Cedar Breaks consists of a multicolored, cliff-like escarpment (“break”) surrounded by juniper trees (“cedars”) in southwestern Utah, USA.
Cedar Breaks is a national monument with similar scenery and geology as Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah. It’s a part of the Colorado Plateau physiographic province, which in the northern Arizona-southern Utah area consists of a series of “colored cliffs”. The rocks exposed in the escarpment at Cedar Breaks represent the Pink Cliffs. The subhorizontal sedimentary rocks here are part of the Claron Formation (Wasatch Group, Upper Paleocene-Eocene). Claron Formation rocks are lacustrine (lake facies) limestones, calcareous shales, siltstones, and sandstones. These sediments were deposited in ancient Lake Claron, a large, long-lived basin that received considerable siliciclastic sediment input from the surrounding eroding uplands. Differing levels of iron oxides (the minerals hematite and limonite) impart different colors - reds, pinks, yellows, orangish-browns - to the rocks.
Differential weathering and differential erosion of these lacustrine sedimentary rocks created the varied small-scale and large-scale landforms at Cedar Breaks. The pillar-like structures are called hoodoos - they are common at Cedar Breaks and at Bryce Canyon, a national park in southern Utah.
Cedar Breaks (North View overlook) photos
Cedar Breaks (Sunset View overlook) photos
Cedar Breaks (Point Supreme overlook) photos
Info. principally synthesized from:
Kiver & Harris (1999) - Geology of U.S. Parklands. 902 pp.
Harris et al. (2004) - Geology of the National Parks, Sixth Edition. 882 pp.