November 25, 2013

Monday Geology Picture: Helicopter for Scale Beside Painted Wall, Black Canyon, Colorado

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

A helicopter flying through the canyon... giving an awe-inspiring sense of scale! Picture courtesy of Ray Hall.

A helicopter flying through the canyon… giving an awe-inspiring sense of scale! Picture courtesy of Ray Hall.

In last week’s “Monday Geology Picture” post I featured the incredible Painted Wall of Black Canyon in Gunnison National Park in Colorado. Last week’s picture was taken by my friend Ray Hall. After my post, fellow geoblogger Ron Schott sent me a link to an impressive GigaPan that he took of Painted Wall.¬†Well, last week I don’t think I quite appreciated the enormous scale of Painted Wall. I stated that the wall is over 2,000 feet tall, but I didn’t appreciate just how tall that really is.

Well, I think that this week’s picture helps to put the 2,000 foot wall into perspective. Ray sent me this follow-up shot that he took of a helicopter flying through Black Canyon near Painted Wall. Look how small the helicopter is compared with the wall! That’s one very tall cliff!

Geologists love putting things in pictures for scale. Normally, geologists use rock hammers or pencils or rulers or– at the largest– people for scale. It’s rare that they get to use a helicopter for scale, but a helicopter is a perfect scale marker for the impressively large Painted Wall.

Thanks again for sharing another picture of the canyon, Ray!