Geologic Trip,

Tuolumne Meadows

Pothole Dome


During the last glacial episode, Tuolumne Meadows was covered by the 2,000-foot thick Tuolumne icefield. Much of this ice moved slowly westward down the Tenaya and Tuolumne River drainages. When the ice encountered a low hill of resistant granite, it overrode the hill and ground the hill into a rounded, streamlined shape, called a roche moutonnée. There are many roche moutonnée in the Tuolumne Meadows area. Two of the best examples are Lembert Dome and Pothole Dome and both are formed from the Cathedral Peak Granodiorite. Pothole Dome has potholes and flutes on the south side of the dome, features that are common in rivers but rarely found on roche moutonnée.

Related Links

Geologic background: Tuolumne Meadows (pdf)

Geologic trips: Olmstead Point     Pothole Dome     Tioga Pass


Exterior Websites

National Park Service:  Yosemite NP,   Tuolumne Meadows Map and Area Information 

Yosemite Hikes: Pothole Dome,   Tuolumne Meadows Trail Map

  Sierra Nevada