Death Valley,California – Giant boulders in the desert look as though their moving all on their own! But could weird weather be behind these roving rocks

Source: www.youtube.com

Since the video above was created, the mystery has been solved.  On very rare occasions, when it rains in the region, water will accumulate in the playa (discovermagazine.com).  If the wind is powerful and consistent enough, the wind will push the panels of ice against these rocks and over time, the ice floes will push these rocks, leaving behind distinctive trails (latimes.com). This perfect combination of water, wind, ice and heat creates a remarkable signature on the landscape (livescience.com).  The video in this article (weather.com) nicely explains how the non-aerodynamic rocks of Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa move, leaving behind their trail in the hot desert.  Numerous attempts using GPS receivers (NatGeo.com) and good ol’ fashioned observations have been made, but observing ice in Death Valley is so rare that no one had ever seen it until now (phys.org).  

 

Tags: physical, geomorphology, landforms, desertlandscape.

Advertisements