Slot Canyon in Southwestern Virginia

December 06, 2009


Photographer: Bonnie Keller
Summary Author
: Bonnie Keller

The photo above showing a shallow but steep slot canyon in southwestern Virginia was snapped during the Virginia Herpetological Society's summer survey. This is one of many such canyons formed in the hard sandstone of Breaks Interstate Park. Water flows through the bottom of these canyons on an intermittent basis, typically following storm events. Over the years the sandstone cliffs can become appreciably undercut. Note that the deepest and most conspicuous slot canyons form in arid regimes, such as in the southwestern United States. A bridge for a hiking trail crosses the canyon in the background. Just below this bridge a neonate copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) was found. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for November 16, 2009. Photo taken during the summer of 2009.
Breaks Interstate Park coordinates: N37.284061, W82.30046