Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shen Ramon - Ramon's Tooth and Ramon's Molars

Shen Ramon (Ramon's Tooth) is a large, unusual rock formation in the southern wall of Machtesh Ramon. Almost all of the crater's walls are formed from sandstone, the result of the area being covered by the Tethys Sea some 200 million years ago. Shen Ramon is an intrusion rock formed of basalt, magma that cooled under ground and was then thrust up, like an erupting tooth, through the action of tectonic forces that caused the sea to retreat. The basalt is black, in stark contrast to the buff color of the sandstone walls.

Shen Ramon, dark rock to the left of center. (Click for full size image.)

Shen Ramon is best seen from the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center or the bird's nest overlook just south of there. But in truth it is well seen anywhere along the northern rim of the crater. Those places are just the easiest to get to.

Close-up of Shen Ramon from the Bird's Nest overlook.

I call the area right of Shen Ramon "Ramon's Dentition", because to me it looks like molars next to the canine of Shen Ramon, but no one else knows it by that name.

"Ramon's Dentition", to the right of Shen Ramon.

Close-up of "Ramon's Molars".

Shen Ramon and the adjacent cliffs can be climbed with access from Route 40 in the Machtesh itself. Look for signs to direct you as you head south out of Mitzpe Ramon across the crater.


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