The Navajo Sandstone Desert
Thick layers of cross-bedded sandstone formed by windblown sand dunes in a vast historic desert, the Navajo Sandstone can be observed as spectacular cliffs, cuestas, domes, and bluffs and varying from white to light pink in colour.
The Navajo Sandstone is estimated to cover 400,000 km2 of the western United States and is found spread across the states of Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Utah as part of the Colorado Plateau. The formation consists of thick layers of highly-angled cross-bedded sandstones. The rocks are predominantly composed of rounded quartz grains and were formed in a vast ancient desert of sand dunes, or erg.
The Navajo Sandstone is one of the most extensive and most exposed aeolian (wind-blown) systems known in the geologic record. This enormous sand sea was deposited in the Early Jurassic, approximately 190 million years ago. It is the result of the largest known sand desert in the history of our planet.