Natural Bridges - Sipapu Bridge

This is a photo of Sipapu Bridge.

Detailed Description

This view shows Sipapu Bridge near the center of the image. The natural bridges in the park have been assigned Hopi names. Sipapu means "place of emergence," an entryway by which the Hopi believe their ancestors came into this world. Sipapu Bridge is the largest in the park having a span of 268 feet and a height of 220 feet. The natural bridge spans White Creek where the stream carved and breached the ridge-like promontory along an entrenched stream meander. The original stream meander was probably part of a broader flood plain that existed many thousands of years ago, possibly during the last great ice age when the lands surface was higher. It is likely that a change in climatic conditions caused an increase in erosion rates, and streams throughout the region began to carve downward into their channels rather than to continue meandering and broadening their floodplains. This stream channel entrenchment can be seen throughout the tributaries of the Colorado River drainage basin. Today the landscape is semiarid, and except for small spring-fed sections of the streams, the streams only flow during intermittent periods of heavy rain (causing flash floods). During such events, erosion and sediment transport proceeds quickly.


Image Dimensions: 800 x 600

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US