A Traditional Bed and Breakfast at our luxury log home in Sedona, AZ.

Sedona Rock Formations
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Geology of Sedona's Red Rocks


Why are the rocks red?

This question is asked by our visitors as many times as "Where is the Vortex?"
The simple answer is IRON. Iron Oxide covers each individual sand grain in the sandstone formations, and through time contact with water and weathering produces basicly rust.... red rock!

The Geology of Sedona cannot be told in easy terms. Books are written about the formations here and the progressions and regressions of ancient seas over many eras. Volcanic eruptions and lava flows have also played a part in this land.

The easiest way to look at Sedona's Geology is to realize we are on the edge of the Mogollon (Mug-ee-owen) Rim, or the start of the Colorado Plateau, and erosion from the Rim has exposed these beautiful red rocks. The nature of the sandstone has left fantastic mountain formations. To the south and east, volcanic deposits of basalt has capped the mountains and prevented the erosion to occur.

The Study of the Grand Canyon was Arizona's first location to recieve serious geologic attention, and the strata of rock layers were named in the early 1900's. A geologist in 1945, Edwin McGee, came into Sedona to relate those strata in the Grand Canyon to Sedona. He was able to identify a Supai Formation and divided that class into 3 subdivisions.

Not until 1979 a professor from Northern Arizona University, Dr. Ron Blakey, recognized the Red Rocks were not part of the Supai Formation, but deserved specific names. This was how the Schnebly Hill Formation was coined and most residents are now familier with that term.

If you would like to learn more about Sedona's Geology and our Red Rock Formations, Please visit Dr. Blakey's web-site, the pictures and charts on this page are from his site and he has a great deal of information to share.

Dr. Blakey's Home Page

Dr. Blakey's page on the Sedona - Verde Valley Geology

Dr. Blakey's page on the Grand Canyon and Grand Staircase

Sedona information page
Stratigraphic Column of Sedona
Stratigraphic Column of Sedona

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322 Dreammaker Way Sedona, AZ 86351
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