Geo News: Structure and Origins of Yosemite's Glacial Granite Polish

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 16 November 2017


Geology News

Glaciers Granite Polish

Structure and Origins of Yosemite's Glacial Polish

Study reveals structure and origins of glacial polish on Yosemite's rocks,

Ok, this glacial polish may turn out to be a lot like a naturally created "jewell" or crystal structure creation process.

But instead of being created under the vast pressures at the center of the Earth or in a diamond-creation Labratory, this process may well be happening to the face of granite rock far under the surface of a vast Yosemite Glacier. It looks like this environment sets-up a creation process focuting the vast pressures necessary to fuse the minerals necessary to create and apply a, "clear, ultrathin, ultradurable" mineral coating onto the face of the glacial-cut granite.
This coating is created out of the slurry of crushed glacial debris flowing under the incredibly high pressures found at the bottom of a vast glacier. At the same time that this same material is providing a cutting, grinding, and lubrication medium under the glacier, it is also forming the clear coating of Yosemite's famous glacial "polish."

All of these processes are operating in a tiny gap between Yosemite's bedrock granite and the crushing flows of Yosemite's ancient massive glacial flows.

Again, we find another example of our Amazing Nature in Operation around us.

In many places in the Sierra I've noted how glacial polish looks like a clear coat of plush laquer sprayed onto a fine car's surface. Maybe it is, in a mineral manner of speaking.

So, what we've got under the glaciers, apparently, is a process where a vast (?) amount of mushy debris under the fantastic frozen pressures of a glacier is simultanously acting like a cutting and grinding medium while at the same time applying and coating the granite with a mineral "clear-coat," as the fricking glacier cuts its way down the mountain.


And this whole time I thought the glaciers just ground, cut & polished the granite. How naive. They actually created a mineral surface-coat for them. Amazing.

A lot of thing are happening along the bottom of a glacier.

High Sierra Glaciial Reference Material 



Geology News




November 2017 High Sierra General News


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