The Makhtesh HaKatan (Small Makhtesh) is the smallest (about 5km x 7km) of 3 makhteshim, a geological land formation in the Negev desert, known also as an erosion cirque. A makhtesh has steep walls of resistant rock surrounding a deep closed valley which is usually drained by a single wadi (stream bed). These walls were made of an outer layer of hard rock, limestone and dolomite, covering a softer layer of chalkstone and sandstone. Erosion washes away the softer layer and eventually the hard layer of rock collapses creating a crater-like valley. The layers of rock can still be seen in the walls of the makhtesh, the sandstone comes in many colors.
The following photos of the multicolored, textured sandstone were taken while hiking in the makhtesh, abstract paintings by the hand of God.
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