Mexican Hat Balancing Act

September 25, 2008

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Referred by: Phil Dombrowski
Summary Author: Phil Dombrowski

The photo above showing a feat of geologic balancing was taken along Highway 163 in southern Utah. Differential rates of weathering and erosion in sedimentary layers of this structure have resulted in a more resistant cap rock, which is temporarily perched on a much softer and thinner layer directly beneath it. In geological time, this is an exceptionally transient feature -- the balancing act will be short lived when the softer layer below it weathers away. To many early settlers this rock looked like an upside-down sombrero. The nearby village of Mexican Hat takes its name from the rock. Photo taken in April of 2007.