Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

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Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby vivian maxine on August 5th, 2015, 7:23 am 

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environ ... ws+stories

Scientists have found why balancing rocks near San Andreas fault are not toppled by San Andreas earthquakes. There is a beautiful, awe-inspiring photograph near the end of the article. It makes one want to ask why a simple breeze doesn't topple that rock.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby Watson on August 5th, 2015, 11:56 am 

They must be off the beaten trail, because you know someone would push them over just because. It does look like a breeze could knock it over. Another question might be, how did it get put in that precarious position in the first place.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby vivian maxine on August 5th, 2015, 12:01 pm 

Watson » August 5th, 2015, 10:56 am wrote:They must be off the beaten trail, because you know someone would push them over just because. It does look like a breeze could knock it over. Another question might be, how did it get put in that precarious position in the first place.


The article does have mention about pushing them over. That isn't its main point, of course, but it is commented on.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby Watson on August 5th, 2015, 12:37 pm 

Yes I know. The zone between the two faults seems to be particularly stable during past earthquake events, over the last 18,000 years.

I was thinking more about six guys and a case of beer knocking the stones over. Not scientists testing how much force would be required. But yes it is off the point.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby vivian maxine on August 5th, 2015, 1:22 pm 

Watson » August 5th, 2015, 11:37 am wrote:Yes I know. The zone between the two faults seems to be particularly stable during past earthquake events, over the last 18,000 years.

I was thinking more about six guys and a case of beer knocking the stones over. Not scientists testing how much force would be required. But yes it is off the point.


Not exactly off the point. I had the same thought. And the man doing that climbing said he did make the rock move a bit. Just one man!

I stand far back from such balancing acts. We have a public park farther south here with "elephant rocks" and some are balancing. One is an arch that tourists enjoy walking under. They climb on other stacked ones and walk over natural arch bridges. Not I. I am a coward.

But isn't it fascinating that earthquakes can't bring them down?
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby Watson on August 5th, 2015, 2:34 pm 

Yes it is. I tried to find out more but only found the same story re-posted elsewhere. I did find there is rock stalking as an activity and even a contest.

I wonder if there isn't some deeper meaning, or intention behind these balancing rocks. They seem more deliberately positioned, rather than a naturally occurrence.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby vivian maxine on August 5th, 2015, 2:47 pm 

Watson » August 5th, 2015, 1:34 pm wrote:Yes it is. I tried to find out more but only found the same story re-posted elsewhere. I did find there is rock stalking as an activity and even a contest.

I wonder if there isn't some deeper meaning, or intention behind these balancing rocks. They seem more deliberately positioned, rather than a naturally occurrence.


I don't know. There are a lot of balanced rocks out west. A geologist might tell us more.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby zetreque on August 5th, 2015, 3:39 pm 

Being in the environmental science forum talking about balancing rocks.
Here is something I learned somewhat recently.
When hiking, you always see those rocks people stack up and balance for whatever reason, yoga or whatever BS.
I never gave any thought to it in the past and just left them, but my attention was drawn to something that changed how I think about it.
Forest rangers and environmentalists encourage people to knock them over and break apart any human-made structure in the forest. This is because natural areas are harder and harder to come by. We need to preserve those areas as much as possible for everyone to enjoy natural settings. I very much agree with this.

It's kinda like this horn issue that I have been dealing with. It's something that slowly works it's way into society until one day it's taken over and things are really bad all of the sudden. Something you never notice until it's too late. It takes education awareness of issues. Many environmental problems are slow to happen and then harder to fix later.

Thanks to people bringing this to my attention I don't feel the slightest bit bad and enjoy knocking over piles of rocks people stacked up. However, when it comes to rocks naturally balancing I let them be in my wiser adulthood where the kid in me used to and still wants to knock them over and roll them down the mountain! :)
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby zetreque on August 5th, 2015, 3:44 pm 

Another thing to consider is erosion. Depending on the climate zone of the area (Nevada has many different climates), wind, rain, snow can really wear down rocks. Just because a certain size earthquake can knock it down today, doesn't mean that many years ago it wouldn't have taken a larger earthquake to knock it down when it still had more material holding the rocks together or in the ground.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby vivian maxine on August 5th, 2015, 4:04 pm 

zetreque » August 5th, 2015, 2:39 pm wrote:Being in the environmental science forum talking about balancing rocks.
Here is something I learned somewhat recently.
When hiking, you always see those rocks people stack up and balance for whatever reason, yoga or whatever BS.
I never gave any thought to it in the past and just left them, but my attention was drawn to something that changed how I think about it.
Forest rangers and environmentalists encourage people to knock them over and break apart any human-made structure in the forest. This is because natural areas are harder and harder to come by. We need to preserve those areas as much as possible for everyone to enjoy natural settings. I very much agree with this.

It's kinda like this horn issue that I have been dealing with. It's something that slowly works it's way into society until one day it's taken over and things are really bad all of the sudden. Something you never notice until it's too late. It takes education awareness of issues. Many environmental problems are slow to happen and then harder to fix later.

Thanks to people bringing this to my attention I don't feel the slightest bit bad and enjoy knocking over piles of rocks people stacked up. However, when it comes to rocks naturally balancing I let them be in my wiser adulthood where the kid in me used to and still wants to knock them over and roll them down the mountain! :)


Zetreque, there is one place - one hill - in southeastern Missouri that is deliberately planned by the park service to let people play with the rocks. They are encouraged to stack them and/or take them down. Some tourists carry rocks to the top of the hill. Next tourists climb the hill and carry the rocks back down. They also, of course stack them and build small forms with them. But this is all limited to that one permissible site. Otherwise, in other public parks and state-controlled areas, let the rocks alone. It is also illegal in Missouri to pull up flowers and other plants growing on public lands.

One more story while I remember trips. I once took a trip to Billings, Montana. A friend there drove us far out into the "country". Empty space. Out there stood a 60-inch folding table covered with small rocks. In the center was a sign that said "Please touch the rocks." The man who had that there explained that, when he was a child, he got so tired of constantly hearing "Don't touch" that he determined to let people touch. And there he was. I wonder if he is still there.

Don't you imagine that having some permissible places to touch and move helps keep people from destroying what we want to preserve? And I agree with you wholeheartedly on that as does our conservation department.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby vivian maxine on August 5th, 2015, 4:05 pm 

zetreque » August 5th, 2015, 2:39 pm wrote:Being in the environmental science forum talking about balancing rocks.
Here is something I learned somewhat recently.
When hiking, you always see those rocks people stack up and balance for whatever reason, yoga or whatever BS.
I never gave any thought to it in the past and just left them, but my attention was drawn to something that changed how I think about it.
Forest rangers and environmentalists encourage people to knock them over and break apart any human-made structure in the forest. This is because natural areas are harder and harder to come by. We need to preserve those areas as much as possible for everyone to enjoy natural settings. I very much agree with this.

It's kinda like this horn issue that I have been dealing with. It's something that slowly works it's way into society until one day it's taken over and things are really bad all of the sudden. Something you never notice until it's too late. It takes education awareness of issues. Many environmental problems are slow to happen and then harder to fix later.

Thanks to people bringing this to my attention I don't feel the slightest bit bad and enjoy knocking over piles of rocks people stacked up. However, when it comes to rocks naturally balancing I let them be in my wiser adulthood where the kid in me used to and still wants to knock them over and roll them down the mountain! :)


Zetreque, there is one place - one hill - in southeastern Missouri that is deliberately planned by the park service to let people play with the rocks. They are encouraged to stack them and/or take them down. Some tourists carry rocks to the top of the hill. Next tourists climb the hill and carry the rocks back down. They also, of course stack them and build small forms with them. But this is all limited to that one permissible site. Otherwise, in other public parks and state-controlled areas, let the rocks alone. It is also illegal in Missouri to pull up flowers and other plants growing on public lands.

One more story while I remember trips. I once took a trip to Billings, Montana. A friend there drove us far out into the "country". Empty space. Out there stood a 60-inch folding table covered with small rocks. In the center was a sign that said "Please touch the rocks." The man who had that there explained that, when he was a child, he got so tired of constantly hearing "Don't touch" that he determined to let people touch. And there he was. I wonder if he is still there.

Don't you imagine that having some permissible places to touch and move helps keep people from destroying what we want to preserve? And I agree with you wholeheartedly on that as does our conservation department.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby zetreque on August 5th, 2015, 4:19 pm 

Yes I agree with that. There is a time and place to touch and a time and place to not touch :)

At a job I had, my coworker was thinking that we should put out signs saying "touch this" instead of "don't touch". In reference to wet paint, wet cement, or glue because as soon as you tell someone to touch something they question it.. "WHY? will I get hurt?" because by telling them not to touch they automatically wanted to touch it. There is some psychology there.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby vivian maxine on August 5th, 2015, 4:39 pm 

zetreque » August 5th, 2015, 3:19 pm wrote:Yes I agree with that. There is a time and place to touch and a time and place to not touch :)

At a job I had, my coworker was thinking that we should put out signs saying "touch this" instead of "don't touch". In reference to wet paint, wet cement, or glue because as soon as you tell someone to touch something they question it.. "WHY? will I get hurt?" because by telling them not to touch they automatically wanted to touch it. There is some psychology there.


Right you are. Never tell a child (between ages 2 and 102) "don't". They will every time. I was told the Petrified Forest is badly worn away from constant rubbing by tourists.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby zetreque on August 5th, 2015, 4:48 pm 

Instead of telling people not to do something, perhaps it's better that we just tell them to leave things as they found them and teach the importance of that. In other words. Go ahead and build your rock piles, but when you are done, another challenge is to make the area look as if you were never there. That can get tricky when we are dealing with rocks that have lichen on them. They are very fragile.
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Re: Earthquakes didn't topple balancing rocks nearby

Postby zetreque on August 5th, 2015, 5:09 pm 

I visited the petrified forest last year. I was lucky in that when I visited, the time of year there was hardly anyone there so it felt like I had the entire park to myself. There are signs about how much a lot of the areas would glisten in the sunlight but due to people picking out the crystals over the years I wasn't able to enjoy that glistening, it's nothing like it used to be. There was a sign I think I read about how camera technology is helping to show and document changes over the years now and some good news is that some of the areas are actually still as they were a long time ago. At least by documenting it more now they will be able to determine which are the best psychological methods to keep people from disturbing the areas. This includes petraglyphs.

In addition to leaving things the way they were. I was always taught that as a child, and if you barrow a tool that you should return it in the same if not better condition than when you borrowed it. My dad was always cleaning up tools cleaner than before he had borrowed them. It's just a good thing to teach in general.
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