8 March 2019

Friday fold: Dent de Morcles

Posted by Callan Bentley

Today, we journey to the sky above the Swiss Alps, where Bernhard Edmaier took this stunning photo of the Dent de Morcles:

He reports that

The huge fold in the flank of the 2969 m high Dent de Morcles is the most impressive witness to the collision between Africa and Europe. The rock layers, originally deposited on the sea floor in a horizontal position, were compressed and shifted. The darker parts developed during the Tertiary period and are younger than the greyish and yellowish limestone of the Cretaceous period.

Here is another perspective on the same fold, but I like the one above because you can see that same recumbent syncline on the mountains in the background, in shadow. Here, I’ll trace it out:

You can correlate these outcrops through space, where erosion has removed most of the rock, like so:

It’s a spectacular example of a mountain-sized fold. Many thanks to Bernhard for sharing.

There are dozens of other beautiful photos of our planet at Bernhard’s website, and he maintains an Instagram feed too. Check them both out! Maybe we can feature more of his folds here in the future.