Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Strange Hoodoos of Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

This could be one of the weird and wonderful places in Utah, United States, is Goblin Valley situated in Emery County between the towns of Green River and Hanksville. In 1954, the property was acquired by the state of Utah and the Goblin Valley State Reserve was established. It was officially designated a state park in 1964. The Goblin valley, is about a mile across and two miles long, filled with thousands of strange hoodoos eroded sandstone rocks, carved by the wind and the water into shapes signifying mythical goblins and other phantasmagoric creatures. The most remarkable formations are three isolated hoodoos, huge in size, standing on top of a narrow ridge, enclosed by the flat, grassy land that extends for miles around. The strange hoodoos were formed by the erosion of the so-called “Entrada sandstone”, which was formed during the Jurassic period somewhere between 190 and 140 million years ago.

This area was situated next to an ancient sea. These strange shapes were created due to “Entrada sandstone” is made up of different kinds of sedimentary rocks having different levels of hardness, causing the rocks to erode at different rates. Therefore, the softer rock material eroded more rapidly, sendoff the harder rock behind in the shape of “goblins”. A trip to this strange and colorful valley is unlike any other place in Utah. The landscape, covered with sandstone goblins and formations, is often compared to Mars. Explore the geology, and camp among the nooks and gnomes. Moreover, the secluded Goblin Valley was first unearthed by cowboys searching for their cattle. In the late 1920s, “Arthur Chaffin”, the later owner of the Hite Ferry, along with his companions were searching for an alternate route between Green River and Caineville, when they came to an old point around 1 mile west of Goblin Valley. The Chaffin and his friends were awed by what they saw five buttes and a valley of strange, goblin-shaped rock formations fenced by a wall of eroded cliffs. It was given the name of Mushroom Valley by Chaffin. However, he returned to it in 1949 and consumed numerous days exploring the secretive valley and photographing its scores of intricately eroded rocks.

Moreover, vegetation is limited to hardy desert species that can endure blowing sand and hot dry surface conditions exist on a limited supply of water in the arid desert environment. Animals every so often travel several miles to find water or else wait for thunderstorms to provide moisture. Mostly Jack rabbits, kangaroo, scorpions, rats, kit foxes, pronghorns, midget faded rattlers, lizards, and coyotes are found within and near the park. The Goblin Valley is a most liked destination for film makers. Though Goblin Valley is a wonderful place to hike around and ogle at the goblins, however, take care to leave no trace and respect the space! If you ever plan to visit Goblin Valley yourself, the park offers a short naturalist-guided hike called "The Fallen Goblin," which is inspired by the incident.

Friday, 24 February 2017

The Bizzare Shape Fantasy Canyon, Utah

Fantasy Canyon is a small roadside attraction of highly weathered rock formations in very bizarre shapes. Fantasy Canyon is the official designation of an area composed of unique erosional features it contains some of the most unique geologic features in the world. Fantasy Canyon is located about 25 miles south of Vernal, in northeastern Utah, United States. The place itself is famous locally as “The Devil’s Playground” and “Hades Pit” Hades is the lord of the underworld in Greek mythology. The Fantasy Canyon is a small area, actually not a canyon in reality, is packed with some of the most exclusively weathered rock formations bearing intriguing descriptive names such as “Flying Witch”, “Screaming Man” and “Alien Head”. During the Eocene Epoch, about 40 to 50 million years ago, the Unita Basin was well covered by a big lake called Lake Uinta.

Fantasy Canyon was located along the east shore of the lake, which is started to fill with sediments from the surrounding area and the once loose sands, silts, and clays were forged into sandstone and shale. Moreover, localized uplifting of this rock occurred, and this material started to erode. Therefore the different weathering conditions, the more durable sandstone endured while the more easily weathered siltstone and shale eroded away, acquiescent this remarkable scenery. The rare rock formations in Fantasy Canyon will eventually weather away and then topple and erode into sand, but fresh formations will appear as the topsoil washes away. Hence, the subtle formations are so brittle the area is referred to as “Nature’s China Shop.” This region is may be hard to get to, but one is rewarded by a short easy walk of less than one mile through a variety of fantastic formations. Though not a destination, this makes a great, short, roadside attraction before or after floating the White River. This is also a great place for kids to play and explore. Also, this is a gas field buzzing with a high volume of truck traffic and the road is fairly rough, so please drive cautiously.

Jasper Creek Venezuela

Jasper Creek is the name of a river and a series of cascades and waterfalls in the South American country of Venezuela. In the Gran Sabana Municipality of Bolívar State, in Venezuela, adjacent the town of Santa Elena de Uairén, flows a small stream. Japer creek bedrock of this stream is pure jasper, a semi-precious stone of mostly quartz and silica, with a strong red color due to the presence of iron. Jasper is used throughout the world to make jewelry and ornaments. The Venezuela native people traditionally used the jasper as striking stones to create sparks to start fires, so the creek is locally known as Kako Paru or “Firestone Creek”. In English, it is known by the name of Jasper Creek or “Quebrada de Jaspe” in Spanish. Jasper Creek is located about 25 km southwest of Mount Roraima. Jasper creek is naturally found in veins and cracks in volcanic rocks, and generally occurs only in comparatively small deposits, but in the Guiana Highlands, the intrusions of magma into the sedimentary bedrock have led to the formation of massive slabs of the stone that sometimes are hundreds of meters long. Moreover the stone slab of jasper over which the creek flows is more than 300 meters long, and the water is just a few inches deep.

Moreover the ripples in the water have carved long, parallel grooves and channels in the bedrock. In the shelter of this grooves, black algae grows that provides the riverbed a stripped appearance alike to tiger’s skin. The factual brilliance of the jasper is apparent only when sunlight shines directly on wet stone, writes “IbexEarth”. “When sunlight shines on the Firestone Creek, the brilliance of the cascades is exposed and the bedrock glows crimson and orange.” Jasper Creek is not the only creek with jasper bedrock; however a lot of other small streams throughout the Guiana Highlands cascade over layers of jasper or red hematite, but Jasper Creek are the largest and most remarkable of all. It is one of the most widespread tourist spot in Gran Sabana. Every year, thousands of visitors pay the visit to this unique place.

The Wilderness of Bisti Badlands

The Bisti Badlands, which is also called Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, is a massive rolling landscape of phantasmagoric formations of earth and stone situated in northwestern New Mexico’s high desert lands. Bisti is resulting from the Navajo word “Bistahi” which means "among the adobe formations." De-Na-Zin takes its name from another Navajo word for "cranes." In this beautiful landscape here wind and water erosion over a long time have carved a imaginary world of bizarre rock formations and hoodoos in the form of pinnacles, spires, mushrooms and other rare forms that have fascinated names such as "Cracked Eggs", “Bisti Wings” and "Rock Garden".

This is untouched area so far and very least visited and mostly unknown was once an ancient riverine delta on the shores of an ancient sea, somewhere 70 million years ago. As the time passes the water gradually receded, lush foliage grew along the numerous riverbanks and several prehistoric animals wandered the area. Therefore, when the water disappeared completely, it left behind layers of jumbled sandstone, shale, mudstone, and coal. However, abundance of the coal burned away in ancient fires that lasted centuries. Moreover, erosion then formed the characteristic features of the contemporary landscape of the Bisti Wilderness. Furthermore 6,000 years ago, when the last ice age retreated, the waters of the melting glaciers assisted uncover fossils and petrified wood, as well as eroding the rock into the hoodoos now observable. Mostly three kinds of formations are bare in Bisti Wilderness area — the Ojo Alamo Formation, which has left naked the thick deposit of volcanic ash from an ancient eruption, and Fruitland formation and the Kirtland Shale. Here are recreational activities in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness includes hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, photography, and horseback riding. Make sure, campfires are forbidden in the Wilderness.

The Ojo Alamo Formation extents the Mesozoic/Cenozoic boundary, and typically contains dinosaur remnants. Thus, the Fruitland Formation comprises layers of sandstone, coal and shale was laid down when the surroundings were marshy, humid and warm, with meagre drainage. The Fruitland Formation is found mainly on the western side of the Wilderness. However, the Kirtland Shale is the product of alluvial muds and overbank sand deposits from the numerous channels draining the coastal plain in the late Cretaceous period. Though, it overlies the Fruitland Formation, and is exposed on the eastern side of the badlands. Several of the gray hoodoos in the wilderness are made up of this formation. The exclusive egg-shaped formation, in the “egg factory” area, is also the result of erosion. Consequently, the cracks are the result of differential weathering conditions, whereas the speckled appearance due to mineral deposits in the stream that cut through the sedimentary rock. The Bisti Badlands is an amazingly scenic and colorful expanse of undulating mounds and unusual eroded rocks covering 45,000 acres, hidden away in the high desert even less publicized. The badlands are administered by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), are free to enter, and are known officially, but less evocatively as the Bisti Wilderness Area.