Ouachita Mountains: Rock Strength in Action

Words by Lisa Whalen

Video/Model: by Phil Prince

Ouachita_Mountains_in_Arkansas
image: wikipedia.org

 

The Ouachita orogeny occurred ~300 million years ago when part of South American collided with the southern part of North America.

Ouachita_Orogeny_geologic_map.png
image: By R.Q. Foote, L.M. Massingill, and R.H. Wells – Petroleum geology and the distribution of conventional crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, East Texas basin

In this model Phil Prince takes us to the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Here you will see how the strength of different rock layers coupled with deep erosion can produced the characteristic shape of this range.  Sinuous ridges formed from chert snake around valleys scooped out of shale abutting a broad sandstone plateau.

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