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Your Nearest Neighbor Could Be a Billion-Year-Old Boulder

Sedona, Arizona (Prescott's neighbor to the northwest and known for its spectacular red rock formations) has nothing on this new residential community.

Granite Park, located in Prescott, Arizona is filled with 1.5 billion-year-old granite rock formations. These towering boulders add a level of majesty to this community found nowhere else. Rock formations of this type are rare in the United States. Northern Arizona to southern California are the most common locations for these statuesque boulders. Formed in the Precambrian age, 1.5 billion years ago, these rocks started life under the earth's surface as large masses of molten rock, according to Dr. Archie M. Dickey, professor of environmental science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The rocks then cool before reaching the surface. "This procedure is referred to as an intrusive igneous rock formation," said Dr. Dickey. "The molten rocks cool slowly and in the process form large, course-grained rocks."

After the granite was exposed at the surface, it was then at the mercy of the elements. Wind, rain and snow all started eroding the rocks, however, in the case of these particular formations, they produced their unique shapes and vistas because the granite first weathered in blocky, rectangular joints. You can actually see this throughout Granite Park – the blocky reddish-brown linear lines on the boulders. Dr. Dickey explains that as the weathering continued, the granite turned into its now round distinctive shape. This type of weathering is called spheroidal weathering.

Residents of the new Granite Park community will be able to stroll down trails featuring these two-hundred-foot high rock cliffs and four-foot-wide passages. Some of those trails will connect to Prescott city parks.

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