Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-07-15
  • Publisher: Mountain Pr
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Few places in the nation rival Yosemite National Park for vertigo-inducing cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and stunning panoramic views of granite peaks. Many of the features that visitors find most tantalizing about Yosemite have unique and compelling geologic storiestales that continue to unfold today in vivid, often destructive ways. While visiting these more than twenty-seven amazing sites, you'll discover why many of Yosemite's domes shed rock shells like onion layers, what happens when a volcano erupts under a glacial lake, and why rocks seem to be almost continually tumbling from the region's cliffs. With a multitude of colorful photos and illustrations, and prose tooled for the lay reader, Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park will help you read the landscape the way a geologist does.

Author Biography

Allen Glazner is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native Californian, he holds a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles and has done research in the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert since his undergraduate days at Pomona College.Greg Stock was born and raised in the Sierra Nevada just north of Yosemite, and he has explored the region by climbing on and caving in the region's unique geology. These interests led him to pursue a bachelor's degree in geology at Humboldt State University and a PhD in earth science at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he studied the uplift and erosion of the Sierra Nevada. Greg is presently Yosemite National Park's first-ever park geologist. He lives in Yosemite Valley with his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Autumn.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
Yosemite's Geologic Backdropp. 1
How Glaciers Work and How They Shaped Yosemitep. 10
What is a Glacier?p. 11
How Glaciers Erodep. 16
Glacial Modification of Landscapesp. 18
What Glaciers Leave Behindp. 22
History of Glaciers in Yosemitep. 24
Modern Glaciersp. 29
Rivers and Streams in Yosemitep. 30
Geologic Study of Yosemitep. 36
Bones of the Earth: Granite, Granodiorite, and the Bedrock of Yosemitep. 41
Vertical Exposure: The Geology of Yosemite Climbingp. 57
Pushed Off a Cliff: The Origin of Yosemite Fallsp. 71
Giant Steps: Vernal and Nevada Fallsp. 77
Free-Falling Granite: The 1996 Happy Isles Rockfall and its Unusual Air Blastp. 85
That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles: The 1982 Cookie Cliff Rockslidep. 95
The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Earthquakes and Rock Avalanches in Yosemite Valleyp. 103
How Water Sculpts Yosemite: The Flood of 1997p. 111
A Natural Dam Across Yosemite Valley: The El Capitan Morainep. 121
Cracks in the Earth: The Fissures of Taft Pointp. 131
Half a Dome is Better Than None: Sentinel Dome and Half Domep. 139
The Earth as an Onion: Exfoliation Jointsp. 147
The Ice Went Thataway!: The Shaping of Pothole Domep. 155
Exotic Erratics: Glacially Transported Boulders at Olmsted Pointp. 165
Why are there Trees Poking Out of Tenaya Lake? The Great Medieval Megadroughtp. 171
Soda Springs: That Fizzy Taste Carries a Geochemical Surprisep. 181
Runaway Rocks: Metamorphic Rocks at May Lakep. 187
Root of an Ancient Volcano: Little Devils Postpilep. 195
Tombstone Rocks, Slate, and Greenstone: Rocks of the Western Approachesp. 205
Inverted Landscape: The Stanislaus Table Mountain Lava Flowp. 217
Eocene Erosion: Ancient, Weathered Landscapes of the Sierra Nevadap. 225
An Ancient, Ice-Bound Sea: Mono Lake and Ancestral Lake Russellp. 235
An Underwater Volcano: Mono Lake's Black Pointp. 247
Evidence of the Ice Ages: Glacial Deposits in and Around Lee Vining Canyonp. 255
Dreams of Silver: The Mines of Bennettville and Dana Villagep. 267
Glossaryp. 274
Sources of More Informationp. 282
Indexp. 289
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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