Monitor and Merrimac Mesas, Utah

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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A flat-topped hill formed by a resistant layer of rock is called a mesa, from the Spanish word for "table." These two mesas, named the Monitor and Merrimac after the two famous ships from the Civil War, are on the way to Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. The rocks are red from iron oxide. The broad, light colored expanse of rocks at ground level is the top of a thick sandstone layer called the Navajo Sandstone. The thick red layer that makes the cliffs on the mesas is called the Entrada Sandstone.

The larger butte to the left (Merrimac) is at 38o 39' 49" N, 109o 44' 33" W. The smaller butte to the right (Monitor) is at 38o 39' 38" N, 109o 44' 06" W.


Original Scene

(author's image)

Possible Coloring


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Created 25 November 2005, Last Update 21 December 2010

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