POTD August 16, 2017: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Iron County

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Iron County
Photographer: Ken Krahulec © 2017
Headward erosion into the Markagunt Plateau has created the spectacular badlands of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater. The brightly colored rocks of the Claron Formation include limestone, mudstones, sandstone, and conglomerate deposited in streams and lakes around 50 million years ago, as well as ancient soils developed in these deposits.


POTD August 02, 2017: Blue Hills Overlook, Wayne County

Blue Hills Overlook, Wayne County
Photographer: Gregg Beukelman © 2017
Early morning light spotlights a mesa in a typical badland landscape composed of easily eroded shaly siltstone and mudstone of the Tununk Shale Member of the Cretaceous-age Mancos Shale. The Ferron Sandstone, also a member of the Mancos Shale, is in the foreground.

POTD July 26, 2017

Notom Badlands Wayne County.
Photographer: Gregg Beukelman © 2017

POTD July 19, 2017: San Rafael Swell, Emery County

San Rafael Swell, Emery County

Photographer: Don DeBlieux © 2017

Clam trace fossils on a fallen sandstone block of the Brushy Basin Member of the Jurassic-age Morrison Formation.

POTD July 5, 2017: Waterpocket Fold, Capitol Reef National Park, Garfield County

Waterpocket Fold, Capitol Reef National Park, Garfield County
Photographer: Adam Hiscock © 2017

Geoscience and Utah

How does geoscience affect Utah?
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is currently releasing State Geoscience Information factsheets that show the role geoscience plays in powering our state’s economy. The Geoscience and Utah Factsheet highlights information from many Utah geoscience areas including, employment, water, minerals, energy and hazards.
Below is page 1 of the Utah factsheet showing an overview of the economic contributions that geology and geoscience bring to Utah.

AGI’s Geoscience Policy team created State Geoscience Information factsheets to inform geoscientists and decision makers on how geoscience impacts their state.

Download the Utah Geoscience Information factsheet

POTD June 27, 2017: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Photographer: Grant Willis © 2017
Padres Butte towers over Lake Powell’s Padre Bay, both named for the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition, which crossed the Colorado River near this site in 1776. Padres and the other buttes in this area are composed of Entrada Sandstone, one of several geologic formations that form the sandstone “slickrock” that typifies much of southern Utah’s landscape.

2017 Crawford Award

The prestigious 2017 Crawford Award was presented to State Paleontologist James Kirkland in recognition of his work in “The Lower Cretaceous in East-Central Utah—The Cedar Mountain Formation and its Bounding Strata”, from Geology of the Intermountain West, Volume 3, Utah Geological Association.

Most think of Utah as the “real Jurassic Park” because of the important dinosaur collections excavated from the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation. However, the number of new and existing dinosaurs that Jim has discovered, excavated, and described from the Cedar Mountain Formation rivals the Morrison. His contributions demonstrate that the Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation is as productive and important to understanding dinosaur diversity and evolution. He has put Utah on the map for Early Cretaceous dinosaur research. Because of his work, Jim is recognized throughout the world as the expert on the Cedar Mountain Formation, its stratigraphy, and dinosaur fauna. This publication is the culmination of a career of studying this formation and the vertebrate fossils it contains; it is the quintessential reference on the Cedar Mountain. It solidifies the regional understanding of the Cedar Mountain lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and environments of deposition. It also formalizes the member names, which he and a co-worker first applied a decade ago. It is well written and well organized with many annotated photographs and detailed illustrations.

The Crawford Award recognizes outstanding achievement, accomplishments, or contributions by a current UGS scientist to the understanding of some aspect of Utah geology or Earth science. The award is named in honor of Arthur L. Crawford, first director of the UGS.