posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 06:43 PM
This area was covered by glaciers during the previous ice age, which makes it likely to be a glacial landform of some sort. And obviously, it wasn't
there before the previous ice-age, or at least, the rock pile wasn't. Perhaps the depression is an old meteorite crater? But even that wouldn't have
been necessary to explain it.
As the glacier melted, streams formed, some of them short lived. A short lived stream may have transported and deposited rocks in this pattern,
perhaps off a small waterfall coming off a glacier, say a ~20ft wall of ice just above it. You can see the formation is not perfectly circular; it's
oriented with the slope. Larger/heavier rocks piled up in the middle where the water fell. Smaller rocks scattered radially, pushed from that center
by the water flow. That's the easy part to guess.
This location is relatively close to the source of the alpine glacier. It would have begun to form at the end of the life of the glacier. So here's my
guess at how the cone formed:
The formation began at the base of a waterfall off the ice wall of a glacier. The base level of this formation formed first. The heaviest rocks
remained in the center where they fell, and smaller rocks were pushed from the center into a ring. As the glacier melted, the ice wall retreated, and
so the place where the water fall hit the ground traveled uphill over time. Also, as the glacier was in its last years, the average flow rate
decreased from year to year, and the drop of the falls became shorter. With less water flowing and less far to drop, the energy to scatter rocks is
gradually decreasing. Thus the radius of the ring becomes shorter over time, as the center point travels uphill, explaining the cone shape, and
smaller rocks can increasingly remain in the center instead of being scattered out to the ring wall. The final central rock pile is the final landing
spot for the waterfall that created this formation.
One thing I'd add though is that the rock pile is supposedly all limestone. Limestone is very susceptible to weathering. I'm not sure if it's unusual
for a pile of limestone to have lasted so long there. This could have formed maybe a few thousand years ago. But maybe as it's from the last days of
the glacier, it's not such an old formation.
edit on 12-11-2013 by 11andrew34 because: grammer