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Taylor Glacier and Sky Pond

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Taylor Glacier is a cirque glacier in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rock glacier: A large mass of rock that actively flows like a glacier. Boreholes drilled in rock glaciers have revealed primarily a mixture of ice and rock. Many scientists consider rock glaciers a form of permafrost, but other researchers believe some rock glaciers may form from small glaciers being covered by rock debris. In any case, these complex mixtures of ice and rock flow downhill at speeds up to 1-2 m/year. Rock glaciers in RMNP have been clocked at 13-20 cm/year. While rock glaciers have a characteristic glacier-like or lava-like appearance from the air, they can be hard to recognize on the ground, as they look like nothing more than a rock field or talus slope.

Rock glaciers exist below Taylor and Tyndall glaciers, as well as in many other locations without glaciers. If you visit them, take care, because the surfaces of rock glaciers are extremely unstable.

Larimer County
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August 13, 2016

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