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Thread: Growing rocks

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Thanked 368 Times in 189 Posts

    Default raaahhx, or "rocks", if you prefer

    I don't think the rocks are actually being pushed up. I think the saturated ground surrounding them is warming and drying out and therefore contracting and revealing them. Not sure if I'm correct, but food for thought.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Colorado, for now
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts


    No, the rocks are being pushed up. I too grew up in the New England area and long noticed this, usually as my father and I were trying to get the garden ready for planting. It also is much more pronounced when the soil is silty, that is when the particle size is larger than clay yet smaller than sand. I do recall from my geology and soil science classes in New Hampshire seeing some graphs that showed soil pressures as a function of particle size. They also spoke about how lenses of moisature would form in the shadow beneath a rock. The only thing that I did not understand then, nor do I now is how a rock would move from a point below the frost line (36-48" in most of New England) up to a point where this effect could take place.

    Disclosure: Unlike my comments on weather where I have only a passing knowledge of the subject, I did completes a BS and an MS in geology. Whether that means I have competency is another thing entirely, but I am pretty well read in that.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill O
    This doesn't just happen on gravel roads, it happens everywhere. New England field are a good example. Rocks are always working there way up to the surface, its the result of heaving and thawing. Every spring New England farmers spend a significant amount of time just picking rocks and moving them to the edge of the field. Rocks that weren't there last summer.

    Well said Bill. We called them "frost throw ups". I spent many a spring helping to clear the neighboring farmer's fields in my younger days. For 8 hours of hard labor I earned the then whopping sum of $5.00 and was fed lunch!

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro!

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