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EARTH SCIENCE

Platte Canyon High School
Bailey, Colorado

Canyon Room

MOUNTAINS

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The "mountains" along the back wall of the Canyon room are made up of slabs of Lyons sandstone (Permian/Triassic sandstones found along the Front Range).  The reddish tint to the stone is caused by iron in the form of hematite (Fe2O3).
The sand making up the sandstone is fairly fine-grained and the rock splits very nicely into fairly smooth flat slabs making it ideal for a building (decorative) material.
Near the west side of the "mountains", some interesting features can be seen on the sandstone.  These feathery, mossy-looking  structures are commonly called dendrites.  They are crystalline growths of a mineral called pyrolusite (MnO2). 
They "grow" along bedding surfaces and can be quite intricate.  These particular ones have started to disintegrate and would, if these slabs had not been coated with a sealer, disappeared in a few years.
Back to the Canyon Room Forward to the Conglomerates
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