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Friday, 21 March 2014

Erratic delight


This is a photo of huge banks of moraine beyond the edge of a valley glacier near Sermilik Fjord in East Greenland.  I was idly looking at it when I realised it was one of the most splendid erratic photos I have ever seen.  Enlarge the photo with a click, to see what I mean........

I you look at the big bank of moraine in the centre of the photo, look just to the right of centre, and you will see a huge brown boulder embedded in the rubble.  Where did it come from?  Look again at the photo, in the middle distance, and you will see that whereas most of the rocks hereabouts are grey-coloured, there is a distinct cluster of hillocks where the rocks are bright brown in colour.  The big erratic boulder in question has clearly come from an outcrop of that brown rock further up the valley.....

The interesting thing is that almost all of the other rocks in this particular patch of moraine are grey-coloured.  Did the boulder fall onto the ice from the valley side, or was it entrained from an outcrop beneath the glacier surface by a process of glacial erosion?  I would never say that what has been going on here is random, because everything is in nature is explicable if we have the right fieldwork at our disposal, which here (sadly) we don't......

But this does illustrate a point I have been trying to make repeatedly on this blog.  Erratics do not always exist in continuous trains running from source points to final resting places.  And sometimes they can be found in glorious isolation, in quite unexpected places.....


3 comments:

TonyH said...

Superb illustration in colour showing the variations in erratics in this particular glacial landscape setting.

Axel Hansen said...

Hi

where exactly is this place, can you make a link to google earth so we can see where this wonderfull place is

BRIAN JOHN said...

Axel

Suggest you do a Google search -- Sermilik Fjord in Greenland. lots of other images as well......