PETER FALKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER FALKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sandstone rock strata. This sedimentary rock was formed by the deposition of successive layers of sediment carried by water currents, later compressed into rock. The alternating red and white bands seen in the cliffs were formed when floods containing iron-rich debris from nearby mountains were periodically washed into coastal dunes of white sand. The iron in the floods coloured the dunes red. The rock was formed in the early Permian period, around 270 million years ago. These are the Cedar Mesa cliffs in Arizona, USA.
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