Bryce III

loiteke

North Las Vegas, United States

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Artist's Description

Our dynamic planet is constantly being shaped and reshaped by dramatic events, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and mudslides. Other changes may not be detected in a human lifetime. Geological timespans or Periods cover millions of years. The Cretaceous Period began some 144 million years ago and lasted until about 63 million years ago. The rock formations you see exposed at Bryce Canyon began to develop during this time. For 60 million years a great seaway extended northward into this area, depositing sediments of varying thickness and composition as it repeatedly invaded, retreated, then re-invaded the region. Retreating to the southwest, it left sediments thousands of feet thick. Their remnants form the oldest, lowest, gray-brown rocks at Bryce Canyon.

In the Tertiary Period, between 63 and 40 million years ago, rivers and streams flowing from surrounding highlands deposited iron rich limy sediments into an ancient freshwater lake system. The sediment became the reddish-pink rocks that represent the Claron Formation from which the hoodoos are carved and for which the Pink Cliffs are named.

The Cretaceous Seaway moved northward from the Gulf of Mexico into this region of North America. Sediments deposited as the sea invaded and retreated became the brown and gray now exposed at the park’s lowest elevations and across the Paria Valley.

Sediments come from debris eroded from the land. Water carries varying sizes of debris or dissolves it chemically. When water slows or cools, particles settle to the bottom of the waterway, sorted by size and weight. Rocks form when particles are cemented and bonded together. Water running over surfaces removes the softer layers below hard cap rock to form monoliths such as Thor’s Hammer.

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nature natural parks bryce canyon us utah

Artwork Comments

  • Sharon Davey
  • loiteke
  • LindaMcCarthy
  • loiteke
  • savage1
  • loiteke
  • julie anne  grattan
  • loiteke
  • Stephen Vecchiotti
  • loiteke
  • CanyonWind
  • sarnia2
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