Wupatki Pueblo Blowhole
Posted by: TerryDad2
N 35° 31.368 W 111° 22.320
12S E 466271 N 3931085
Quick Description: This location is behind the Wupatki National Monument Visitor Center. A paved trail leads through the Wupatki Pueblo and down to the blowhole. Wheelchair accessable, but there are some relatively steep sections.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 1/31/2007 7:07:08 PM
Waymark Code: WM16H0
This is also the Wupatki Pueblo Blowhole Earthcache
As you walk down the path and through the
pueblo you will see black basalt from the eruption of Sunset
Sunset Crater Lava Flow Trail Earthcache) and the Moenkopi
Formation (See Wupatki Ripple Marks Earthcache).
At the end of the trail you will find a grated hole in the
ground. This small hole is connected to a network of cavities in
the Kaibab Formation (See
Citadel Sink, and
Lomaki and Box Canyon Pueblos Earthcaches). The initial cracks
are thought to have been formed by compression during uplift of the
Rocky Mountains and the subsequent release of pressure as overlying
rocks were eroded away.
They have since widened from dissolution by slightly acidic
rainwater and ground water running into the crack. As these waters
move through the rocks they slowly dissolve the limestone of the
Kaibab Formation forming a network of cavities. The full extent of
the network of cavities has not been investigated.
The blowhole can actually either exhale or inhale air depending
upon the difference between air temperature and atmospheric
pressure on the surface and the conditions inside the cavities. If
the air outside is cooler than inside, air will rush into the hole
because the air outside is more dense. The air will blow out of the
hole if the air outside is hotter than inside because the air
outside is less dense. High and low pressure weather systems will
also have the same effect. I caught the blowhole when air was
Editorial review provided by Sara Hanson.
The above information was compiled from the following
- Hanson, Sarah L. 2003, Roadside Geology:
Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments, Arizona
Geological Survey, Down-to-Earth 15
- NPS Informational Signs
Placement approved by the Wupatki National Monument