Flying Buttress Formation

June 25, 2013

Flying Buttress Formation

Photographer: Gary M. Climer
Summary Author: Gary M. Climer

This naturally occurring flying buttress is holding up half of a pedestal rock formation in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, in northern Arkansas. Hundreds of millions of years ago (during the early Paleozoic Era) a deep ocean basin existed in what is now Arkansas. When this area was under water, sediment was deposited having various layers of hardness. Once the water receded, the land was uplifted (during the Pennsylvanian -- approximately 300 million years ago) forming a dome shaped plateau known as the Ozark Plateau. Ever since it was first raised, like all newly formed land surfaces, it's been wearing away. Over time, rocks of varying strength and resistance have eroded into a number of curious shapes, such as the flying buttress shown above. Photo taken on April 11, 2013.

Photo Details: Camera: SONY DSC-W330; Focal Length: 4.7mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320); ISO equiv: 80.