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‘Miniature Grand Canyon’ Forms In Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains

Backcountry hunters have discovered a large crevasse that has opened up in the ground, forming a miniature canyon on a private ranch located in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains.

Seth Wittke, from the Wyoming State Geological Survey, described the phenomenom as a “slow-moving landslide” — one that is actually not unique. Other similar cracks in the Earth have been discovered in other parts of the state, some of which are even bigger, he said.

I wouldn’t say it’s huge. I think there’s much bigger ones that we’ve seen in the state. It’s definitely not a small one, I would agree with that.

Wittke said that the landslide may be result of water from springs that are located in the general vicinity. “What may be happening is that you may have excessive water infiltration into the hill slope that’s causing the instability in it”, Wittke explained.

Posted by Randy Becker on Monday, October 26, 2015

Mother Nature Network described the fissure as a “miniature Grand Canyon” when looked at up close, reporting that locals in the area from SNS Outfitters & Guides have nicknamed the landmark “The Gash”.

Another picture is available from the website of Fremont County’s Community News Stream.

According to SlashGear, the same process that caused the formation of The Gash is more commonly known to form sinkholes.

Wittke said that inspection of the area is not a high priority to geologists at the moment due to its large proximity from population centers.

It’s not as big a priority because it’s not threatening infrastructure, or population centers or anything like that.

According to Wittke, the geologists are interested in learning more about the site, though they need to find some time to investigate it.

The USGS has documented over 40,000 landslides in Wyoming. “They do occur in the state and they occur pretty much everywhere within the state”, he said.

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