Regular Or Decaf?
Jon Burch Photography
Photograph - Digital Capture/digital Painting
Standing tall at the west end of Sedona sits Coffee Pot Rock, perfectly poised to pour the first cup of morning refreshment for the countless neighbors living in the shadow of this unique and colorful monument. Visible from all over town, Coffee Pot Rock mimics a percolator style pot, complete with spout. The base of Coffee Pot Rock is deep Sedona red, with slight striations of white and pink. The lid of the Coffee Pot is striped beige and orange, further resembling the clear top of the percolator. A visual wonder, Coffee Pot rock is one of Sedona's 'Red Rock' favorite views!
The deep red color for which Sedona is famous is due to the presence of hematite or iron oxide, staining the sandstone of Schnebly Hill and Hermit Shale layers. The steep terrain is due the top layers of the strata being composed of basalt and limestone, which are both harder than the underlying sandstone. Water running off the edge of the escarpment dissolves the lower layers, creating the steep cliffs. Eventually enough soft material is broken down and eroded, undercutting the cap layer, subsequently breaking it off in large slabs allowing it to fall into the canyons. This process exposes new softer material and the process repeats, with the cliff face about twenty feet further north than it was before.
The red rocks themselves were formed by a layer of rock known as the Schnebly Hill Formation. Schnebly Hill is a thick layer of red to orange-colored sandstone, and a member of the Supai Group, which was deposited during the Permian Period about 299 to 251 million years ago. Approximately 800 to 1000 feet thick, Schnebly Hill is the major component of Sedona's well known "Red Rocks" visible in the area.
Photograph copyright Jon Burch Photography
April 11th, 2013
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