Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 23, 2012. The Hawthornes Are At Colorado National Monument. Part 2 Of 3.

Welcome to Part 2 of 3 of the Colorado National Monument.
Enjoy the pretty!

Geologic processes are relentless.  
They combined to separate Fallen Rock (far right) from the cliff face
and they continue to erode the canyon today.
Fallen Rock's slow fall occurred
over many centuries instead of seconds.

As temperatures drop below freezing during cold nights,
liquid water freezes to ice and expands.
Rocks crack and are pushed apart.
Warmer daytime temperature melt the ice 
and the cycle begins anew.
Water physically and chemically breaks down rock into particles 
small enough to be blown away by the wind.
Century after century,
these same geologic processes continue.

Beneath Fallen Rock,
the Chinle Formation was weathered and softened
by water seepage.
Flash floods cut into and further weakened
the support for the massive rock slab.

Instead of toppling "face forward"
when it separated from the cliff,
Fallen Rock slid "feet forward"
more than 100 feet to rest on the debris slope below,
where it has likely stood for thousands of years.

Fallen Rock.

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