You Can Tell A Lot About A Mountain From Its Colour

When we think about mountains we might think about them being constant, permanent features of our landscapes. However, through geology, we know this isn’t the case. The surface of our planet is forever changing and evolving, due to the movements of tectonic plates that make up our rocky crust. Mountains grow in the collision zones between plates over millions of years, but their presence is only transient as they are slowly eroded away again.

The more you travel through the Canadian Rockies, the more you’ll notice subtle gradients in colour from peak to peak. That’s no trick of the light. In fact, you can actually learn a lot about the mineral content of the rock itself simply by reading its hue.

A mountain with a reddish-orange tint likely has significant iron content, for instance. As you might expect, given the colour of tarnished copper, a mountain containing that metal often appears greenish. A yellow mountain, on the other hand, suggests a high concentration of Sulphur. On occasion, as in the striking Painted Bluffs near Kamloops, British Columbia, you can see many of these mineral deposits across the same multi-coloured rock face.

When you look at the local mountains around Lumby, what kind of minerals do you think are there?  Silver, lead, zinc and quartz are just a few present in our area. 

Have you taken the time to appreciate our majestic and colourful mountains surrounding us here?

A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Lauralee or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.

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