Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada ... the rocks

The Red Rock Canyon is a Federal Park, located about 30 minutes out of Las Vegas in Nevada. It is the southern tip of the Grand Canyon. Rugged & dry, the area was home to native Americans.

The fault shows layers of different coloured rock. The red and white sand of ancient hills began as an ancient sea floor. Millions of years later, they were part of a desert larger than the Sahara. The sand dunes were shifted by the wind, creating ripples of colour contrast.

Mountains in the distance are the oldest rock. The 'white' & 'red' rocks are younger and in some areas, lay below the old rock. Plate Teutonic motion crammed one layer under another.
In some areas, iron was present, producing red sand.
Erosion leaves rocks tilting to the wind.
Skeletons of trees twist in the dry heat.
Calcium carbonate from ancient sea shells dissolved, hardened and then 'glued' the sand together to produce rock. You can see a heavy Calcium layer in the rocks.
One can only wonder what caused the dark red stain in this rock. Some rocks had dots of deep red.
This pine tree clings to the side of a cliff, despite the dead wood on one side.
Fire has left its mark.
Dots on the mountain side turns out to be climbers!
Layers of sandstone are eroded away,
creating fantastic shapes.

You can imagine these large flat areas being ceremonial locations. Mother Nature peeled off a slice to make a platform for the gods!
Red Rock Canyon is certainly a place to visit and wonder at the history of millions of years ... etched in the rock.


Florence said...

What surprising mountains!!!

Judy Alexander said...

Great photos! Lots of inspiration here.