13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Power of Water
Walking the shady trails of Johnston Canyon and listening to the flow of the calm creek spotted with rushing water falls one is quick to forget that Johnston Canyon was formed from a very violent and torrential past. The Bow Valley was once covered by a large glacier that scrapped and tore at the valley floor for tens of thousands of years, eventually the glacier began to recede and a large landslide occurred some 8,000 years ago, this landslide is known as the 'hillsdale slide'. This slide created a new path for the water to flow and for thousands of years the water seeped into mountain fractures and eroded away at the limestone and rock, Johnston Canyon was born.
Along Johnston Creek you will find many waterfalls and crystal clear, blue-green pools of water flowing from high in the mountains but, one particular spot along Johnston's Creek one can see first hand the force and volume of the water that once flowed so powerful that an underground cavern was formed and it also cut and carved off an enormous limestone extrusion. I took this picture within the cavern and the large chunk of limestone looks as if it can fit into the cavern like a jigsaw puzzle and Johnston Creek is still eroding away at it's base and one day that large limestone rock will topple over continuing the erosion that started thousands of years ago. Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
© James Anderson.
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||Dec. 1, 2015, 11:21 p.m.