The geomorphic evolution of the Yosemite Valley and Sierra Nevada landscapes solving the riddles in the rocks [by] Jeffrey P. Schaffer. JEFFREY P. SCHAFFER.

The geomorphic evolution of the Yosemite Valley and Sierra Nevada landscapes solving the riddles in the rocks [by] Jeffrey P. Schaffer. [Berkeley, CA: Published by Wilderness Press, 1997.]. 27.8x21.5 cm, pp. [i-vi] vii-xii 1 [2] 3-388, illustrations, diagrams, maps, original pictorial wrappers, perfect bound. First edition. A later issue with tipped-in sheet printed on both sides headed "'Riddles' Update, February 2003." A controversial work on the evolution of the Sierra Nevada landscape. "Agreeing with many geomorphologists -- of a hundred years ago -- Schaffer argues that glaciers are ineffective agents of erosion, based in part on comparisons of glaciated and unglaciated landscapes. Further, he argues that glacial geomorphologists have completely ignored rockfall as an important process in the evolution of alpine landscapes. Schaffer believes glaciers’ chief role in areas composed of resistant rock (such as found in much of the Sierra) is to transport debris, especially rockfall deposits; moraines, then, are not composed chiefly of glacially eroded bedrock but are composed chiefly of transported rockfall deposits. Schaffer argues that mass wasting has been the most important process in Yosemite Valley’s widening. Based on limited field work elsewhere in the Sierra, Schaffer extrapolates his findings to a good portion of the Sierra Nevada, and, with little or no field work outside the Sierra, tentatively extrapolates his findings to glaciated mountains worldwide. Schaffer wrote the book so that a serious geologist could find it useful, but simply enough so a layperson could grasp the main ideas. Schaffer accomplishes this difficult goal admirably well. Even if all his work were to be disproved, his book would remain interesting for its comprehensive review of changing ideas of Yosemite’s geomorphic evolution, from Whitney to Huber. Regrettably, Schaffer’s attempts to discredit other scientists’ work goes beyond the substance of their work and, at times, becomes very personal ... If Schaffer’s work proves to be largely correct -- and few geoscientists believe it is -- he could be the next Alfred Wegener. Until his work is verified and accepted by the geological community (if ever), Schaffer will remain an outcast. However, I encourage those interested in glacial and alpine geomorphology and geology of the Sierra Nevada to read Schaffer’s book. Some geologists would have Schaffer’s work suppressed; on that basis alone it should be read" (Jeffrey R. Trust, The Geomorphic Evolution of the Yosemite Valley and Sierra Nevada Landscapes by Jeffrey P. Schaffer, Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, Volume 59, 1997, pp. 153-157). Former owner's rubber-stamped name on inside front cover, a very good copy. (#166240).

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