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Rock Climbing Photos : Misc : Rocks on the Racetrack 2

Rocks on the Racetrack 2

Rocks on the Racetrack 2

This is another picture of the 'moving' rocks on the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley NP. You can see the tracks in front of the rocks on the left but they are faint, compared to those seen in other pictures. The tracks weather over time and become less pronounced. It is thought that the rocks move during fierce winter storms and are 'pushed' by high winds. When the playa is wet, it becomes quite slippery. Ice forms around the rocks and may crystallize into large sheets than contain the rocks. The ice sheets drift in high winds and drag the rocks across the playa surface. This explains the parallel nature of the tracks of adjacent rocks. Other tracks may diverge and follow separate paths; this may be due to ice sheet breakup and different directions of movement of the individual sheets. Some believe that ice sheets are not necessary but no one has ever witnessed the movement of the rocks so we don’t know for sure….

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