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Arches National Park Utah Castle Panorama

Arches Castle Panorama

Panorama view of the Castle in Arches National Park in Utah.  Wingate sandstone ( 200 million years old) – Orange-red rocks of the wingate sandstone are solidified sand dunes. A desert as large as the Sahara once drifted here. Wind blown sand were buried by newer sediments and cemented  into stone, eventually eroding to form the spires of the Castle and the high cliffs surrounding the Fruita area.

Chinle Formation ( 225 million years old) – Gray-green and purple layers of the Chinle Formation were deposited as volcanic  ash drifted down upon a low, swampy floodplain. Lowland conifer trees fell into the swamps mud to become petrified wood. Phytosaurs , crocodile-like reptiles 18 feet long lived in the shallow lakes and meandering rivers.

Moenkopi Formation (245 million years old) – Brick-red layers of the Moenkopi Formation are full of ripple marks and mud cracks, This was an arid, subtropical land of river deltas, tidal mudflats, and a shallow sea. Small lizard-like reptiles left footprints and swim smears in mud covered by shallow water.


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