Saturday, July 24, 2010

Video: Yosemite rock fall

Since glaciers retreated around fifteen thousand years ago, rock fall has been the major force of change in Yosemite Valley.

Below is the latest video from Yosemite National Park. As part of a series known as Yosemite Nature Notes, the video chronicles the role of rock fall in the evolution of the famous granite walls that dominate Yosemite Valley.

It features a cliff-side interview with a rappelling park geologist, and some amazing rock fall footage that was captured by a passing tourist. That same tourist revisits the slide area the following year and compares what he saw in his view finder to the actual rocks at the slide area. Pretty amazing.

I've been hiking in Colorado on a couple different occasions when we heard the loud crack of rock hitting the ground below a cliff face. It's kind of a frightening sound. Fortunately we were far enough away to be in no danger on those occasions.

Although you may not realize it, the Great Smoky Mountains is not immune to rock slides. In 1951 Mt. Leconte experienced a massive debris slide after a cloudburst dropped 4 inches of rain in just one hour. The series of slides created the large V-slash on the south side of the mountain.

Enjoy the video:

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1 comment:

Daniel Ewert said...

I'm glad no one was hurt. Must have been exciting to see!