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Gary Hebert | all galleries >> Galleries >> Published Works > Big Rock: The Okotoks Erratic (2)
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30-OCT-2005 © Gary Hebert

Big Rock: The Okotoks Erratic (2)

Alberta Foothills

This image is best viewed at PBase "ORIGINAL SIZE".

This enormous quartzite block, weighing about 16,500 tonnes and measuring about 41 x 18 x 9 metres, was carried here on the surface of a glacier. It came from the Rocky Mountains in the Jasper area, probably between 18 and 10 thousand years ago. Rocks moved many kilometers from their original location by the ice are called “glacial erratics”.
Big Rock began its journey when rockslides in the mountains deposited quartzite debris onto the top of a glacier in the Athabasca River valley. The glacier carried the rocks with it as it flowed slowed eastward to the plains, until it collided with the Laurentide ice sheet. This massive ice sheet deflected the glacier to the southeast, parallel to the mountain front. When the ice melted, a string of erratics was left in a narrow belt extending from Jasper National Park along the foothills to northern Montana. This group is known as the Foothills Erratics Train, and the Okotoks Erratic is the largest member.
The name of the rock was derived from the Blackfoot word for rock: okatok.

Olympus C-8080WZ ,Hoya HMC SQ C-Polarizer
1/15s f/8.0 at 30.5mm iso50 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
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Guest 06-Jan-2009 07:33
Hey william Matijiw - you ever think about the family you left 25 years ago?
William Matijiw 28-Aug-2008 17:40

This is a very nice picture.

I've been in Alberta many times (I'm a long distance semi truck driver), but never in this area.

I've never been in Boston either. I've been in Maine, driving a Semi truck through it, to New Hampshire.

You might like to Google, Boston Tourism, and you might like to Google, Baltimore Tourism.

I've been in Baltimore.

Have a good day!
fool 04-Aug-2008 00:57
I live in Okotoks and get to drive by the rock everyday. You never get tired of looking at it.
Tony Styles 21-Jul-2008 20:27
We were in Okotoks in Feb/Mar 2007 but only found out about this wonderful feature after returning home to England. When we next visit Calgary (hopefully 2009) we will pay a visit
Paco Lozano19-Apr-2006 05:39
Beautiful picture and very good description, thanks.
Pepe Zyman02-Nov-2005 03:26
What a cool place!
Rochelle Weiss01-Nov-2005 18:06
I love the colors, how the light really makes these glacial erratics glow. The geologist really enjoyed your description.
Guest 01-Nov-2005 17:11
Hmmm very intetesting and thanks for the description of this photo. :)
Beverly Wickersham01-Nov-2005 16:34
Very interesting. They look like they fell out of the sky. Nice job.
Bryan Murahashi01-Nov-2005 16:17
Pretty neat to see these giant chunks of rock out in the foothills. Nice golden light
as well.
Cliff01-Nov-2005 16:08
I am quite enjoying your Alberta prairie sequence Gary. Well done.
J. Scott Coile01-Nov-2005 15:09
Golden image. Excellent history lesson! Well done!
Focus01-Nov-2005 14:19
Beautiful! I like this even better than the other.....well done.
Olaf Herrig01-Nov-2005 13:42
Very interesting rocks and a wonderful light!
Herb 01-Nov-2005 12:57
Interesting image