October 2018 Orations
This month we are featuring the mesas of the Mogollon (mug-ee-OWN) Rim, which runs across the central portion of the state of Arizona. It is fascinating to view and scary to drive across the Rim Road, which incorporates part of the original General Crook Trail during his explorations. Our Photo of the Month was taken from the highway below the Rim showing some mesas, and the Featured Series photos were taken from the Rim Road, showing the depth of the canyons. For your edification, I have borrowed some information from Wikipedia which describes the Rim.
“The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature of mesas (an isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides, found in landscapes with horizontal strata) cutting across the state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km), starting in northern Yavapai County and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico. It forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona.
The Rim is an escarpment (a long cliff or steep slope separating two comparatively level or more gently sloping surfaces and resulting from erosion or faulting) defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Its central and most spectacular portions are characterized by high cliffs of limestone and sandstone, namely the Kaibab Limestone and Coconino Sandstone cliffs. The escarpment was created by erosion and faulting, cutting dramatic canyons into it, including Fossil Creek Canyon and Pine Canyon. The name Mogollon comes from Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, the Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715.
Much of the land south of the Mogollon Rim lies 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m) above sea level, with the escarpment rising to about 8,000 ft (2,400 m). Extensive Ponderosa pine forests are found both on the slopes of the Rim and on the plateau north of it. The Mogollon Rim's limestones and sandstones were formed from sediments deposited in the Carboniferous and Permian Periods. Several of the Rim's rock formations are also seen on the walls of the Grand Canyon. In many places, the Rim is capped or even buried by the extensive basaltic lava flows. The uppermost sandstone stratum of the Mogollon Rim, called the Coconino Sandstone, forms spectacular white cliffs, sometimes several hundred feet high. This formation of the Permian Period is of aeolian (windblown) origin and is one of the thickest sand-dune-derived sandstones on earth.”
I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of the Mogollon Rim. Until next time…
Peace from the Desert…