Tea Leaf Paradox
Horseshoe Bend is named for the horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River seen here from its lookout point. Naturally, the waveform of a river is constantly changing and the phenomenon of the “tea leaf paradox” is used to explain the formation of this riverbank. The processes in which greater curvature results in more and more erosion of the bank, is caused by faster flowing water in the inside of the bend and slower moving water on the outside. Like tea leaves in a cup after being stirred, sediment migrates to the center and bottom of the bend from its spiral force, leaving the outside of the bend unprotected and therefore vulnerable to faster erosion, thus creating a loop.