BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Badlands. Aerial photograph of the weathered badlands, near Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The coloured banding is due to the different layers of sediment in the rock. Badlands are produced by differential erosion of horizontal beds of soft sedimentary rock, such as sandy clay, that are unprotected by vegetation and subject to occasional heavy rain. The layers were originally horizontal, but have shifted due to movements in the earth's crust. The name badland comes from the French explorers who called them mauvaise terres a traverser (bad lands to cross).
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