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Geology > Joshua Tree > Nature Trail > Arch Rock

Disappearing Soil

evidence of receding soil levels
In this photo you can see a rusty brown coating on the rocks which is known to geologists as desert varnish. Follow the varnish down toward the sandy soil and you will see a distinct line where the varnish ends and a fresher surface of the rock is exposed. This linear feature graphically illustrates that the soil levels were once this high.

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