The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

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South Geology Tour

Stop 4: Holes in Stone

DIRECTIONS: Descend the spiral staircase. Take the path through the stone walls to a concrete walkway. Continue to a large opening on your left where the rock becomes level with the walkway. Step onto the  rock and walk approximately 60 ft. and look for large holes in the rock. (37.526195° N, 077.454874° W)

Potholes are created when small pebbles and sand get caught in granite cracks. As water floods through the cracks, the pebbles grind against the granite creating a small hole. As larger rocks are swept into the cavity, they grind out a bigger hole. This process is known as ABRASION and takes thousands of years.

pothole with water and aerial of potholes

Feel the sides of a pothole. Beware of broken glass in the bottom. The sides are smoothest near the bottom where more recent carving has taken place. Stones that have been there the longest have rounded edges from the grinding process.

Potholes continue to grow when the river floods. Do not remove any stones, as this would end the development of the pothole and ruin the experience for other visitors.


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