A descending sun illuminates Arizona's Courthouse Butte
The 2,500 foot cliffs surrounding Sedona reach up to the 6,800 foot elevation
of the Colorado Plateau.
Once again, climate played a pivotal role in the shaping of Sedona's
landscape. In the 85-million years between the deposition of the Redwall
Limestone and the Coconino Sandstone Formation, the region was gradually
changing from a wet tropical climate to an arid desert dominated by barren
As greater quantities of windblown, iron-free sands were deposited on an
area comprising most of Arizona, Utah and western New Mexico, the (ancestral)Pedregosa Sea filled in, retreated southeastward, and eventually disappeared.
Sedona was located in the center of a large inland sand dune desert, much
like the Sahara Desert.
Because of its larger grain size
, iron oxides passed through Coconino
Sandstone, allowing it to retain its "beige-colored" sandy color.
Not so with the fine-grained sandstone making up Courthouse Butte.
Iron oxide seems to have made its home deep inside "The Court of the CRIMSON
January 9, 2009