Gornaya Shoria megaliths

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The Gornaya Shoria megaliths (Mount Shoria megaliths) are rock formations that are part of Gornaya Shoria (Russian: Горная Шория) in southern Siberia, Russia, lying to the east of the Altay Mountains. Popular, often fringe, articles[1] have claimed these rock formations to be gigantic prehistoric man-made blocks, or megaliths. It is reported that the largest pieces or blocks of stone have estimated weights between three and four thousand tons, which would make them larger than the megaliths at Baalbek, in Lebanon.

Formation[edit]

Russian popular articles also note that Russian scientists have proposed that this rock formation may be the result of geological processes associated with the intense weathering of the rock comprising Mountain Shoriya.[2][3] Both tectonic forces acting on deeply buried bedrock and pressure release that occurs within nearsurface bedrock as it is uplifted and eroded commonly form rectangular, block-like, rock formations that consist of jointed rock.[4] Both tectonic forces acting on deeply buried, massive, bedrock, e.g. granite, and pressure release as this bedrock is uncovered by erosion can create sets of joints, which are known as orthogonal joint sets, that intersect at nearly 90°. Orthogonal joint sets quite often result in the formation of rock formations that are comparable in size and shape to the blocks shown in pictures of the alleged megaliths.[5][6]

Also, it is quite common for spheroidal weathering, which a form of chemical weathering, to occur as groundwater circulates through orthogonal joint sets in the nearsurface.[7] This process results in the alteration and disingtegration of bedrock adjacent to the joints. The preferential removal of weathered bedrock by erosion creates often creates bedrock blocks, which are called corestones. These bedrock blocks commonly have rounded corners and are separated from each other by cracks of variable size. Such corestones form both hills and mountains composed of exposed and rectangular blocks of jointed bedrock that are comparable to the rock formations found in the Mountain Shoriya. These hills and mountains are known as either tors or koppies.[8][9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ MacIsaac, T. (2014) Giant-megaliths found in Siberia could be largest ever Epoch Times, March 11, 2014. accessed 19 April 2014
  2. ^ Anonymous (2013) На юге Кузбасса найден "сибирский Стоунхендж". InfoSibnet. accessed 22 August 2014
  3. ^ Балаева, Е. (2014) Каменные «башни» Горной Шории. Smart News, June 21, 2014, accessed 22 August 2014
  4. ^ Ehlen, J. (2004) "Jointing." In S.A. Goudie, ed., pp. 579-580, Encyclopedia of Geomorphology volume 2 J–Z. Routledge New York, New York. 578 pp. ISBN 9780415327381
  5. ^ Davis, G.H., S.J. Reynolds, and C. Kluth (2012) Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions (3rd ed.): John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New york, New York. 864 pp. ISBN 978-0471152316
  6. ^ Pluijm, B. A. van der, and S. Marshak (2004) Earth structure : an introduction to structural geology and tectonics, 2nd ed. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, New York. 672 pp. 10110 ISBN 978-0393924671
  7. ^ Nicholson, D.T. (2004) "Speroidal weathering." In S.A. Goudie, ed., p. 992, Encyclopedia of Geomorphology, volume 2 J–Z. Routledge New York, New York. 578 pp. ISBN 9780415327381
  8. ^ Migon, P. (2006) Granite Landscapes of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. 384 pp. ISBN 0-19-927368-5
  9. ^ Twidale, C. R., and J. R.Vidal Romaní (2005) Landforms and Geology of Granite Terrains. Taylor & Francis Group plc, London, United Kingdom. 351 pp. ISBN 0-415-36435-3

Coordinates: 52°55′29.98″N 88°2′48.21″E / 52.9249944°N 88.0467250°E / 52.9249944; 88.0467250