Aguereberry Point, Sunset
Death Valley National Park
This view of Death Valley is framed on both sides, and through the mid-ground escarpments and stratified layers by Zabriskie quartzite. "When sandstone is cemented to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism. The grainy, sandpaper-like surface becomes glassy in appearance. Minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, often migrate during recrystallization and metamorphosis. This causes streaks and lenses to form within the quartzite.". Photo © copyright by Frank LeBlanc.