Comb Ridge

Comb Ridge

The Comb Ridge is a large structure of Navajo Sandstone that is first seen north of Kayenta [Tódínéeshzhee'] and approximately parallels the highway for many miles until it turns north into Utah
[Gáamalii bikeyah Hahoodzo (Mormen country State)]. The ridge is the exposed end of the rock layers that have been bent at the Comb Monocline. The layers of these rocks appear angled sharply upward relative to the horizontal, while only a short distance away, rocks of the same formation appear level. The ridge is the protruding edge of a layer which continues beneath the surface, again leveling in a very short distance.

These rocks evidence steep, large scale cross bedding and have a tendency to weather into bare rounded surfaces. The "teeth" seen in the ridge in the photograph above are fairly evenly spaced and rounded, not sharp. Many erosion "holes" are also seen in the exposed surface of the rock. The cross bedding in the sandstone is due to the wind sorting of the original sands into dunes, such as those found in this area today, reformed from the same sands. Ripples from the original dunes are preserved in the stone.

If, like me, you are confused by the terms used to designate geologic time, a chart, based upon one given in Roadside Geology of Arizona by H. Chronic is available.

In Association with


Navajo Sacred Places, Klara Bonsack Kelley, Harris Francis, Indiana Univ Press.
Native Roads : The Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations,
Fran Kosik, George Hardeen, Creative Solutions Pub.
Named in Stone and Sky : An Arizona Anthology, Gregory McNamee (Editor),
Univ of Arizona Press.
Burntwater, Scott Thybony, Univ of Arizona Press.
Talking to the Ground : One Family's Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land of the Navajo
Douglas Preston, Univ of New Mexico Press.
A Guide Book to Highway 66, Jack D. Rittenhouse, Univ of New Mexico Press.
Basin and Range, John McPhee, Noonday Press.
Navajo Country : A Geology and Natural History of the Four Corners Region, Donald Baars, Univ. New Mexico Press.
The Colorado Plateau : A Geologic History, Donald L. Baars, Univ of New Mexico Press.
Roadside Geology of Arizona, Halka Chronic, Mountain Press.

In Association with

© 1994 Karen M. Strom
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