Photographer's Note

Photo taken while driving near Ouarzazate.
A mesa (Portuguese and Spanish for table) is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape. Mesas form by weathering and erosion of horizontally layered rocks that have been uplifted by tectonic activity. Variations in the ability of different types of rock to resist weathering and erosion cause the weaker types of rocks to be eroded away, leaving the more resistant types of rocks topographically higher than their surroundings.
Mesas are a characteristic landform of arid environments, particularly the Western USA and Spain. Examples are also found in the Ouarzazate basin, Morocco. The Ouarzazate basin is located between the High Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains; it has an elevation of 1200–1800 m., extends more than 150 km roughly east–west and reaches a width of 40 km near its western end . The center of the basin, filled by Neogene and Quaternary sediments, forms a tabular plain cut by rivers. (from Arboleya et al., 2008. Journal of the Geological Society, London, Vol. 165, pp. 1059–1073)

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Additional Photos by Ecmel Erlat (ecmel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 125 W: 0 N: 227] (1658)
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