Eroded glacial rock formation

Eroded glacial rock formation

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Credit: MICHAEL SZOENYI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eroded glacial rock formation. Boulder (lower right) balanced on top of a column of moraine rock. This is part of the Pyramides d'Euseigne, in the Herens valley, Valais, Switzerland. The rocks are what is left of a large deposit of moraine (ground-up rock debris, lighter rock) and boulders (darker colour) left behind by a glacier retreating at the end of the last Ice Age some 10,000 years ago. The moraine consolidated into a concrete-like mix, but most of it has eroded away, except where it is protected by the more resistant rock of a boulder. The three columns at right have lost their boulders, and will be eroded more swiftly than the column that is still protected.

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Keywords: alpine, alps, boulder, column, concrete moraine, earth science, earthquakes, eroded, erosion, erratic, europe, european, euseigne, euseigne pyramids, four, geological, geology, geomorphology, glacial, glaciation, herens valley, ice age, landmark, monument, moraine, mountain, nature, physical geography, precariously balanced rock, protected, pyramides d'euseigne, quartet, rhone glacier, rock, rock formation, rocks, rocky, seismology, swiss, switzerland, tourist attraction, unprotected, valais

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