Breccia in Death Valley

January 24, 2012

Breccia_in_Fall_Canyon_Death_Valley_Rick_Scott (2)

Photographer: Rick Scott; Rick's Web site
Summary Author: Rick Scott; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a huge outcrop of breccia was taken in Fall Canyon at Death Valley National Park, California. Breccia typically forms when angular fragments (over 2mm in diameter) of rock accumulate in streambeds and alluvial fans, for instance. The pieces become bound by mineral cement or are fixed by much smaller particles that fill the spaces between the angular pieces. A debris flow is one condition where binding of the fragments can happen. Another such condition is a meteor impact crater. Breccia is similar to conglomerate, but in conglomerate the fragments are more rounded, indicating that they've traveled further (are more eroded) before cementation occurs. Photo taken on November 26, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS 40D; Lens: EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM; Focal Length: 35mm; Focus Distance: Infinite; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.033 s (1/30); ISO equiv: 100; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Manual; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB ; RAW Mode; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows.