The Lightyears Photography logo links to return to the homepage


The Home link to return to the homepage The About page link to view the Biography, Awards, Publications and Events The Galleries pages link to view the world region landscapes, starscapes, geoart, movies, favorites and new images The Blog pages link to view the news and updates, geoscience, tutorials, gear and tours The Shop pages link to buy books and fine art prints The Contact pages link to get into contact with Christian Klepp The German language selector link The English language selector link

Connect with Instagram link Connect with Facebook link Connect with 500px link Connect with Flickr link

Link to the Galleries for the World Regions Link to the Gallery for Nighttime Landscapes under the Milky Way and the stars Link to the Gallery for Geoart of landscape details, rock formations, structures and forms Link to the Gallery for Movies and Time-Lapse-Video Link to the Gallery of my personal favorite images Link to the Gallery of new and latest released images

Horseshoe Bend is a Colorado River meander near Glen Canyon and Lake Powell at Page in Arizona and the Grand Canyon

The thunderstorm skies over Horseshoe Bend show an incised meander of the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell near Page in Arizona and marks the entrance to the Grand Canyon.

Into the Wild Unknown

The Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell is located near Page in Arizona and marks the spectacular entrance into the Grand Canyon. The wide panoramic view of this canyon and the Paria Plateau and Vermillion Cliffs in the distance with thunderstorm skies above triggers deep feelings of the wild unknown.
The formation of this incised meander, which is a combination of a canyon and a river bend, began about 75 millions of years ago. At this time, in the late Cretaceous era of the dinosaurs, the Colorado Plateau was at sea level. At present it is located about 1300 m (4200 ft) above sea level. The Colorado River cuts through even older sedimentary Navajo Sandstone rocks. These began to form about 180 million years ago in the Jurassic from wind-blown sands of an extended North American desert stretching from Arizona to Wyoming. The rock walls expose diagonal striped layers that are remnants of the dunes layered sand structure. The Navajo sandstone layer is exposed today because younger sediments deposited on top are already weathered away by the uplift of the Colorado Plateau. Through this long-eroded landscape, the ancestral Colorado River was meandering just as any other river. However, when the Colorado Plateau began to rigorously uplift about 5 million years ago, the river incised deep and fast into the uplifting bedrock and created this canyon with the pre-existing 270° bend.
Today, the drop between the rim and the river is about 300 m (1000 ft). The Colorado River continues to cut into the Glen Canyon at a rate of 0.007 inch (0.17 mm) a year. This may sound like a negligible erosion rate, but over the vast time period of 5 million years this makes for a whopping 2800 ft (850 m); about the depth of today’s Grand Canyon. In the far future the river may eventually erode through the narrow neck of rock. This may create a natural bridge. After its collapse a butte will form, like so many others in the Grand Canyon.
The approaching thunderstorm substantially enhances the sublimity of this landscape. Sporadic flash flood events triggered by thunderstorm rain run-off are an important driver of erosion in this arid landscape.

May 2015
Canon 5D MkII, Rokinon 14 mm, f/16, 0.5 to 4 sec, ISO 100, tripod, 180° panoramic composite of 48 images.

Slide control button to go to previous image Slide control button to go one level up to the image gallery Slide control button to return to the main landscapes galleries Slide control button to go to next image

Copyright © 2019 and Web Design Dr. Christian Klepp, Lightyears Photography

Footer Contact Link Footer Imprint Link Footer Data Privacy Link