Yovimpa Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

July 14, 2014

South Bryce Canyon

Photographer: Brent Watson
Summary Authors: Brent Watson; Jackie Phillips

The photo above shows Yovimpa Point in Bryce Canyon National Park. This point is the top step in the Grand Staircase region in southern Utah and northern Arizona. 

The Claron Formation of southern Utah is notable for its fascinating carved features and pink limestone cliffs. This limestone was deposited in the shallow Cretaceous Seaway, which covered much of central North America during the late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic periods. When exposed to oxygen, hematite within the limestone turns pink and red.

Erosion of the Claron Formation occurs through chemical and physical processes. As atmospheric carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid the acid slowly dissolves away the limestone leaving hoodoos, badlands and monoliths. Physical weathering occurs during the cold season. Water seeps into small cracks in the limestone and then freezes, expanding and slowly widening the cracks. This freeze – thaw cycle can occur over 200 times each year at higher elevations in Bryce Canyon (9,100 ft or 2,800 m). Photo taken on June 8, 2014.

Camera details: Camera Model: NIKON D80; Focal Length: 40.0mm (35mm equivalent: 60mm); Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows.