Tag Archives: Glacial Geology

Dropstones and Blueberries

Today started off with a delicious breakfast of waffles, with fresh (store bought) blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.  We hit the road in our SJC van around 8:30 am.  We were headed to Cherryfield, Maine, which deceivingly is actually the “Wild Blueberry Capital of the World”. On our way there, we passed the Wyman’s of Maine factory.  Anyone who buys frozen blueberries in Maine knows that Wyman’s is the brand you buy. As we passed the factory, we smelled the scent of blueberries in the air.  We also drove past many of Wyman’s blueberry fields, one of which was getting watered, spraying a little bit of water onto our windshield.  There, we stopped to look at the land, which was actually a flat delta and the highest elevation in that area.  Normally, deltas are not the highest spot in an area, so this was an interesting location.  We looked at the type of glacial sediments on top of the bedrock, which seemed to be mostly sand and gravel.  We also looked at really colorful geology surficial and bedrock maps, learning about ribbed moraines and how they were formed.

Then, we moved onto another location in the area and Dr. Erikson used “conveniently placed” road dirt to teach us about triangulation and how to determine position using it.  He told us that before GPSs were invented, scientists based property lines off of data they got from measuring angles and distance between certain plaques on the ground.


After that, we drove to a field to look at erratics, which are rocks that are not where they are supposed to be.  There was an entire field of them, all of various sizes, but one literally stood out to all of us.

This large erratic was a dropstone, meaning that it once was a part of a glacier, but floated away from the glacier, inside of an iceberg.  As the iceberg melted, the rock fell out and dropped on the submerged delta. This specific rock was about 5 m high and 5 m across. A bunch of people wanted to climb it, and looking at the challenging climb it took them to get up to the top, it was not an easy one to say the least.  All around the boulder were fields and fields of blueberries.  We may have been trespassing, but we are not sure of that. Some of us picked a few of the lowbush blueberries and some of us climbed up on top of the rock.  Some of us did both.  Either way, it was a fun day for all of us.

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-Nhu Vo