Monument Valley by Navajo known as Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley of the rocks is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft above the valley floor. Monument Valley is located on the northern border of Arizona with southern Utah and lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation.
The floor is largely Cutler Red siltstone or its sand deposited by the meandering rivers that carved the valley. The valley’s vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone. The darker, blue-gray rocks in the valley get their color from manganese oxide. The buttes are clearly stratified, with three principal layers. The lowest layer is Organ Rock shale, the middle de Chelly sandstone and the top layer is Moenkopi shale capped by Shinarump siltstone.
Monument Valley was created from beneath the Earth’s surface. During the Paleozoic Era, about 570 million years ago the entire Colorado Plateau was underneath the Gulf of Mexico, which brushed against the young sediments of Rocky Mountains. Uplift from the Earth’s mantle created the ocean floor to crack while the sea subsided west during the shifting of the Pacific and North American Plates. At the end of the Jurassic Period, about 65 million years ago the mud from the ocean floor became sand stone held together by the Organ Rock formation and the mountain sediments such as limestone. In certain places you will see ancient volcano plugs that turned into Basalt – an igneous rock formation. With continuous erosion from water and wind, you are seeing one of the most amazing places of natures creation.
Taken with Canon 5D Mark II and Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM