Research Dates Yosemite’s Rockfalls

Rockfalls have helped shape the Yosemite Valley we know today, yet we don’t know their age and cause. For example, what is the age of the Mirror Lake rock avalanche that buried Tenaya Canyon and dammed the creek to form Mirror Lake? Were these huge rockfalls shaken down by earthquakes or did they occur gradually over time?

Yosemite Conservancy donors have funded scientific research that sheds new light on these questions.

By better understanding these rockfalls, park staff are planning for increased visitor safety based around how and when these rockfall triggers are likely to occur.

This funding helped uncover new scientific information about one of the world’s most unique and continually evolving geological places. Findings are shared with both visitors and park staff.

More Scientific Research Projects

Project Notes

The project promotes visitor understanding of rockfalls and also serves to increase safety by expanding our knowledge of rockfall hazards.

Greg Stock
Geologist
Yosemite National Park