Mecca Hills and San Andreas Fault

April 14, 2011

Box Canyon 
Photographer: Cindy Todd
Summary Author: Cindy Todd; Jim Foster

The photo above showing the unusual-looking rock formations of Mecca Hills was taken from Box Canyon, outside the city of Indio, in the Coachella Valley of California. The Mecca Hills are severely creased sedimentary badlands bounded on the west by the southern extension of the San Andreas Fault, which runs through Box Canyon. It's thought that the original sediments are basement deposits of the Colorado River that were covered with alluvium when the uplifting hills began to erode. As they  were lifted, they were abruptly tilted giving rise to their convoluted landscape. Note the still snowcapped Santa Rosa Mountains in the background. However, as can be seen in the foreground, it's springtime in the desert. Photo taken on March 10, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon PowerShot SX120 IS; Focal Length: 46.6mm; Aperture: f/4.0; Exposure Time: 0.0010 s (1/1000); ISO equiv: 80; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.