June 25, 2004
The above photo was taken in June of 2003 and shows a canyon known as Willis Slot, located near the town of Tropic, in southern Utah's Grand Staircase/Escalante National monument. Geomorphology is the study of landforms. Few things in nature speak to us as intimately and yet draw upon our scientific curiosity as our sculptured Earth. The final page of a great mystery story lies at our feet.
The Navajo Formation is a remarkably uniform quartz sandstone of middle Mesozoic age. It's the remains of a Sahara-like Desert of vast proportions when North America began to split apart for the supercontinent of Pangea.
As Colorado Plateau streams cut into this unit, they often form narrow slot canyons. Willis Slot is one of dozens of classic slot canyons in the area that make this a unique part of our American heritage.