The National Park Is Truly One Of America 's Greatest Gems

1184 Words May 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
Yosemite National Park is truly one of America’s greatest gems. Its beauty and majesty have been formed over hundreds of millions of years through numerous geological events and processes. Yosemite has long been a popular topic for research for geologists, as the geological processes that formed it are of great interest. Yosemite has an interesting geological history, as many different processes are responsible for its features today. About 500 million years ago, the Pacific plate started to subduct under the North American plate, causing melting due to the water in the subducting oceanic plate (Huber, 1987). These melting rocks rose and intruded into other rocks. The rise of the magma caused the uplifting of the range that we today call the Sierra Nevadas. The period that followed was marked by extensive volcanism, as the uplifting magma created many volcanoes in the region. These volcanoes helped provide the molten material for what would become the basis for Yosemite’s rocks (Huber, 1987). Over time the land continued uplifting and is still rising today. About 2-3 million years ago, as the range rose even more and the earth was cooler, glaciers formed in Yosemite (Becker, Tikoff, , 2014). These glaciers helped carve out Yosemite Valley and left lasting marks on Yosemite’s topography. In fact, most lakes in Yosemite today were formed from former glacial troughs that filled with water. Today, Yosemite is the culmination of all these geological events and processes,…
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