Thursday, May 19, 2016

Geologist wanna-be in the Grand Canyon

This post may come off as wishy washy or lacking conviction (because I'm not a rock specialist/geologist) and instead is a few pictures of what I thought was interesting in the rock/clay patterns along the trail.

I think it's super interesting that the red layer of the grand canyon seems to be made of many many clay like layers with ripple patterns on them.  It seems like the layers were laid down and then covered fast enough by the next layer to maintain that ripple look you see in sand at the bottom of a tide pool by the ocean.
 the layers are kind of visible here...it was hard to get good pictures of the edges of the layers because they crumble easily and seem to be turning to powder.  The other footage of the red ripple pattern are 
videos I took for Noah not pictures-so I can't post.
 This is 75 mile canyon.  It looked like melted sand/matter swirled together and you can see the air bubbles that got trapped as it cooled.  If those are air bubbles.  That's what they looked like.
 Every now and then, the red clay would be in a glob with other hard rocks inside it instead of six inch-ish layers that chunked off.  I was geeking out over all of this.  Maybe I should have studied geology.

 Huge caches of a bunch of different kinds of rocks stuck together like concrete.  There were whole walls of this stuff...hard to get in a picture with size scale accurately and still see the individual rocks.  These were down closer to the river so ...did the rocks chunk off and churn with some lime and water like a  concrete mixer?
I'm not sure if this is a foot print-but it sure looked human when I saw it-it was a little bigger than my size seven foot, maybe a mens 9 or 10 size.  It's hard to see in the picture, but it's not an impression in the rock all the way around.  It's raised up on the right side like someone was running in mud and one side of the imprint shoved the mud up on one side to make a rim of mud along the edge of the print.  It looked all the more real and convincing because of this to me.  It was pointed toward the drop off right before the river...hmmmm
 The, what I thought was a foot print was pointed toward where Luke is standing...or maybe we were a bit higher up than this picture (we were gaining altitude on this trail), but was about this close to the edge where I am standing to take the picture for perspective.
 That's a big plant print (I mean...I think...it looked like a leaf/plant right?).  I'm sure we still have big plants on the earth but man alive...this got my brain thinking about what kind of environment would grow a plant like this.  The big veins throughout are as wide as my hand or arm...I should have put my hand down there to show perspective.  This whole rock was about 4-5 feet wide.  I don't think I was looking at the whole leaf either...it wasn't symmetric which to me meant this was just a print of a piece of one side of this giant whatever it was.  There was more than one of these rock imprints too, they were laying around this area all over.
 Think how pretty this would be with water running off the rims.  So many of the areas in the canyon make you stop and stare...wondering...what did that?  What moved that huge rock that is sitting in the middle of a flat place of grass with no other rocks  immediately around it (I took a picture but it didn't even look close to how big the rocks were, so I think I deleted it annoyed)?  Did it fall?  Was it water?  It would take a lot of water to move some of the boulders we saw...but they were misplaced out of their rock layer, so they moved/fell at some point.  It was crazy.  The canyon is so big...pictures don't show it and it's depth well enough.  In my worldview of there being a world wide flood in earth's past...I saw water water everywhere and a huge...huge drainage ditch.  A very beautiful drainage ditch with many paths of least resistance.  If you get the chance to hike in the Grand Canyon...do it.  It was amazing and for me...a faith building adventure.
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