El Capitan, West Texas
El Capitan in West Texas' Guadalupe Mountains (100 miles east of El Paso) is the world's premier example of an exposed fossil reef from the Permian Era, dated at about 260 million years old - much older than the golden age of dinosaurs. This whole part of Texas back in this time was once covered in a shallow sea that geologists call the Delaware Sea, in a time when all of Earth's continents were still joined into one supercontinent that we call Pangaea. The entire top of El Capitan is made of limestone formed from the fossilized remains of aquatic plant and animal remains such as corals, algae, shellfish and plankton, and now stands at just above 8000 feet above sea level. The base is formed by layer upon layer of sand laid down over millions of years, in the manner you would expect from the ocean floor resulting in a very typical sedimentary rock formation, further eroded by millions of years of desert heat, rain, abrasion and wind.
- Image Size
- 6000x4000 / 11.3MB
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