The scientific tourist #179 — glacial polish

Seen just downhill from the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, a really nice example of glacial polish:

Glacial polish

Glaciers truly are nature’s belt-sanders, with rocks they pick up becoming part of the glacier’s bearing surface, and subsequently helping grind more rock down. Mendenhall is one of the handier places to see their work first-hand — at least, it’s the nearest glacier (12 miles) to a major city (Juneau, Alaska) that I’m aware of. That texture you see in the rock comes from the tracks made by uncountable pieces of rock being scraped over this rock face over thousands of years.

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