San Juan River Goosenecks
July 29, 2004
The above photo shows a classic example of gooseneck meanders on the San Juan River, a tributary of the Colorado River. It was captured early last month near Mexican Hat, Utah. At this location, the river has cut a very deep channel with meanders so tight it's possible to see four different parts of the river from the overlook where this picture was taken. Because the meanders are so tightly wound here, the river flows more than 5 miles (8 km) while progressing only 1 linear mile (1.6 km) downstream toward the Colorado River. Note also the effects of erosion on rock layers having varying degrees of resistance.