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

1184 Words5 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…show more content…
Its rocks, largely granitic in composition are a product of the volcanism that occurred in the area during the subduction of the Pacific plate. Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are quite rare in Yosemite, as the igneous granite dominates the landscape. (Huber, 1987). There are many different types of granite in Yosemite and the different granitic formations are called ‘suites’. The type of granite depends on what type of granitic magma intruded up into the rocks when the magma rose after the subduction of the Pacific plate (Huber, 1987). There is a large amount of glacial till and volcanic rocks in the Northeastern corner of the park, and pockets of metamorphic rock in the Southeastern and Southwestern parts, and most other rocks in the park are some sort of granite (Huber, 1987). Overall, the nature of Yosemite’s rocks are a product of the various geological processes that formed them. Water has also been important in forming the park’s rock formations, cutting through canyons and eroding great faces of rock. When Yosemite started to uplift, the gradient of the streams increased as the streams cut deeper and deeper into the canyon (Huber, 1987). Over time, Yosemite’s streams have eroded the rocks away, but because granite is not very permeable, once the granitic core of the Sierra Nevadas was exposed, erosion slowed down. The erosion
Open Document