Archive for the 'Fantastic Places' Category

Y7 Solve the mystery of the sliding rocks of Race Track Playa

 WHY DOES THIS ROCK MOVE?

AND WHY DOES IT HAVE A GIRLS NAME?

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From todays lesson you should know that this rock is located in Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park in Califonia.  A playa a dry lake bed. 

Click here for a google earth placemark

There is something special about this area though. From the picture above you can see that there are trails behind the rock and evidence that this rock has moved.  But how can it move, no one has seen them move and some of the rocks are very heavy.  Your task is to try to solve the mystery of Race Track Playa

Web Sites to help you with your quest

A very good site to give you some more background lots of video’s and explanations from Dr Paula Messina

http://geology.com/articles/racetrack-playa-sliding-rocks.shtml – this has lots of different theories

US Geological Survey has tracked them using GPS – here is their report a piece of scientific research using GPS to try to track the movements.

USGS Death Valley Geology Field trip

Could this video below be true or just a red herring?  What do you think?

Your task is to work in fours to come up with your own theory as to why the rocks at Race Track Playa in Death Valley mysteriously move.  You can use movie maker or power point to come up with your own theory that must be presented to the rest of the class.


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