Like a Piece of Art

Trevor Connaher- hour 2

Summer of Fun

Over the summer my family and I visited three nationally recognized parks each boasting a unique and impressive type of geography, called Zion, Bryce, and Arches National Park which to our benefit were all found in southern Utah. During the trip we visited my aunt and uncle whom live just outside of Zion canyon in the small but friendly village of Springdale. Although small this town does not lack interest. You can find everything from pottery shops to artwork made of copper and bronze. It was on the evening of July 16th that we began this exciting journey out west, but it was not until the next evening when we had finally reached our destination. The trip lasted for 10 days giving us plenty of time to fully emerse ourselves in the spectacular parks. But this trip wouldn't have been possible without the relentless work of erosion and weather which caused once ordinary rocks to become beautiful pieces of geographical art, and of course my parent's wallet. We took this trip not only to become more familiar and knowledge about the land but also to visit with family, relax, and have a lot of fun.

Science behind It

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park may possibly one of the most unquie national parks out west. It's a combination of a forest/desert like biome which mesmerizes people all over the world. But it is Bryce's most infamous attraction that rightufully gets the most attention, the hoodos. Although beautifully simplistic the hoodos found in the park took millions of years to construct, and even now these interesting rock formations continue to change.

The creation of these majestic and interesting hoodos all started at the bottom of a genormus lake, covering what we now call the Colorado Platue. The river feeding this ever growing lake, also allowed sediment to reach it and start piling up on the bottom. Over the years the lake began to dry out leaving behind a soggy, mushy pile of sediment. This too also began to dry out and harden, turning into the red filled rocks we see today. However it is not the creation of these rocks that influences millions of people around the world to visit Bryce Canyon, in an ironic way it's the destruction of these magnificent rocks. Throughout millions of years the rocks found here in Bryce Canyon National Park have taken on many different appearances. This through the destructive as well as artistic process of weathering and erosion has allowed the rocks to take on a unique shape. During the winter and spring the snow pack melts down causing the excess water to drain into the rock. Then when the water refreezes it cracks the rock, eventually when the crack becomes large enough the remaining piece of rock crashes to the ground. This process over millions of years has shaped the rocks into what we see today.

Big image


These four photos were taken at Bryce canyon national park while hiking the sunset/sunrise point trail hike as well as the queens garden trail.

Arches National Park

It is to no surprise that arches national park is one of the most iconic natural landmarks found in North America. This inspirational place contains the highest concentration of natural stone arches in the world, nearly 2,000, each with their own unique personality. Here you can find the infamous delicate arch, reaching a staggering 65 feet tall and comprised of Estrada Sandstone that was slowly worn away to reveal the magnificent rock we see today. But how exactly do arches form?

Four things must happen or be ineffect for archces to form, the first of which the presence of the correct rock. In arches the majority of the rock formations are made of Estrada Sandstone. This sandstone we see today was once part of massive dessert covering southern Utah, as it hardened and was introduced to clay particles it created the correct rock type in which arches can form. Next you must crack the rock into parrel lines, you can do this through the the following process. Beneath all of this sandstone lays a layer of salt, which is crushed together by the rocks that reside above it. The pressure causes the salt to budge creating large long domes which in turn cracks the earth above it this creates a series of parrel lines. You must then have the correct amount of rain to allow the process of weathering and erosion to take place. When it rains the perception drains into the porus rock formations rotting the sandstone from the inside out. To much rain and the rock widles away to quickly. To little rain and the rock is never molded into the masterpieces we see today. Luckily arches national park receives eight to ten inches a year which may not seem like a lot, but is just enough to create the over 2,000 arches that dot the landscape within the park. Finally you must have very little sysmic activity, that would cause the rock formations to crumble to the ground, destroying these beautiful pieces of art.

Big image


These five photos were taken at Arches National Park while hiking the Delicate Arch trail and Double Rrch trail.

I wonder...

1.How do the ever famous hodos found in Bryce Canyon form?

2.How do the ever delicate arches of Arches National Park form?

3.Are there specific types of sandstone needed to create these rocks, and if so what is it?

4.Do different types of erosion such as wind, water, or sysmic creates a certain rock formation.


Works Cited

"TaleOf2Rocks(30minVer).avi." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.

United States. National Park Service. "Arches National Park (U.S. National Park Service)." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.