September 16, 2003
The above photo was taken off the highway between Baker, California and Death Valley National Park. Over the eons, erosion by wind and water have given an almost manmade look to this rock formation, reminiscent of a Roman coliseum. Even as the mountains around Death Valley rose, weathering processes began to wear them down. Flash floods from infrequent but intense cloud bursts resulted in the formation of steep-faced canyons and alluvial fans. Note the layered strata on both the cliffs and the boulders in the foreground.