Coal Mine Canyon

March 19, 2009


Photographer: Sue Strickland
Summary Author: Sue Strickland, Jim Foster

The striking photo above shows Coal Mine Canyon in northeastern Arizona, on the edge of the Painted Desert, bordering the Hopi and Navajo Indian Reservations. Though a bit off the beaten path, this area holds breathtaking views of sedimentary layering and rock formations of varying resistance (mostly sandstone). Low grade deposits of coal can be found scattered across this area, hence its name. In this portion of the Colorado Plateau, relatively shallow layers of Dakota sandstone lie atop thicker bands of Entrada sandstone formations. The bright red rocks are shale, which has been colored in part by partial burning of underlying coal deposits. Photo taken in May of 2007.