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Cuesta, Colorado

Erosional Landform Pictures


Cuestas are asymmetric ridges, steep on one side and gentle on the other, that form by the erosion of gently dipping rock beds. (more below)
One-sided hogbacks
Photo (c) 2007 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)
Cuestas like these north of US Route 40 near Dinosaur National Monument at the locality of Massadona, Colorado, emerge as harder rock layers have their softer surroundings eroded away. They are part of a larger structure, an anticline that is plunging toward the right. The sets of cuestas in the center and right are dissected by stream valleys, whereas the one on the left edge is undivided. It is better described as an escarpment.

Where rocks are tilted steeply, the erosional ridge they make has roughly the same slope on both sides. That type of landform is called a hogback.

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