Saturday, October 17, 2009

Garden of the Gods

The photo above is from a business trip I took to Colorado a couple of years ago. It is at Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs. The geological formation above is called "Balanced Rock".

Here in the East, we often see precariously perched rocks like this, which have been deposited by glaciers. They call them "glacial erratics". But the "Balanced Rock" was formed by a different process.

Amazingly, the Rocky Mountains that we see today are actually the "Modern Rockies". Before the Modern Rockies were uplifted, a previous mountain range had already been uplifted and eroded away. Some of the red granite sand and pebbles eroding from these "Ancestral Rockies" settled here in Garden of the Gods. You can see the layering of this sandstone, especially in the bottom half of this rock.

So what you see above is actually unevenly eroded sandstone, rather than one rock balanced on top of another.

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