Washington, D. C. Government Printing Office, 1930. First Edition. INSCRIBED "To Mr. Glen Dawson, with the compliments of Francois E. Matthes". 4to. 137 pp. bibliography; Index. Photo-reproductions; 4 fold-out plates (including two color maps); 3 large folding color maps in rear pocket. Publisher's tan printed wrappers in good condition (the rear cover & map pocket are separated from the book; there is clear tape along the spine). Glen Dawson (1912 – 2016) was an American rock climber, mountaineer, Los Angeles antiquarian bookseller, publisher and environmentalist. He began mountain climbing at age 17 and by the time of this report he was already among the most accomplished mountaineers in California. At the time of his death, aged 103, Dawson had the longest tenure as a Sierra Club member, having been a club member for over 94 years. Item #20728
For sixteen years Matthes’ main focus was to determine the origin of the Yosemite Valley, a specific request to the USGS from the Sierra Club (a formation controversy raged over Josiah Whitney’s block-fault hypothesis and John Muir’s belief that glaciers were largely responsible). In the fall of 1930, this report resolved the debate. "Occasionally in the history of science there appears a work so excellent, so comprehensive, that it becomes immediately a classic". (Professor Kirk Bryan)“… The principal result of the investigations upon which this report is based is the determination within narrow limits of the preglacial depth of the Yosemite Valley and of other facts concerning its preglacial development which permit fairly definite estimates of the proportionate shares of work performed by stream and by glacier. The investigations comprise a detailed survey of the glacial and geomorphologic features of the Yosemite region and an equally intensive study of its rock formations, supplemented by reconnaissance work of both kinds in adjoining parts of the Sierra Nevada. The petrologic studies were made by Frank C. Calkins; the glacial and geomorphologic survey by Francois E. Matthes." - USGS.