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Geological Formations

Lena Pillars

Lena Pillars

Lena Pillars. Russia, the Lena River.

Lena Pillars (Russian: Ленские столбы [Lenskiye Stolby]) is the name given to a natural rock formation along the banks of the Lena River in far eastern Siberia. The pillars are 150 to 300 metres (490 to 985 feet) high, and were formed 80 million years ago from Cambrian era sea-basin. This unique ecological and tourism location was submitted as a World Heritage site in 2006. Lena Pillars National Park lies less than a day’s boat ride upriver (south) from the city of Yakutsk, the autonomous capital of the Sakha Republic.

Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park, California

Glowing Horsetail Fall in Yosemite

Pictured from a position along the Merced River off Southside Drive in Yosemite Valley just before sunset as it glows. The phenomenon of this vista only occurs for only few days in February each year when several weather and climatic conditions are just right. [Photograph: Phil Hawkins/Reuters].

Danxia Landform

Danxia landform

This is a unique geological phenomenon known as a Danxia landform. These phenomena can be observed in several places in China. This example is located in Zhangye, Province of Gansu. The colour is the result of an accumulation for millions of years of red sandstone and other rocks.

China Danxia is the name given in China to landscapes developed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds1 influenced by endogenous2 forces (including uplift) and exogenous3 forces (including weathering and erosion). The site comprises six areas found in the sub-tropical zone of south-west China. They are characterized by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls. These rugged landscapes have helped to conserve sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests, and host many species of flora and fauna, about 400 of which are considered rare or threatened.

If, like me, you’ve never met these words before, here’s some help from my dictionary:

  1. terrigenous sedimentary beds – sediment derived from the erosion of land deposited either on land or in the sea
  2. endogenous – increasing by internal growth, formed within, (of depression) with no external cause
  3. exogenous – growing by successive additions to the outside, developing externally, having an external origin

Tundra Valley in Kamchatka

Tundra Valley in Kamchatka

Tundra valley between the Tolbachik and Kamen Volcanoes. In the background is a small crater separated by a cloud line from the huge base of Kamen Volcano, Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia in 2006.

Now, that’s a shower!

A Shower

Grímsvötn Volcano, south-east Iceland

Grimsvotn Volcano Eruption

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is a volcano east of Naples, the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, but is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It has erupted many times since and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. (See also a weird cloud over Mount Etna in Sicily.)

Deep Lake

Deep lake

In northwestern Montana, USA. The water is so transparent that it seems that this is a quite shallow lake. In fact, it is very deep. Springs and various creeks feed Ashley Lake and has crystal clear water where one can see depths down to 30 to 40 feet. Ashley Lake is a deep water lake with depths to 300 feet.

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake in the crater of an extinct volcano, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Tongariro is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island. It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the 28 mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Sites.