“Geology on the Wing” Wednesdays #1 – Oxbows and terraces, Utah

Inspired by weekly series by clastic detritus and many other geoblogs comes a new series called “Geology on the Wing”.  This will be a series detailing landforms and other interesting geology from the air, mainly from photos shot out of the window of a small plane.

This week’s photo comes from Escalante canyon of Lake Powell (foreground) that leads into the Colorado River, which displays a nice gooseneck in this location.  Goosenecks are entrenched meanders for which the Colorado and San Juan rivers are famous for.  The view is to the southeast, so the flow in the Colorado is from left to right.  The rock being eroded into is the ever-present Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, which was a a large eolain erg system.  Also, there probably has to be some kind of structural control on that straight segment of the Colorado (left side of the gooseneck), but I know nothing of the history of deformation here.

What made me take this picture was the similarity of this fluvial wonderland to the modelling efforts of Hindered Settling (link).  The last image in that link is amazingly similar to this one, showing multiple levels of terraces from various times of incision of the river, the large scallop shaped meanders and oxbows, and islands left in the middle of the river due to oxbow formation.


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