July 11, 2004
The above photo shows the "hanging stone" found in the Vila Velha State Park in the municipality of Ponta Grossa in Southern Brazil -- about 80 km west of Curitiba. This rocky formation has an elevation of 10 to 30 m above the surrounding terrain and features many interesting shapes, such as the "boot," the "bottle," the "cup," and the "hanging stone."
The natural sandstone sculptures of Vila Velha are classic examples of ruiniform relief -- the combination of erosive processes with pre-existing attributes of the rocks. Vila Velha Sandstone is part of the base of the ltararé Group (Upper Carboniferous to Lower Permian of the Paraná Basin, Southern Brazil). It has a reddish coloration, due to the presence of ferriferous cement, and medium to fine grain size.