek, and then flows another 0.5 miles (800 m) through Mutnaia Gulch to the northwest shore of Kachemak Bay, about 3.5 miles (5.5 km) south of Anchor Point and 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Homer, Alaska. The local name for Travers Creek was first reported by R.W. Stone in 1904, and both creeks were published on maps by the U.S. Geological Survey in the 1950s. Mutnaia Gulch is a ravine originally named “Mutnaya”, meaning “muddy”, in 1840 by I.G. Wosnesenski.

Much of the Cook Inlet area is underlain by a thick and complex sequence of nonmarine sedimentary rocks of the Miocene Epoch (5.3–23 million years before present). The Kenai Formation is a rock stratum approximately 2,000 feet (600 m) thick that is exposed in coastal bluffs and in steep gullies and canyons along the north shore of Kachemak Bay from Troublesome Creek past the town of Homer to Fritz Creek. These rocks are of considerable economic importance because they contain coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

Mutnaia Gulch at the mouth of Troublesome Creek is the site of a series of paleobotanical studies of plant material found in the exposed Kenai Formation. Paleobotany is the branch of biology dealing with the recovery and identification of plant remains from geological contexts and their use for the biological reconstruction of past environments and the evolutionary history of plants, with a bearing upon the evolution of life in general. For example, the nonmarine sedimentary rocks exposed at Multania Gulch contain abundant fossil plants including tree stumps, wood fragments, wood grain, and amber that were likely derived from a forested swamp. Pollen and spore assemblages suggest that the warm-temperate forests of that time consisted mostly of tropical hardwoods, thus providing evidence of tectonic movement of crustal terranes from warmer equatorial latitudes. Read more here and here. Explore more of Troublesome Creek here:

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This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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