DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Badland erosion of rhyolitic deposits. Arid, rocky hills in a water- eroded badlands landscape. Badlands are produced by erosion of horizontal beds of soft sedimentary rock, such as sandy clay, that are unprotected by vegetation and subject to occasional heavy downpours. Dramatic gullies are formed by the action of rainwater. Such landscapes are found in semi-arid parts of North America and North Africa. The name comes from the French explorers who called them mauvaises terres a traverser (bad lands to cross). Photographed at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, California, USA.
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