Sculpting an Icon: The 100 Million Year History of Yosemite’s Half Dome

Half Dome is a iconic granite rock formation located in Yosemite National Park in California. It is known for its distinctive shape and towering height, and it is a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers. But how was Half Dome formed?

Half Dome is made up of granite, a type of rock that forms when molten magma cools and solidifies deep within the Earth’s crust. The granite that makes up Half Dome is thought to have formed about 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period.

As the granite cooled and solidified, it became subjected to a process called “exfoliation,” which occurs when the outer layers of the rock begin to peel and flake away. This process is caused by the expansion and contraction of the rock due to temperature changes and the pressure of the overlying rock layers. Over time, the exfoliation process caused the granite to form the distinctive dome-shaped structure that we see today.

Half Dome is also shaped by the forces of erosion, which have carved and shaped the rock over millions of years. Water, wind, and ice have all played a role in shaping Half Dome, and they have helped to create the many cracks, crevices, and ledges that make it such a popular destination for climbers.

Half Dome is an iconic and iconic landmark, and it is a testament to the power and beauty of the natural world. Its geology is a fascinating story of the forces that have shaped the Earth over millions of years, and it is a reminder of the incredible power of nature.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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