Friday, December 23, 2011

Google Earth images of Western PA rock piles

by Kathy K. (aka: theseventhgeneration)
This is a follow up to the Tuesday, December 20, 2011 post "Western PA rock pile". Tim asked, in what direction was the first photo taken?

I hope reader Bill C. doesn't mind my taking the liberty to look this site up on Google Earth, but in light of the mining activity, I think it's imperative that this site is looked at seriously, before it is destroyed.

First, a look at the entire site, aerial view. The rock shelter is in the center of the strip mine. I marked the end of the tree line because it is so clearly visible in Bill's first photo. Note, this image is faced due north (compass in upper right).Next, a close up of the rock pile site between Evans Hill and the rock shelter (looking southwest). I believe rock pile #5 is the one with the standing stone, although I would need Bill C. to confirm this. I have not been out to this site.Last, Google Earth's simulation of the sunset on the 2011 Winter Solstice. The sun passes right over Evans Hill.There are more photos at Laurel Hill Walks, including some other structures at this site which look to be in danger from mining.

7 comments :

pwax said...

Excellent demonstration with Google Earth.

Anonymous said...

Hi,this is Bill C., I live just a few miles from this site and last visited it this past Sunday. I've been wanting to go to this site every day this week but the cloud cover has been very heavy. I hope the clouds will part later today or Saturday,yes I might be there Christmas eve. From data I've collected from the NOAA solar calculator the sun breaks the vertical plane of the middle of Evans Hill 3:53pm local time on Dec. 22nd,exactly one hour before sunset. What i don't know is the height of the sun at that time. If someone could run that simulation and get back to me that would be great,I don't know if Google earth takes into account for the tree line above that round top. This field is in no danger of being strip mined,only the area to the west of the protected shelter is going to be mined,it's the rectangular area on the map that has been clear cut and as I said west of the protected shelter that is under the gun to be mined.

Anonymous said...

yes the no. 5 rock pile there in the photo is the one with the standing stone and the one I used to make the calculations with. Bill C.

theseventhgeneration said...

Is there a stone wall that runs along that rectangular clear cut area? Especially along the southern edge of the clear cut because it seems to line up with the rock shelter on 3/21, according to Google Earth images. I don't think Google Earth accounts for the tree line. I also think the accuracy of Google Earth is distorted because the image comes out as if you are floating about 10 feet off the ground (this is a rough guess based on USGS topo compared to the Google Earth image altitude). First hand accounts are, of course, much better than simulations, but I find it's great for looking at sites in a general sense. It also keeps me looking at the horizon whenever I'm at a site, even if it's not clearly visible from a structure, I try to move around until I can see the horizon and take a picture.

Anonymous said...

Bill C. again...my thought on the purpose of this rock pile could be to place the sun exactly on top of knoll on the winter solstice rather then an alignment at "apparent sunset" which is just off to the right of the knoll at 4:53pm local time. I understand the concept of the solstice meaning of "standing still" what I would also like to know is how many more days these alignments will remain accurate enough to draw conclusions on whether this site is something other then accidental occurrences?

Anonymous said...

yes there is a stone wall at that location,Laurel hill walks and I photographed it on our visit there last month. Here's the photo link.This wall is from a farm that bounders are clearly seen on this map and is seen as it existed on an old 1939 aerial photograph I have of the area.... http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll179/GeoCacheBilly/StoneFenceEvansHillBBB11-25-11.jpg

Norman said...

Where is there a photo of Mound 5 with a standing stone?