PointofInterestRoadSigns.com - El Malpais National Monument - Let's Go Back in Time


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 Welcome to Point of Interest Road Signs! A collection of photos of road and trail signs. Click here for more New Mexico Signs


El Malpais National Monument - Lets Go Back in Time


Location of sign - On the trail to La Ventana Arch in El Malpais National Monument


Photo taken- February 2010


El Malpais National Monument - Lets Go Back in Time trail sign


Text of sign:


Let's go back in time...


Over 140 million years ago, during the Jurassic period, portions of this area resembled the Sarah Desert of today.  The sand dunes

were formed from wind-blown, rounded grains of sand.  Try to visualize dinosaurs coming to take advantage of deep pools of clear

water that were probably scattered throughout the area.


The process of time...


The sand dunes were eventually buried in sediment.  The weight turned the dunes to stone (Zuni sandstone).  As time passed the

earth experienced some growing pains, causing the massive Zuni sandstone to crack.  As water passed along the cracks, the 

cementing material holding the grains of sand together dissolved, widening the cracks.  Look for vertical and horizontal cracks that

allow the water to seep into the sandstone.  As the water froze, the cracks widened, eventually causing the sandstone to break 

away, forming the arch you see before you today.


Graphics on the sign


In addition to the text there is a picture of a dinosaur and ancient trees.


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