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Moraine Lake is located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks at an elevation of 1885 m (6184 ft). The ten peaks tower 1200 to 1500 m (4900 ft) above the lake building a continuous ridge of 12 km (7.5 miles) length. The mountains consist of four sediment formations that lie flat on top of each other from old to young. The prominent change in the rock color from reddish brown to gray separates the Gog quartzite from the overlying Cathedral formation. The quartzite is up to 600 million years old and consists of sandstone made of quartz sand grains. The reddish colors are caused by rusted iron-rich layers. The Cathedral rocks are up to 525 million years old and are cliff-forming dolomite rocks produced by bacteria in a shallow ocean environment that fed on magnesium excreting dolomite. The highest parts of the peaks consist of Stephen shale and Eldon limestone about 515 million years old. and contain fossils of the first animals that ever crawled the ancient sea beds. In contrast to it’s name picturesque Moraine Lake is not dammed by a glacial moraine but owes its existence to a young and huge rock slide that occurred on the steep and prominent cliff called Tower of Babel.

August 2009
Canon 5D MkII, Canon L 16-35 mm, f/16, 4 sec, ISO 50, tripod

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