Painted Hills in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

June 27, 2011


: Paul Marcellini
Summary Author: Paul Marcellini; Jim FosterJune 2011 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The photo above shows the eye-catching Painted Hills Unit in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument of Oregon. These conspicuous layers represent different claystone deposits laid down about 25 million years ago when this area was a floodplain. Over time, erosion has exposed the ochre, orange and apricot layering. The coloration of the claystone strata seems to change with changing light conditions and moisture levels. Photo taken on May 18, 2010.

Photo Details: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera; 17-40mm lens; ISO 400; aperture 16; shutter speed 1/30 second.