Cascadia is a sculptural interpretation of the Basaltic Lava flows
I noticed this watery sculpture in a park at Seattle's International District. There was steam on the water that I thought this was a natural hot spring. The etched metal plate nearby describes this stone fountain as "Cascadia: Garden of Vessels"---a sculptural interpretation of the basaltic lava flows by Seattle artist, John Hoge. This sculpture references the cataclysmic events that shaped the stark landscape of central and southeastern Washington. The basalt formations in this region date to the Miocene Period, beginning about 17 million years ago and continuing over the period of 11 million years. During this time, about 300 lava flows blanketed the region, emerging from giant fissures near the Idaho/Washington border. At the end of the last Pleistocene glacial advance---17 thousand years ago---a monumental ice dam in Montana failed, unleashing a series of floods that scoured the landscape until only basalt formations remain. For Cascadia, the artist selected massive, four-to-six-sided columns as well as smaller "pillow" basalts. Leaving their shapes largely intact, Hoge emphasized the intrinsic beauty of the rocks by polishing selected planes. Cascadia captures the energy and form of the region's beautiful volcanic past.