Goblin Valley State Park

March 04, 2005

D1201

Provided and copyright by: Joe Decker
Summary authors & editors: Joe Decker

This photo illustrating different forms of weathering was taken in October 2002 at Goblin Valley State Park, Utah. The ten-to-twenty foot (3-6 m) tall "goblins" result primarily from erosion by wind and water acting on layers of sandstone, siltstone and shale. Strata of harder, more resistant rock atop weaker sandstone layering, which is more susceptible to erosion, account for the grotesque shapes of these desert pinnacles. Rounding of the "goblins" reflects a process called spheroidal weathering -- the corners of cube shaped blocks weather first producing a rounded appearance.

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