According to Chinese news agencies, a glacier expedition team led by Professor Han Tonglin, a researcher from the China Academy of Geological Science, recently discovered remains of China’s largest volcanic glacier zone. The remains were found in the high mountains in Jushui township of Qingyuan county, Zhejiang province. It is estimated that the glacier was formed about two to three million years ago in the Quaternary period.
The expedition team discovered numerous Quaternary period relics such as Kano (glacier formed landscape), canyon boulders, gravel, ice moraine, and signs of lowland glaciers after exploring three canyons more than 10 kilometers long, Xinhua Net reported on April 25.
After investigating the giant glacier boulders and hundreds of glacial “mortars”–dished out spots in the bedrock, so named because of their similarity to mortars used in ancient China to crush rice–the experts confirmed that this group of glacial hollows were formed as a result of water from melted glaciers during the Quaternary period eroding the volcanic bedrock.
According to Han, the pits found in the discovered bedrock are rare geological relics of valley glacial scouring.
Han reported most of the Quaternary period glacier relics in Qingyuan county of Zhejiang province are in the form of “glacier mortars.” They exist in large amounts covering a vast area, mostly in their original shapes. Some of the glacier mortars are as big as six meters in diameter, and as deep as twelve meters.
Han said this is the biggest group of “glacier mortars” he has ever seen during his 40 years of geological research.