White Pocket, the unusual “Sandstone Museum”

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The White Pocket contains some of the most astonishing geology you will ever find anywhere on earth.  It’s an isolated, notoriously hard-to-reach patch of sandstone.  in different colors and shapes hidden within the desert expanse of Vermillion Cliffs National Monument near the Arizona/Utah border. The entire area is covered in a gray rocky layer, sometimes only a few centimeters thick, above the red sandstone where the formations heave and drip that makes the entire landscape look like as if it was covered with icing sugar!

Quite simply, the scenery is stunning!

amazing landscapeThe extraordinary geology at White Pocket is not easily explained even if some geologist proclaim that White Pocket is a result of “soft sediment deformation”, meaning the contortions and twisting and turning at White Pocket occurred back in Jurassic time while the sand was saturated and before the sand was completely turned into rock.

The White Pocket was “discovered” by photographers about ten years ago but was relatively obscure, formerly known only by local ranchers and a handful of adventurous photographers till a year ago when National Geographic ran a story on the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, which included some excellent photos of White Pocket.

amazing landscape

Geologists say that every time a new layer of dunes was blown onto an existing layer, the ones beneath it were compressed and hardened by groundwater minerals.   These crossbeds often have different colors because the mineral deposits in the groundwater (sometimes rich in iron) varied from generation to generation.

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amazing landscape

amazing landscape  amazing landscape

White_Pocket_Arizona8via: perierga

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