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gem icon Rock Glacier [Suggest Edits]

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Description

The glacier is a remnant from the past, telling of a much different climate in a region that is now a desert. The Pleistocene (approx. 3 million to 10,000 years ago) was a time of advancing glaciers alternating with warm, dry inter-glacial periods. Continental ice sheets lay to the north of the Great Basin region. Alpine glaciers sculpted some of the mountain ranges within the Great Basin, such as the South Snake Range in Great Basin National Park.

During the last glacial period, glaciers moved down to as low as 9,200 feet. The climate was an average 8 degrees (F) cooler than today. But climate changes that began with the Holocene period (10,000 years ago) rapidly warmed the region, melting the continental glaciers to the north, and the individual alpine glaciers within the region. The Wheeler Peak Glacier is the last alpine glacier to survive. With continued warming predicted, it is likely the glacier will disappear in as little as 20 years.

Short Hike: ~1.7 miles on the The Bristlecone/Glacier Trail.

Gem Type: Geologic Feature

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Shared by WordOnAdventure iG on Jan 15, 2016. All Page Views: 1,007. Last Month: 12.