One of Ike’s first adventures was to the USA with Greg. Geography Cat was pleased to share the photos on Facebook at the time and now that Ike isn’t so busy, there’s finally time to put the images of their trip together on a blog. You can locate the sites included in this post on the map below, and Geography Cat highly recommends zooming in on these incredible features to take a closer look:
Meteor Crater is more properly known as Barringer Crater after the geologist Daniel Barringer who was the first to prove that this feature was formed by meteoric impact. The nickel and iron meteor is thought to have been around 50 metres across when it struck the site 50 thousand years ago. Natural erosion has denuded the rim by 15-20m since then. Even so, it is not very much eroded, due to the arid climate of Arizona, and it is relatively young compared to other craters, making it clear to see how this is the crater that was first to be recognised as the result of meteoric impact.
Wupatki National Monument
Wupatki National Monument is the site of ruins of an Ancestral Puebloan town in northern central Arizona. There is evidence of a small settlement here dating back to 500AD, but the population is thought to have grown significantly after volcanic soils developed in the area following the eruption of Sunset Crater in the 11th century. The site was abandoned by the Puebloans around 1225, perhaps due to drought or exhausted soils. Many of the ruins have been used since then by a number of Native American communities and they are still revered as special sites of a scared nature by some.
Sunset Crater Volcano
Sunset Crater is an extinct cinder cone volcano approximately 14 miles southwest of Wupatki. Its last eruption was in 1085AD.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon needs no introduction. Formed by a sequence of geological events and processes the canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep in places.
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon. This definition refers to its proportions, it is very deep and narrow. It was formed by underground water eroding the sandstone over millenia. The Navajo name for the upper canyon here is Tsé bighánílíní, which means ‘the place where water runs through rocks’, exactly as it is. Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon are within the territory of the Navajo Nation Parks.