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Aerial View of Sedona Arizona (and Why The Rocks Are Red)

Aerial view of Sedona taken in October by photographer Ted Grussing.

This aerial view of Sedona was taken in October by Sedona photographer Ted Grussing. The road coming up from the bottom right and heading left is the Sedona Scenic Byway, SR 179. The first little cluster of buildings near bottom right is the US Forest Service Visitor Center. The Scenic Byway skirts around Bell Rock, goes through a short wilderness area and then into the Chapel area of Sedona. Uptown Sedona and West Sedona are visible as is iconic Thunder Mountain, Sedona’s highest red rock peak.

What Makes Sedona Rocks Red?

Many people ask why the multi-shaped spires and buttes of Sedona appear to glow brilliant orange and red hues at sunrise and sunset. This effect is the result of a fascinating geological history. Originally, mud and sand deposited over a 50 million year period beginning approximately 320 million years ago. At that time, the land was a low, dry coastal plain adjacent to a shallow sea. First, the sea level rose and layers of soil accumulated; eventually the sea level fell, and wind-blown sand layered on top. Following great passages of time, the sand became rock.

But the question still remains: why are the rocks red? The color is actually caused by a thin coating of iron oxide reacting to the elements over many millennia, just the way iron-bearing metal forms that characteristic reddish color when exposed to outdoor weather conditions—called rust!

 

Ted Grussing, Sedona photographer and pilotABOUT PHOTOGRAPHER TED GRUSSING

Ted Grussing has been an attorney, photographer, business owner, custom gem cutter and jewelry designer, author, public speaker, soaring pilot and full time caregiver for his beautiful wife Corky who had MS for forty-seven years before she passed in November 2013. He developed a strong interest in photography at the age of nine and by age fourteen had his own darkroom and was engaged in professional photography. Photography has been a constant in Ted’s life ever since.

See Ted Grussing's amazing photography at Sedona Photos.

and more at his personal website: www.tedandcorky.com

Also, those seeking inspiration by the beauty of the natural world will appreciate a free subscription to Ted's newsletter.

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