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Geology > Yosemite National Park
Geology Overview

Yosemite is a glaciated landscape, and the scenery that resulted from the interaction of the glaciers and the underlying rocks was the basis for its preservation as a national park. Iconic landmarks such as Yosemite Valley, Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls, Bridalveil Fall, Half Dome, the Clark Range, and the Cathedral Range are known throughout the world by the photographs of countless photographers, both amateur and professional. Landforms that are the result of glaciation include U-shaped canyons, jagged peaks, rounded domes, waterfalls, and moraines. Glacially-polished granite is further evidence of glaciation, and is common in Yosemite National Park.

The Making of the Landscape

Topographically, the Sierra Nevada is an asymmetric mountain range with a long, gentle west slope and a short, steep east ...

Rocks

The vast majority of Yosemite is comprised of plutonic igneous rocks. Plutonic rocks forms deep underground when molten rock ...


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