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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Thu, 27.05.21 13:00
ES Picture of the Day 27 2021
EPOD - a service of USRA

The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes
and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and
archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
relevant links.

Geodiversity atop Utah’s Velvet Ridge

May 27, 2021

RoyB_capreef300c_8april21 (002)

RoyB_capreef290c_8april21 (002)

Photographer: Ray Boren

Summary Author: Ray Boren

Velvet Ridge is a stretch of cliffs and other eye-catching
formations that rise above the Fremont River between the small
rural towns of Torrey and Bicknell in south-central Utah, west of
Capitol Reef National Park. The ridge and the park share many of
the same characteristics of geodiversity, which the National Park
Service defines as a range of geologic resources, encompassing rocks,
sediments, minerals, fossils, landforms and physical processes.

The first photograph here, taken on April 8, 2021, showcases colorful
features of the High Plateaus Section of North America’s vast
Colorado Plateau, ranging from the sandstone cliffs in the high
background, which in this region record 275 million years of Earth’s
past, as well as evidence of ancient volcanism. The tinted clay in
the foreground is bentonite, well-known in the nearby park. This
formation is composed of volcanic ash, as well as silt, sand and mud,
deposited in lakes and swamps during the Jurassic, 145 to 201
million years ago.

And then there’s that perplexing scatter of big black boulders,
peppering red and white rock as well as lying atop the cracked clay
slopes. The area’s boulders came from basalt and andesite
cliffs on nearby Thousand Lake Mountain (elevation
11,300 ft/3,444.2 m) and Boulder Mountain (11,317 ft/3,449 m), both
prominent high plateaus. Elongated Boulder Mountain is visible to the
south, across the valley of the Fremont River (also visible) in the
second photo, also taken from atop the rim of Velvet Ridge on April 8.
Geologists believe small Ice Age glaciers cut and quarried the high
cliffs, and then erosion — via rockslides, landslides, meltwater
streams and flash floods — over time distributed the boulders hither
and thither across the complicated landscape.

Capitol Reef, Utah Coordinates: 38.2, -111.166667

Related EPODs

Geodiversity atop Utah’s Velvet Ridge Archive - Roof of the
World Volcano Villarrica, the Southern Cross and the Carina Nebula
Pantanello Beach, Sicily Terraces Dryland Farming Davey
Jackson’s Valley in Winter

Geography Links

* Atlapedia Online
* CountryReports
* GPS Visualizer
* Holt Rinehart Winston World Atlas
* Mapping Our World
* Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
* Types of Land
* World Mapper

Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
Space Research Association.

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