Pierrabot and Other Erratic Boulders

Rob Wesson

Rob Wesson

The Pierrabot, near Neuchâtel,  and other giant glacial erratics in western Switzerland and elsewhere were initially a great puzzle to early geologists. The question was how these giant boulders of types of rock from distant places could have arrived where they rest today. Many thought that they had be transported from the mountains by Noah’s Flood. In Switzerland, Jean Pierre Perraudin, Ignatz Venetz, Jean de Chapentier, and eventually—and most famously—Louis Agassiz, argued that these boulders had been transported by glaciers during a time when glaciers covered most of Switzerland. Now we know that this time was during the most recent glacial maximum, in Switzerland about 24,000 years ago. Glacial erratics are actually not uncommon in northern Europe, the U.S., Canada, and previously glaciated terrain throughout the world.