Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Polar Maritime

Sliding Rocks on Racetrack Playa: First Observation of Rocks in Motion.

Recommended Posts

Abstract

 

The engraved trails of rocks on the nearly flat, dry mud surface of Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, have excited speculation about the movement mechanism since the 1940s. Rock movement has been variously attributed to high winds, liquid water, ice, or ice flotation, but has not been previously observed in action. We recorded the first direct scientific observation of rock movements using GPS-instrumented rocks and photography, in conjunction with a weather station and time-lapse cameras. The largest observed rock movement involved >60 rocks on December 20, 2013 and some instrumented rocks moved up to 224 m between December 2013 and January 2014 in multiple move events. In contrast with previous hypotheses of powerful winds or thick ice floating rocks off the playa surface, the process of rock movement that we have observed occurs when the thin, 3 to 6 mm, “windowpane†ice sheet covering the playa pool begins to melt in late morning sun and breaks up under light winds of ~4–5 m/s. Floating ice panels 10 s of meters in size push multiple rocks at low speeds of 2–5 m/min. along trajectories determined by the direction and velocity of the wind as well as that of the water flowing under the ice.

 

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0105948

Edited by Polar Maritime
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Warm run-up to Easter but a destabilising low means sunshine and showers at the weekend

    High pressure is keeping our weather settled at the moment, and in the main it'll stay that way until the end of the week. But with low pressure helping to destabilise the atmosphere this weekend, the sunshine will be joined by some heavy showers. Read the full update here

    Netweather forecasts
    Netweather forecasts
    Latest weather updates from Netweather

    Lockdown Gardening - Top Tips for New Gardeners

    Lockdown Gardening - Top Tips for New Gardeners - Blog by Jenny Bell WWW.NETWEATHER.TV In the first in a regular series of gardening articles, Jenny Bell gives her top tips for new gardeners who are maybe taking their first gardening steps during the lockdown.  

    Netweather forecasts
    Netweather forecasts
    Latest weather updates from Netweather
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...