Beauty Wave, Arizona, USA

The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located in the United States of America near the Arizona and Utah border on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau. Nearly 200 million years ago, this region was a sandy desert where huge dunes migrated across the landscape pushed by seasonal winds. Prevailing winds of that ancient Jurassic time can be determined by examining the cross-bedding (layers) in the sandstone. What we see today are some of the original crossbedded dunes shaped into dramatic landforms and exposed by erosion from eons of runoff. The spectacular ribbons of various colors called Liesegang Bands, were formed by movement and precipitation of oxidizing materials such as iron and manganese by ground water[1]. Thin veins or fins of calcite cut across the sandstone, adding another dimension to the landscape.