Mud Curls

January 03, 2024

6BullValleyCurlingSand

Photographer: Stan Wagon   

Summary Author: Stan Wagon

The photo above shows mud curls I photographed in Navajo Sandstone in Bull Valley Gorge, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah. Water running through sandstone canyons can quickly turn the sand into mud. But there are typically long periods between rainstorms, and on occasion the mud dries into interesting paper-like formations, called mud curls. They form because the thin sheets of mud shrink as they dry creating the upward curls. It’s remarkable how delicate these sheets appear. I’ve observed that this particular curling pattern often seems to occur in Navajo sandstone. Note that the individual sections in the foreground are several inches across. Photo taken on October 21, 2023.

Photo details: Sony A6500 camera; 13 mm lens; 1/100 second exposure; f/11; ISO 1250.

 

Bull Valley Gorge, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah Coordinates: 37.354671, -111.071262

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