Stone run

A stone run (called also stone river, stone stream or stone sea[1]) is a rock landform, resulting from the erosion of particular rock varieties caused by freezing-thawing cycles taking place in periglacial conditions during the last Ice Age.[2] The actual formation of stone runs involved five processes: weathering, solifluction, frost heaving, frost sorting, and washing.[3] The stone runs are essentially different from moraines, rock glaciers, and rock flows or other rock phenomena involving the actual flow of rock blocks under stress that is sufficient to break down the cement or to cause crushing of the angularities and points of the boulders.[4] By contrast, the stone run boulders are fixed quite stably, providing for safer climbing and crossing of the run.

Stone runs are accumulations of boulders with no finer material between them. In the Falklands, they occur on slopes of between 1 and 10 degrees, and are the product of mass-movement and stone sorting during past periods of cold climate. They everywhere occur in association with poorly sorted, clay-rich solifluction deposits [5]

Geographic distribution

Typical stone river on Vitosha Mountain, Bulgaria.

The Falkland Islands and Vitosha Mountain, Bulgaria both have an abundance of large stone runs. The highly specific combination of particular climatic conditions and rock varieties that existed there during the Quaternary explains both the formation of stone runs in those two territories, and their absence in areas with otherwise comparable nature conditions.

For instance, while the present Falklands climate is quite similar to that of Scotland, the latter was completely glacial rather than periglacial during the relevant period, which would not allow for the formation of stone runs. On the other hand, due to geological and other specifics of the southern temperate and sub-Antarctic territories with climatic history similar to that of the Falklands (Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Macquarie Island, Campbell Islands, or nearby Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia), none of them features landforms comparable to the Falklands stone runs.[6]

Likewise, the specific geology of Vitosha accounts for the fairly restricted examples of similar landforms in other Bulgarian or indeed Balkan mountains with comparable climatic record among which Vitosha is one of the smallest, extending just 15 km (9.3 mi) by 10 km (6.2 mi). However, even on that small territory the stone runs exist along with screes and other rock landforms, suggesting that the right periglacial conditions and rock composition are necessary but not sufficient conditions for the formation of stone runs.[7]

Other examples of stone runs occur in England, including at the Stiperstones, Shropshire.[8][9] They are also known in Pennsylvania.[10] Small examples are probably very widespread where solifluction deposits contain large concentrations of frost-resistant rock blocks.

Falklands stone runs

Stone runs on Weddell Island, Falkland Islands; Circum Peak and New Year Cove from Mount Weddell.

The Falklands stone runs are made up of hard quartzite blocks. They are more widespread and larger on East Falkland, especially in the Wickham Heights area where the largest of them extend over 5 km in length. Those on West Falkland and the minor islands are fewer in number and of smaller dimensions. Darwin's "great valley of fragments", subsequently renamed Princes Street Stone Run after Edinburgh's Princes Street[3] that was cobbled at the time, occupies a 4 km long and 400 m wide shallow valley trending east-west. The feature is situated off the road to Port Louis, some 20 km northwest of Stanley.[11][12][13][14]

An early description of the Falklands stone runs was given in Antoine-Joseph Pernety’s account of his exploration of the islands during the 1763–64 French expedition under Louis Antoine de Bougainville, which established the Port Saint Louis settlement on East Falkland. While crossing the neck between Baye Accaron (Berkeley Sound) and Baye Marville (Salvador Water) he described in detail two particular stone features he called ‘City Gates’ and ‘Amphitheatre’:

We were no less astonished at the sight of the infinite number of stones of all sizes thrown one upon another, and yet ranged as if they had been piled negligently to fill up some hollows. We admired with insatiable delight the prodigious works of Nature.[15]

Pernety’s observations were continued by young Charles Darwin, who visited the Falklands in 1833 and 1834:

Charles Darwin a few years after his survey of the Falklands stone runs

Pernety has devoted several pages to the description of a Hill of Ruins, the successive strata of which he has justly compared to the seats of an amphitheatre. (...)

In many parts of the island the bottoms of the valleys are covered in an extraordinary manner by myriad great loose angular fragments of the quartz rock, forming "streams of stones." These have been mentioned with surprise by every voyager since the time of Pernety. The blocks are not waterworn, their angles being only a little blunted; they vary in size from one or two feet in diameter to ten, or even more than twenty times as much. They are not thrown together into irregular piles, but are spread out into level sheets or great streams. It is not possible to ascertain their thickness, but the water of small streamlets can be heard trickling through the stones many feet below the surface. The actual depth is probably great, because the crevices between the lower fragments must long ago have been filled up with sand. The width of these sheets of stones varies from a few hundred feet to a mile; but the peaty soil daily encroaches on the borders, and even forms islets wherever a few fragments happen to lie close together. In a valley south of Berkeley Sound, which some of our party called the "great valley of fragments," it was necessary to cross an uninterrupted band half a mile wide, by jumping from one pointed stone to another. So large were the fragments, that being overtaken by a shower of rain, I readily found shelter beneath one of them.

Stone ‘city gates’ and ‘amphitheatre’ on the East Falkland (Dom Pernety, 1769).

Their little inclination is the most remarkable circumstance in these "streams of stones." On the hill-sides I have seen them sloping at an angle of ten degrees with the horizon; but in some of the level, broad-bottomed valleys, the inclination is only just sufficient to be clearly perceived. On so rugged a surface there was no means of measuring the angle; but to give a common illustration, I may say that the slope would not have checked the speed of an English mail-coach. In some places, a continuous stream of these fragments followed up the course of a valley, and even extended to the very crest of the hill. On these crests huge masses, exceeding in dimensions any small building, seemed to stand arrested in their headlong course: there, also, the curved strata of the archways lay piled on each other, like the ruins of some vast and ancient cathedral. (...)

These scenes are on the spot rendered more striking by the contrast of the low, rounded forms of the neighbouring hills.[16]

Charles Darwin a few years after his survey of the Falklands stone runs
Stone ‘city gates’ and ‘amphitheatre’ on the East Falkland (Dom Pernety, 1769).

Vitosha stone rivers

Stone river at Malak Rezen Peak, Vitosha Mountain.

The Vitosha stone rivers (Bulgarian: каменна река / kamenna reka, pl. каменни реки / kamenni reki), located in Bulgaria, are situated in the middle and upper mountain belts at elevation over 1,000 m above sea level. Among the largest ones are those on the Subalpine plateaus surrounding the summit Cherni Vrah (2290 m), and in the upper courses of the mountain’s rivers, extending over 2 km at the Zlatnite Mostove (‘Golden Bridges’) site in the upper course of Vladayska River, and over 1 km in the case of Boyanska, Bistritsa, and Struma Rivers. Golyamata Gramada (Big Pile) Stone River in Vitoshka Bistritsa River valley is up to 300 m wide, and other stone run formations sprawl even wider on the mountain slopes, notably the ‘stone sea’ at the northern foot of Kamen Del Peak. Some boulders are several dozen to over three hundred cubic metres in volume, and sixty to several hundred tons weight.[1]

While Vitosha was known already to Thucydides, Aristotle, and Pliny the Elder in Antiquity, its first modern geological survey was made as late as 1836 by the German-French-Austrian scientist Ami Boué who incidentally had studied medicine at Edinburgh University just a few years before Charles Darwin did. Since Boué, it took several decades of argument to conclude that Vitosha stone rivers were not true glacial moraines as some believed.[17]

Exploited in the past as a source of cobblestone material for Sofia’s streets, nowadays the stone rivers are protected by law. Special permission has been granted in exceptional cases for the removal of some material for sculpture artwork. As a nature park situated right by the outskirts of Sofia (Cherni Vrah itself being 16 km away from the central square of Sofia), Vitosha is a major tourist destination. Some 1.5 million people from dozens of nations visit the mountain annually, and the stone rivers feature high on the list of tourist attractions.[1][18]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Vitosha Nature Park: Basic Information. Landscape. Archived 2005-03-11 at the Wayback Machine Vitosha Nature Park website.
  2. ^ Mather, Kirtley F. (1967). Source Book in Geology, 1900-1950. Harvard University Press. pp. 125–129.
  3. ^ a b Stone, Phillip. Periglacial Princes Street - 52° South. The Edinburgh Geologist. Issue No 35, 2000.
  4. ^ Harris, Stuart A. Climatic Zonality of Periglacial Landforms in Mountain Areas. Arctic, Vol. 47, No. 2, June 1994, pp. 184-92.
  5. ^ ALDISS, D T, and EDWARDS, E J. 1999. The Geology of the Falkland Islands. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WC/99/10.
  6. ^ Hall, Kevin.Review of Present and Quaternary periglacial processes and landforms of the maritime and sub-Antarctic region. South African Journal of Science, Vol. 98, January/February 2002. pp. 71-81.
  7. ^ Vitosha Nature Park: Management Plan 2005-2014. Ministry of Environment and Waters, Sofia, 2005. (in Bulgarian).
  8. ^ GOUDIE, A S, and PIGGOTT, N R. 1981. Quartzite tors, stone stripes, and slopes at the Stiperstones, Shropshire, England. Biuletyn Periglacjalny, Vol. 28, 47-56.
  9. ^ CLARK, R. 1994. Tors, rock platforms and debris slopes at Stiperstones, Shropshire, England. Field Studies, Vol. 8, 451 - 472.
  10. ^ SMITH, H T U. 1953. The Hickory Run boulder field, Carbon County, Pennsylvania. American Journal of Science, Vol. 251, 625-642.
  11. ^ Andersson, J.G. 1907. Contributions to the geology of the Falkland Islands. In: Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Schwedischen Südpolar-Expedition 1901-1903, ed. O. Nordenskjöld, Stockholm, Vol. 3.
  12. ^ Onshore Geology – the stone runs. British Geological Survey website.
  13. ^ Aldiss, Donald and Phillip Stone. The Falkland Islands Stone Runs. Falklands Island Government and British Geological Survey Publication, 2001.
  14. ^ Rosenbaum, M.S. Stone runs in the Falkland Islands. Geology Today. Vol. 12, 1996. pp. 151-54.
  15. ^ Dom Pernety, Antoine-Joseph. Journal historique d'un voyage fait aux Iles Malouïnes en 1763 et 1764 pour les reconnoître et y former un établissement; et de deux Voyages au Détroit de Magellan, avec une Rélation sur les Patagons. Berlin: Etienne de Bourdeaux, 1769. 2 volumes, 704 pp. Online vol. 1 & vol. 2, in French. Abridged English version.
  16. ^ Darwin, C.R. Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle round the world, under the Command of Capt. Fitz Roy, R.N. 2nd edition. London: John Murray, 1845. Scanned by John van Wyhe 2006. pp.196-98.
  17. ^ Boué, Ami. La Turquie d'Europe; observations sur la géographie, la géologie, l'histoire naturelle, etc. 4 vols. Paris: A. Bertrand, 1840. 2247 pp. (in French).
  18. ^ Vitosha Map. Archived 2007-12-13 at the Wayback Machine Vitosha Nature Park website. Navigable map showing the principal stone rivers.

External links

Google views

Barlaston is a village and civil parish in the borough of Stafford in the county of Staffordshire, England. It is roughly halfway between the city of Stoke-on-Trent and the small town of Stone. According to the 2001 census the population of the parish was 2,659, rising at the 2011 Census to 2,858.


The Battert is a hill, 567.9 m above sea level (NHN), on the western edge of the Northern Black Forest north of Baden-Baden in Germany. On its western slopes are the ruins of Hohenbaden Castle (the Altes Schloss or "Old Castle"), on the southern side is the climbing area and nature reserve called the Battert Rocks (Battertfelsen). On the hill ridge are the remains of a circular rampart, probably built by Celtic settlers. On the eastern side lies the village of Ebersteinburg.

The Battert is a destination for ramblers and climbers all year round, heading for the 15–60-metre-high Battertfelsen. Above and below the rock face is a footpath around the rocks. The red rock face is visible from far off and may be easily reached on the road to the ruins of Hohenbaden or from a car park near Ebersteinburg.

Beaver Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania

Beaver Township is a township in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 902 at the 2010 census.

Bowman Creek

Bowman Creek (also known as Bowmans Creek or Bowman's Creek) is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County and Wyoming County, in Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 26 miles (42 km) long and flows through Ross Township and Lake Township in Luzerne County and Noxen Township, Monroe Township, and Eaton Township in Wyoming County. The watershed of the creek has an area of 120 square miles (310 km2). The creek is not designated as an impaired waterbody and its pH is close to neutral, although it has experienced some problems with acid rain. It has low concentrations of dissolved solids like calcium. The creek is relatively small in its upper reaches, but by Noxen, its width is 40 to 60 feet (12 to 18 m). It is also relatively shallow in many reaches. Rock formations in the watershed include the Catskill Formation, the Huntley Mountain Formation, Burgoon Sandstone, the Mauch Chunk Formation, the Pottsville Group, and the Pocono Formation. Soil associations in the creek's watershed include the Wellsboro-Morris-Oquaga association, the Oquaga-Lackawanna-Arnot association, the Mardin-Bath-Volusia association, and the Wyoming-Pope association.

The dominant land use in the watershed of Bowman Creek is forested land, which occupies nearly 90 percent of its area. Minor land uses in the watershed include meadows, agricultural land, and many others. Most of the development in the watershed is clustered along the highways that run through it. The creek has, on occasion, experienced major flooding. Bowman Creek was visible on maps by 1791, and there were a number of settlers in its vicinity by the early 1800s. Historically, industries in the creek's watershed included lumbering, agriculture, tanneries, gristmills, and ice harvesting. Numerous bridges have been constructed over Bowman Creek. The Bowmans Creek Watershed Association is active within the creek's watershed.

The main stem of Bowman Creek is designated as a High-Quality Coldwater Fishery and a Migratory Fishery, as are most of its tributaries. The creek is inhabited by brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout and reaches of it are stocked with trout. The creek is well known in the area for its significance as a trout stream. Reaches of it are also navigable by canoe. Parts of the creek are in Pennsylvania State Game Lands Number 57 and Ricketts Glen State Park.

Heaters, West Virginia

Heaters is a small unincorporated community in Braxton County, West Virginia, United States. Heaters is situated about three miles north of Flatwoods on U.S. Route 19, which is a paved two-lane road. Access to I-79 is at exit 67 in Flatwoods. Heater's has a United States Postal Service post office and the ZIP Code is 26627.

Heaters has no stoplight, no gas station, nor a general store. It used to have two bars, "The Boardwalk" and "Nancy's," both of which are now closed. It has a community center located at 4350 Gauley Turnpike, which is used for community gatherings such as potluck dinners, memorial service dinners, and fundraising dinners.

King Phillip's Cave (Massachusetts)

King Phillip's Cave is a cave in Norton, Massachusetts near Lake Winnecunnett. It may be accessed from Stone Run Drive off Plain Street near Bay Road and sits on a 7-acre (28,000 m2) parcel of land owned by the Land Preservation Society, an independent non-profit conservation organization chartered in 1970 by the State of Massachusetts.The cave is so named because Metacomet, the Wampanoag sachem also known as "King Phillip", is said to have hid here near the end of King Philip's War before meeting his death in the Great Misery Swamp in Bristol, RI.According to materials published by The Patriot Ledger:

The town forest, where King Philip's Cave is located, and Lake Winnecunnett are both popular recreation sites.

According to another source:

Every Norton school child has been entertained with the legend of King Phillip's Cave.

List of rivers of Pennsylvania

This is a list of streams and rivers in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

List of rock formations

A rock formation is an isolated, scenic, or spectacular surface rock outcrop. Rock formations are usually the result of weathering and erosion sculpting the existing rock. The term 'rock formation' can also refer to specific sedimentary strata or other rock unit in stratigraphic and petrologic studies.

A rock structure can be created in any rock type or combination:

Igneous rocks are created when molten rock cools and solidifies, with or without crystallization. They may be either plutonic bodies or volcanic extrusives. Again, erosive forces sculpt their current forms.

Metamorphic rocks are created by rocks that have been transformed into another kind of rock, usually by some combination of heat, pressure and chemical alteration.

Sedimentary rocks are created by a variety of processes but usually involving deposition, grain by grain, layer by layer, in water or, in the case of terrestrial sediments, on land through the action of wind or sometimes moving ice. Erosion later exposes them in their current form.Geologists have created a number of terms to describe different rock structures in the landscape that can be formed by natural processes:





Inselberg, or monadnock, is a residual relief feature. It can be an isolated hill, a knob, ridge or small mountain that rises abruptly, like an island, from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. Inselberg is a German word that means "island mountain". Uluru/Ayers Rock in Australia is a noted example.



Promontory is a prominent mass of land which overlooks lower lying land or a body of water.

River cliff

Sea cliff


Stone run

TorHere is a list of rock formations by continent.

Mount Kent

Mount Kent is a mountain on East Falkland, Falkland Islands, It is north of Mount Challenger and saw action in the Falklands War during the Battle of Mount Harriet – some of the area is still mined. The mountain's top is occupied by the RRH Mount Kent (Remote Radar Head Mount Kent) of the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI), part of an early warning and airspace control network including also RRH Mount Alice and RRH Byron Heights on West Falkland.

Princes Street

Princes Street is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland, and the main shopping street in the capital. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh's New Town, stretching around 1 mile (1.6 km) from Lothian Road in the west, to Leith Street in the east. The street has virtually no buildings on the south side, allowing panoramic views of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, and the valley between. Most of the street is limited to trams, buses and taxis with only the east end open to all traffic.


The Schurre (pronounced "shoorer") is a stone run in the Bode Gorge in the Lower Harz near Thale in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The stone run is slowly slipping downhill, the sliding of its boulders being audible especially during periods of heavy rain.

Its name has been given to a much-frequented trail, blazed in 1864 between the Bode Gorge and the legendary Rosstrappe site. In 18 hairpin bends the Schurre wends its way up the steep stone run. The trail has been extensively developed and is cobbled in places. Several trees planted along the route, with its extreme climatic conditions, have survived. Negotiating this route uphill from the valley requires walkers to be fit due to its steep gradient and the requirement to climb around 200 metres in height.

In May 2010 there was a rockslide that led to the path being closed for several months. The path was also closed in summer 2011 due to another major rockslide.


Solifluction is a collective name for gradual mass wasting slope processes related to freeze-thaw activity. This is the standard modern meaning of solifluction, which differs from the original meaning given to it by Johan Gunnar Andersson in 1906.

Spring creek

A spring creek is a type of free flowing river whose name derives from its origin: an underground spring or set of springs which produces sufficient water to consistently feed a unique river. The water flowing in a spring creek may additionally be fed by snow pack or rain run-off, as in most traditional free-flowing rivers, but often the entire water source for a spring creek is an aquifer or other underground water source. For this reason, spring creeks are often filled with very pure, clean water and also demonstrate water flows that are smooth, consistent, and unwavering throughout the seasons of the year - unlike rivers filled with run-off or spring and summer melt-off from snow pack, whose water flows, water clarity, and water conditions often vary highly over the course of the year. In addition, water temperatures in spring creeks tend to vary less throughout the seasons of the year than traditional creeks and rivers because they are fed by underground water sources. Because of the depths of these water sources, spring creeks often emerge from their source or headwaters very cold and stay that way over the length of their runs. In addition, due to the consistent water flows and the fact that spring creek water is "pushed" by the force of pressure from the source rather than "pulled" by the force of gravity downhill, spring creeks can flow through very flat sections of land with minimal depths over grades that might not sustain run-off creeks and rivers. In these low-grade or flat sections of spring creeks, water flows can appear almost laminar with the surface of the creek appearing to be nearly flat and without the prominent riffles and surface disturbances caused by more rough or uneven surface bottoms found below free-stone run-off creeks and rivers surfaces.

Due to the characteristics described above, spring creeks are often well known in the context of trout and other freshwater fly fishing as excellent riparian habitats. Trout, particularly sport fish such as brown trout and rainbow trout, often thrive and grow rapidly in spring creeks due not only to the consistent water flows and low temperatures, but also due to the advantageous insect environments they foster. Insects such as mayflies (baetis and callibaetis, among others) and caddis flies find spring creek habitats very appealing and often live, mate, and hatch on these waterways in great numbers throughout the year. Because these insects in pupal and winged form represent the principal diet of freshwater trout, the fish living in spring creeks often have ample food supply throughout the year. This element of spring creek habitats, combined with the advantageous water conditions, can create the ideal conditions for large, healthy, hefty local populations of the kind of trout that fly fisherman pursue.

Some examples of spring creeks famous for their fly fishing conditions are the Henrys Fork, in southeastern Idaho, the Silver Creek, in central southern Idaho, and the Metolius River, in central Oregon. In this context, fly fisherman often refer to creeks and rivers as "like a spring creek" if the water flows and habitat display the characteristics described above.

St Mary's Church, Selly Oak

St. Mary's Church, Selly Oak is a Church of England parish church in Selly Oak, Birmingham, England.

Stone Run (Bowman Creek tributary)

Stone Run (also known as Slife Run) is a tributary of Bowman Creek in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 2.2 miles (3.5 km) long and flows through Noxen Township. The watershed of the stream has an area of 2.43 square miles (6.3 km2). The stream is not designated as an impaired waterbody. The surficial geology in its vicinity consists of alluvium, Wisconsinan Ice-Contact Stratified Drift, Wisconsinan Till, and Wisconsinan Bouldery Till. The stream is classified as Class A Wild Trout Waters and its watershed is designated as a High-Quality Coldwater Fishery and a Migratory Fishery.


Swordbird is a children's fantasy novel written by Nancy Yi Fan. A prequel, Sword Quest, was released January 22, 2008. A sequel, Sword Mountain, based on Sword Mountain, home of an eagle tribe mentioned in Sword Quest, was published in early 2012.

Zlatnite Mostove

Zlatnite Mostove (Bulgarian: Златните мостове, ‘Golden Bridges’) is the largest stone river on Vitosha Mountain, Bulgaria. The feature is situated in the valley of Vladayska River, extending 2.2 km, and up to 150 m wide, with several ‘tributary’ stone rivers. The stone river is ‘descending’ from elevation 1800 m above sea level in Boeritsa Chalet area to 1410 m at Zlatnite Mostove site. The lower extremity of the stone river is known as Zlatnite Mostove site, a popular tourist destination accessible from Sofia by road.The name ‘Golden Bridges’ derives from the golden colour of the lichens growing on the surface of stone run boulders.


Łysica [ˈwɨˈɕit͡sa] is the highest mountain in Świętokrzyskie Mountains of Poland. Its height is 612 metres (2,008 ft). It is located in the Świętokrzyski National Park and there is an abbey below it, on a site that might have been a pagan temple before the times of baptism of Poland.

Łysica, which is also called Gora Swietej Katarzyny (St. Catherine's Mountain) lies in western part of the Lysogory range, near the village of Swieta Katarzyna. It belongs to the so-called Crown of Polish Mountains (“Korona Gor Polskich”), as it is the highest mountain of Holy Cross Mountains. Łysica has two peaks, eastern, and western, with the latter being higher by 4 meters.

The mountain is made of quartzite and slate, its northern and southern slopes are marked by the stone run. Furthermore, on the southern slope, at the height of 590 meters, there is a small bog. Most of Łysica is covered by a forest, near the peak there are fir trees, below which are beeches. Łysica is inhabited by birds of prey, such as the lesser spotted eagle, the Eurasian sparrowhawk, and the Eurasian hobby.

Świętokrzyski National Park

Świętokrzyski National Park (Polish: Świętokrzyski Park Narodowy) is a National Park in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship in central Poland. It covers the highest ridge of the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mountains – the Łysogory – with its two highest peaks: Łysica at 612 metres (2,008 ft) and Łysa Góra ("Bald Mountain") at 595 m (1,952 ft). It also covers the eastern part of the Klonowski Ridge and part of the Pokrzywianski Ridge. The Park has its headquarters in Bodzentyn.

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