Tuesday, June 23, 2015
The Transformation of Water
Water seeping through the permeable sandstone rocks will sometimes reach a hard, impermeable layer. As the the water flows along the barrier of the harder rock, it may reach the edge of the rock and flow out in a spring or seep. The softer sandstone under the harder rock ledge erodes away and creates an alcove. The presence of the water creates a strong pattern of minerals and algae. In the protected alcoves, miniature jungles of water-loving plants grow in hanging gardens. These hanging gardens are common along the canyon walls in Zion National Park and other concentrated sandstone areas of the Southwest and particularly, the Colorado Plateau. This image dramatically illustrates the effect of the movement of the water along the harder cap of rock and the effect when the water reaches the surface.