Slot canyons show that many other interesting features form along with potholes.
The southern Utah area of the Colorado Plateau has many slot canyons that form in sandstone from yearly torrential monsoon thunderstorms. They cause flash floods to fill up deep cracks in the earth and intricately carve the rock as the water passes thru the cracks. Areas of Arizona and New Mexico also have slot canyons
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From left to right: Holeman Slot Canyon from above - Canyonlands, Utah – beneath such cracks in the earth as this, amazing potholes and interesting topography are found. Note the basin and butte topography in the background; Large, dangerous potholes in Fence Slot Canyon, Utah – often there are long, deep slot canyons underneath such potholes; Looking up from underneath large potholes at Neon Canyon, Escalante River, Utah
Slot Canyon Evolution
From left to right: Looking at Antelope Slot Canyon & LakePowell, Arizona from the air - Peter L Kresan photographer; Inside a narrow slot canyon - Buckskin Gulch, Kane County, Utah; Rock debris carried in flash floods plucks out pieces of the narrow canyon walls forming 'horizontal' potholes in a very narrow slot canyon - Capitol Reef, Utah
From left to right: Floods passing thru cracks in sandstone can deepen the cracks faster than they widen and create long narrow slot canyons; A flash flood has filled up Antelope Canyon to the top – the canyon is 100 feet deep; Second image of Antelope Canyon filled to the top with water during a flash flood – the canyon is 100 feet deep.
More information on Antelope Canyon, Arizona. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope_Canyon
As we will see slot canyons exhibit many patterns of erosion that evolve into multiple, complex pothole structures.
From left to right: Spooky Canyon, Utah - a narrow slot canyon near Peek-a-Boo Canyon; The San Rafael Swell is an extensive desert geologic landscape in south-central Utah. ...potholes are clearly seen at the bottom of this slot; Flood waters undermine the rock in a narrow slot canyon and widen the bottom of the canyon, making unusual patterns
From left to right: The National Park Service had to rescue this man who was stuck in Pandora’s Box, Capitol Reef National Park – slot canyons are very dangerous when thunderstorms roll in as they will fill up quickly with fast moving water; Blue John Canyon, Canyonlands, Utah - rock and vegetative debris stuck in the slot canyon from flash flooding thru the slot; Blue John Canyon, Canyonlands, Utah - showing rocks that are stuck in the slot - the next flash flood may loosen them and send them on their way farther into the slot - man’s legs at top of image for scale
From left to right: The Treasury at Petra, as seen from al-Siq slot canyon right before the passage ends – a large 'horizontal' pluck at upper left – basically uniform opening of this slot has occurred – people for scale; Narrow striated sandstone canyon walls in Zebra Slot Canyon, near Escalante, Utah, October 2007; A slot canyon in Zion National Park, Utah
From left to right: Little Wildhorse Canyon, San Rafael Swell, Utah - multiple potholes of a more horizontal nature created by rock debris crashing against the canyon walls during flash floods; Two levels of potholes along Harris Wash - Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah; Tent Rocks National Monument slot canyon - looking up thru the remnant of a partially eroded pothole. Perhaps it was enlarged then destroyed by later flood waters after it was initially drilled.
From left to right: Looking down a pothole in Pandora's Box, Capitol Reef, Utah; Looking up thru a pothole of Pandora's Box slot canyon, Capitol Reef, Utah. There appear to have been several episodes of hydraulic drilling; Looking up inside Upper Antelope Canyon Utah - NASA photo
From left to right: Looking up inside an Escalante River slot canyon - north end of Lake Powell – Utah; Peek-a-boo Slot Canyon shows advanced patterns of tunneling from flood waters; Zion Slot Canyon Near Bryce - Utah - many 'horizontal' plucked potholes caused by yearly flash floods/
The pictures above represent a small sampling of the many flood-water carved slot canyons found atop the Colorado Plateau.
From left to right: A Washington State waterfall flows into a flood carved pothole – this has a similar carved look to a slot canyon; golden reflection
© Laura Fitzpatrick 2014