Polished by Ice

Pothole Dome, in Tuolumne Meadows, is a playground for the amateur or professional geomorphologist. So many glacial features are easy to find here, safe to get to, and surrounded by the sublime landscape of Yosemite’s high country.

One of my favorite features is glacial polish. Like a huge block of sandpaper, moving slowly, with great force, for thousands of years, the glacial ice rubbed gravel, sand, and silt along the surface of the dome until it was polished smooth. Much of that polish has broken and weathered away now, so it’s a treat to find an extended patch. Morning, with the sun low in the southeast, is the best time to catch bright reflections here.

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Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2011 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.

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About Tim Messick

Photographer, cartographer, and botanist/naturalist. Home is in Davis, California. Home-away-from-home is the eastern Sierra Nevada. Compiling a flora of the Bodie Hills.
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2 Responses to Polished by Ice

  1. Greg says:

    Nice exposure control; thanks for the idea! I usually expose for trees, sky, etc., and as a result the granite always comes out blindingly white and featureless.

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