In this region, forces within the earth have been powerful enough to cause thousands of feet of surface rock to fold, break, and in some areas push several miles from their original location. Today, erosion has worn away the top of one great fold, exposing the sharply angled layer of rock and creating numerous canyons.
The sandstone formations that are so prominent in the Valley of Fire are made of sand grains that are almost pure silica. Silica Dome is the finest example in the area of such a deposit. The change from white to red at the base of the dome occurs where small quantities of iron in the rock produces a rust-like stain.