Share Our World: Fluted Wall, Capitol Reef NP

The Fluted Wall formation is found in Capital Reef National Park right on highway 24 (which bisects the park). This formation is easily accessible with a convenient pull out across the road where you can stop an look and take pictures.

Are you ready for a little geology lesson? The earth that is in this part of Utah is beautiful and fascinating and has been around for millions of years.

Time, wind and weather has made beautiful natural sculptures like this fluted wall.

According to Chimani

Composed mostly of red sandstone, the Fluted Wall is a prominent rock formation striped with eroded vertical grooves that inspire its musical name. This is an excellent place to view and comprehend the various rock layers of Capitol Reef: The brick-red Moenkopi Sandstone on the bottom (dating back 245 million years), the grey-green and purple Chinle Formation in the middle (225 million years old), and the heavily eroded Wingate Sandstone on top (200 million years), of which only a remnant tower of rock remains here.

Here is a closer look at this fascinating rock formation.

Moenkopi Formation

Moenkopi is a geological formation found in the the southwest United States-- New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Nevada, Southeastern California, Southern Utah and Western Colorado. It is made up of sandstone, mudstone and shale with some limestone in the Capitol Reef area.
It was laid down in the Lower Triassic and possibly part of the middle Triassic which would be 240 million years ago. Amazing!

Chinle Formation

The layer above the Moenkopi formation is the Chinle Formation. It was named for Chinle Valley in Apache County Arizona and is also found in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. It was named in 1917 by Herbert E Gregory.

It is an upper Triassic geological formation of fulvial mudstone, siltstone and sandstone and is 225 million years old.

Wingate Sandstone

The top layer is Wingate sandstone which is found in the United States in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah. It is most prominent in Southeastern Utah in Capitol Reef National Park, San Rafael Swell, and Canyonlands National Park (which we also visited on this trip).

It is dated in the Late Triassic which would make it 200 million years old. The formation can make vertical cliffs of 2000 feet (609 meters). It is typically pale orange to red in color, the remnants of wind-born sand dunes.

One thing that I love about traveling is how much I learn. Sometimes the prep for the trip is when I learn. In the case of this trip and my trips to Southern Utah with @jarvie I learn so much weeks later as I blog about it.

To see more here is my Capitol Reef National Park Overview

Sources:
Fluted Wall
Moenkopi Formation
Chinle Formation
Wingate Sandstone

Share Our World Series
2021
Share Our World: Capitol Reef National Park Overview

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