- Granite dome
A granite dome is a dome of
granite, formed by exfoliation.
Graniteforms plutons of igneous rockseveral kilometers below the surface as magmaslowly cools and crystallizes. The granite is under great overhead pressure.
Then, granite is uplifted to the surface during a mountain-building event. During the mountain building process, the overlying rock is eroded as the granite is uplifted, and the pressure on the granite reduced. The granite expands and forms fractures or sheet joints parallel to the surface. The granite then erodes in concentric layers (similar to how an
onionpeels) forming rounded masses called exfoliation domes.
Stone Mountain, in the American state of Georgia, the world's largest exposed piece of granite]
While found worldwide, many such domes are found in the Sierra Nevada range in
California, which includes the most famous exfoliation dome in the United States, Half Dome. Granitic surfaces in this region that have been exfoliated are identified by their lack of glacial polish.
* [http://www.fettes.com/cairngorms/dome.htm Granite domes of the Cairngorms]
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