Second Wave at Dusk, Arizona

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

I took this photo during my hike in January 2012 after winning a lottery. This unique fragile area is protected and is limited to no more than 20 people accessing it each day.

"The Wave” consists of intersecting U-shaped troughs that have been eroded into Navajo Sandstone of Jurassic age. The two major troughs, which comprise this rock formation, are 19 meters wide by 36 meters long and 2 meters wide by 16 meters long. Initially, infrequent runoff eroded these troughs along joints within the Navajo Sandstone. After their formation, the drainage basin, which fed rainwater to these troughs, shrank to the point that the runoff became insufficient to contribute to the cutting of these troughs. As a result, the troughs are now almost exclusively eroded by wind as indicated by the orientation of erosional steps and risers cut into the sandstone along their steep walls. These erosional steps and risers are oriented relative to predominate direction of the wind as it is now naturally funneled into and through these troughs.[1][2]

The Wave exposes large, eolian sets of cross-bedded sandstone composed of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grainflow and windripple laminae. The rhythmic and cyclic alternating laminae represent periodic changes in the prevailing winds during the Jurassic as huge sand dunes migrated across a sandy desert. The thin ridges and ribbing seen within The Wave are the result of the differential erosion of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grainflow and windripple laminae within the Navajo Sandstone. These laminae have differing resistance to erosion as they have been differentially cemented according to variations in the grain size of the sand composing them. The soft sandstone, including the ridges and ribbing, of The Wave is fragile. As a result, a person needs to walk carefully to not break the small ridges.[3][4][5]

In places, The Wave exposes deformed laminae within the Navajo Sandstone. These laminae were deformed prior to the lithification of the sand to form sandstone. Judging from their physical characteristics, this deformation likely represents the trampling and churning of these sands by dinosaurs right after their deposition. Dinosaur tracks and the fossil burrows of desert-dwelling arthropods, such as beetles and other insects, have been found within the Navajo Sandstone within the North Coyote Buttes Wilderness Area" - From Wikipedia

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Comments (242)

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Sasha Lisul on June 30, 2012


Gyula Kaszás on June 30, 2012

Fantastic ! L+F!

GabrieleB.77 on June 30, 2012

stunning scenery! like. greetings

janamare26 on June 30, 2012

Excellent.Good work.Like.Greetings,Mirjana

Koullis Koutsoyianni… on June 30, 2012

stunning photo! like

B. Pejchinov on June 30, 2012

Very beautiful photo! Like! Greetings, Blagoj

idahodon on June 30, 2012

Fascinating place and superb photo! L+F! Greetings from Idaho, Don.

Milan Stojanović on June 30, 2012

Fantastic shot!


Best wishes,Stoja

sonjabgd on June 30, 2012




A.Ivanickiy on June 30, 2012

Excellent photo ! Like

Mansoor Goheer on June 30, 2012

A fantastic shot --- of an interesting place

LIKE 9 + FAV 3

… Greetings from Pakistan

DESJEUNES & RICO on June 30, 2012

Very nice shot L 10

Henk Bouwers on July 1, 2012

Very good picture, gr Henk

stuart murphy on July 1, 2012

A great composition and beautiful colours Elena, one of your best. Well done Regards Stuart

Eugenevs on July 1, 2012

Уникальное место, фантастическая и очень фотогеничная фактура, отличный снимок!

Haris A. on July 1, 2012

Magnificent view….great photo…


Greetings from Sarajevo


patano on July 1, 2012

I like this beautiful supershot,

very good enquadre and nice super colors view !

Congratulations, you earned my

like 16!

Warm greetings from Paolo.

Have a nice day !

My blog

Mircea_RAICU on July 1, 2012

Great shot , beautiful image indeed !
Best wishes , Mircea R.

Bobby Vempati on July 1, 2012

Wow this is an amazing picture and very nice description of the history behind it....


Best wishes, Deepti & Bobby

Akbar&Armaghan Nouri on July 1, 2012


great shot

a unique photo


thanks for sharing

with best wishes,A&A nouri

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 30, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Elena Northroup
    • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
    • Taken on 2012/01/14 03:01:31
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 29.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: -2.00 EV
    • No flash