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Malpais National Monument - Lets Go Back in Time
of sign - On the trail to La Ventana Arch in El Malpais National
taken- February 2010
go back in time...
140 million years ago, during the Jurassic period, portions of this
area resembled the Sarah Desert of today. The sand dunes
formed from wind-blown, rounded grains of sand. Try to
visualize dinosaurs coming to take advantage of deep pools of clear
that were probably scattered throughout the area.
process of time...
sand dunes were eventually buried in sediment. The weight
turned the dunes to stone (Zuni sandstone). As time passed the
experienced some growing pains, causing the massive Zuni sandstone
to crack. As water passed along the cracks, the
material holding the grains of sand together dissolved, widening the
cracks. Look for vertical and horizontal cracks that
the water to seep into the sandstone. As the water froze, the
cracks widened, eventually causing the sandstone to break
forming the arch you see before you today.
on the sign
addition to the text there is a picture of a dinosaur and ancient trees.
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