Bryce Canyon, Utah
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Queens Blessing
N 37° 31.916 W 112° 15.624
12S E 388638 N 4154630
Quick Description: Bryce Canyon National Park is in Utah.
Location: Utah, United States
Date Posted: 11/22/2012 9:01:53 PM
Waymark Code: WMFRCD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 12

Long Description:
Bryce Canyon National Park is not an actual "canyon" since the formation of canyon involves water, and Bryce was actually created by the action of frost-wedging and chemical weathering. This location in Utah has very harsh weather, where for 200 days of the year, the temperature will swing both above and below freezing. This wide range in daily temperature is what causes the extreme wearing on the rock, causing beautiful formations of hoodoos, arches, and ampitheaters. During the daytime, water that had frozen or turned to frost overnight melts, and seeps into the cracks and fractures of the rock, and then freezes again at night. The freezing water expandes by 9%, giving it extreme power (estimated to be from 2,000 to 20,000 pounds per square inch), called "frost-wedging" which cracks and pries the rock apart, allowing still more moisture to seek into the now larger crack, and the weathering continues. When rainwater runs over rock, the limestone slowly dissolves, and washes away.

Bryce Canyon is part of a geological formation called "The Grand Staircase", which is a huge sequence of layers of sedimentary rock that ranges from Bryce Canyon National Park all the way thru Zion National Park and ends in the Grand Canyon National Park. The term "staircase" was probably first used by geologist Clarence Dutton in the 1870s, who when discribing the rock layers, said they appeared to erode away in uneven layers, leaving giagantic "steps" similar to a staircase or a layer cake.

What makes this huge area unique in the world is the enormous amount of the Earth's history that is preserved in the layers, said to be more intact than anyplace else on earth. The five major "steps" that record the Earth's history are referred to by colorful names: Grey Cliff, White Cliffs, Pink Cliffs, Vermillion Cliffs and Chocolate Cliffs. The history of the Earth has been laid down, layer upon layer, and then exposed the frost-wedgeing and chemical weathering, allowing for the study of millions of years of history; uniquely this area is free of the scouring, block faulting or upheaval seen on so much of the rest of the world, allowing scientists and geologists to see the history in the same sequence in which it was originally laid down.

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Geology of Bryce Canyon

Arches (also known as windows)
These are geologic formations of at least 3 feet in diameter. They are created when natural holes develop around cracks of the sedimentary rock, increasing in size in 2 perpendicular directions, creating a large "hole" in the sediment that resembles a window. Generally speaking a "bridge" formation is created by flowing water, whereas arches, which are found in Bryce Canyon, are created by anything but flowing water (such as wind or frost-wedging). As windows or arches continue to weather, they eventually become hoodoos.

Hoodoos (also called Goblins)
These are geologic formations that range in size from 5 to 150 feet tall, or Claron Limestone (siltstones and mudstones but is predominatly limestone), and created during the Paleocene or Eocene age (40-60 million years ago), and now weathers into tall skinny, column-like or totem pole-like spires. Some of the hoodoos appear to wear a "cap" of harder material, which a magnesium-rich limestone called dolomite, which dissolves much more slowly.

Wall and Narrows (also called Fins and Slot Canyons)
These are geologic formations that range in size from 100 to 600 feet long, 100 to 200 feet tall, and various thicknesses. These are erosions that are similar to deep, but narrow, dry river beds, created by weathering during the desert monsoon season of the Bryce Canyon area, when during the predictable July to August daily rainstorms occur, water races thru these slots, but is not obsorbed by the dense rock, rather it courses thru the slot, tearing into the fractures, cracks and joints and carrying away enormous amounts of sediment.
Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Access fee (In local currency): 12.00

Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no

Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no

Public Transport available: yes

Website reference: [Web Link]

Parking Coordinates: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
No specific requirements, just have fun visiting the waymark.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Benchmark Blasterz visited Bryce Canyon, Utah 8/4/2014 Benchmark Blasterz visited it
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Queens Blessing visited Bryce Canyon, Utah 12/5/2012 Queens Blessing visited it
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