Tower of Silence - Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

August 09, 2021


Photographer: Stan Wagon

Summary Author: Stan Wagon; Cadan CummingsWahweapHoodoosDakotaCaprock

The photo above features the Tower of Silence rock formation located in northern Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. This structure is an example of a hoodoo, which is a tall geologic formation that occurs when a more resistant, harder geologic stratum sits above softer, less resistant geologic layers and protects it from erosional and weathering forces. In the case of the Tower of Silence, the more resistant Dakota Sandstone caprock is protecting a softer stratum of Entrada Sandstone. A closer look at several of these sedimentary caprocks is shown in the right picture. Desert erosion has gradually worn away the white sandstone at the base of the hoodoo, resulting in these remarkable channels and rivulets.  

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