Saturday, 2 January 2016

The Wave, A Unique Sandstone Formation in Arizona

“The Wave” is a sandstone formation on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, located in northern portion of the U.S. state of Arizona. The Beautiful sandstone formation is famous among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms, and the rugged trackless hike required to reach it. Well, this place is among the most scenic hiking destinations in the entire Southwest, so extremely popular which makes officials use a lottery to decide who gets to walk its trails. Therefore, be aware that there are only 20 daily spots that are given through a lottery, and 10 of them online and 10 of them in person, and if you win the tickets is for the next day, not for the current one!

The Wave” consists of intersecting U-shaped troughs that have been eroded into Navajo Sandstone of Jurassic age. Further, the two major troughs, which encompass this rock formation infrequent run off eroded these troughs along joints within the Navajo Sandstone. After their formation, the drainage basin, which fed rainwater to these troughs, shrank to the point that the runoff became inadequate to contribute to the cutting of these troughs. The Wave exposes large-scale, sets of cross-bedded eolian sandstone composed of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grain-flow and wind-ripple laminae. The Wave is the result of the differential erosion of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grain-flow and wind-ripple laminae within the Navajo Sandstone. The soft sandstone, including the ridges and ribbing, of The Wave is fragile. As a result, persons must walk carefully to avoid breaking the small ridges.

The Wave and its signature landscape among the most photographed in North America, and also be called the Devil’s Playground.  Officials, described in its website as “a gallery of gruesomely twisted sandstone, resembling deformed pillars, cones, mushrooms and other odd creations with the unique blending of color twisted in the rock, creating a dramatic rainbow of pastel yellows, pinks and reds.” The arduous hiking demonstrates the inherent risks associated with hiking in southern Utah's desert country. Even though to make sure you’re extremely fit for this hike, it is highly recommended to do it early in the morning, and make sure you have enough water and supplies. Moreover, hikers must choose their own route across the open desert, which needs traversing exposed sandstone, sand dunes, and sandy wash bottoms.