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Geology of the National Parks - Death Valley


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Golden Canyon stop 4

Tilted beds of the Furnace Creek Formation in Golden Canyon
Tilted beds of the Furnace Creek Formation in Golden Canyon. Photo by Ray Nordeen, NPS.

A Restless Earth

As you look up and down the canyon, what do you notice about the orientation of the rock layers? A basic principle of geology states that sedimentary layers are horizontal when they are deposited. Why do these layers tilt so steeply now?
Their steep dip is more evidence of the dynamic geologic forces that have affected the Death Valley area. These tilted rock layers are part of one limb of a giant fold that formed as a result of the crustal stretching that has shaped the Death Valley landscape.

Continue hiking up Golden Canyon

Furnace Creek Formation in time
geologic time scale
Continue up canyon... On to next stop If you're going... Golden Canyon image gallery
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