Monday, August 13, 2012

Counter Theory

Burlington, Vermont
44 28.25 N 073 12.78 W

Mike's counter to my Ferris Rock theory continues to intrigue.  I got the note below from reader Ken.

Did you know that geologists believe that Mt. Monadnock near Peterboro and Jaffrey, NH was once the second highest mountain in the world?  It was ground down. It sounds like your friend has the right idea on Ferris Rock though.

If I understand Mike's theory, he says that a spire in a canyon might have escaped scouring by the glaciers.  Think of the Grand Canyon with all it's internal spires.  Even if the canyon were ground down from the top, some of the deepest parts might survive unchanged.  Fascinating.  

Here is a pictorial summary of the ideas.

Picture a mountainous region.

The region is covered by glaciers.

The glaciers grind down the mountains forming a U-shaped valley or fjord.

Next picture a region with a deep canyon and spires in the canyon.

As before a U-shaped valley or fjord is formed but the canyon and spire survive.

All that is interesting, but the other theory that features like Ferris Rock could be cruise-ship-sized boulders dropped off by the glacier is still viable. I'm going to research this question more deeply here in Burlington.  There is the Vermont State Geologist, the Geology Department at UVM, and the Lake Champlain Eco Center as local resources. 

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