Moran in Teton County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
The Art of Making Mountains
A landscape built up by earthquakes
The spectacular Teton Range began to rise around ten million years ago when movement on the Teton fault generated a series of massive earthquakes. The block of bedrock west of the fault rotated skyward to form the mountains and the block east of the fault hinged downward to form the valley of Jackson Hole. One day, another earthquake will continue this process.
Today the mountains tower more than 7,000 feet above the valley floor. Across Jackson Lake, the 40-mile-long Teton fault marks the abrupt transition between the steep mountain face and the flat valley floor.
Worn down by glaciers and erosion
Beginning some two million years ago, a series of glaciers flowed down from the high peaks and south from Yellowstone. These glaciers, their bases studded with rocky debris, ground and polished bedrock, carved U-shaped canyons, and dug out basins. The receding glaciers left behind moraines, ridges of boulders, gravel, and rock flour that form natural dams around the valley’s lakes. Jackson Lake is more than 400 feet deep, evidence of the power of glaciers to change the landscape.
Water, wind, and ice continue eroding the mountains, although with less power than during the ice age. Today’s small glaciers formed around 1400 and are currently receding, mere
Date Event Effect
170,000 to 120,000 years ago • Bull Lake glacial period • Glacier about 1,800 feet thick covered Jackson
500,000 to 14,000 years ago • Pinedale glacial period • Glaciers carved out lakes such as Jenny and Jackson
1,400 to 1850 AD • Little Ice Age • Skillet, Falling Ice, and Teton are largest remaining glaciers
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 43° 54.181′ N, 110° 38.621′ W. Marker is in Moran, Wyoming, in Teton County. Marker can be reached from Colter Bay Marina Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in Grand Teton National Park, on the deck in the back of the Colter Bay Visitor Center. Marker is in this post office area: Moran WY 83013, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Changing Landscape (here, next to this marker); John Colter (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Bold Trappers (approx. 1.8 miles away); Stephen Leek's Camera Conservation Grand Teton National Park (approx. 3.7 miles away); A New Era (approx. 3.7 miles away); Jackson Lake Lodge (approx. 3.8 miles away); Young, Restless, and Still Rising (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Moran.
More about this marker. A picture showing the glaciers on Mount Moran during the Pleistocene glacial period appears on the right side of the marker.
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 195 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 9, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.