PETER FALKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER FALKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sedimentary rock. Mancos shale sedimentary rock. The rocks in these cliffs were formed by the successive deposition of layers of sediments in a shallow ocean during the Cretaceous period (between 144 and 75 million years ago). These layers were later compressed into two types of rock, dark grey shale and sandstone. Shale is composed of thin layers of rock formed from microscopic mineral grains, clay particles and larger fragments of rock. Sandstone is composed of sand particles cemented together by various materials, including silica and calcium carbonate. Photographed near Caineville in the Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA.
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