Friday, January 20, 2006

Glacial Erratics

Erratics. Wanderers. The Latin term now used for these lone glacial boulders was coined in Europe over a thousand years ago. I suppose about that same time these boulders arrived on the beach in avalanches of mud and broken trees. The mud and trees are long gone, but the boulders remain. Some of these may have originated as true erratics, sitting atop otherwise featureless surfaces of glacial drift until the coastline arrived. Others were actually buried within the till, gradually unearthed over several decades as the material around them eroded away. Either way, these large chunks of British Columbia are now permanent features of our modern beaches. A few of the best examples are Lone Rock near Seabeck, White Rock south of Port Ludlow, and Four-Mile Rock below Magnolia. These smaller ones are at Teronda (Whidbey), Point No Point (Kitsap), and Fox Island (Pierce).

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