Fossil remains of an athletic sauropod with a potentially mighty kick found in eastern Utah offer a rare bounty of clues into how four-legged herbivores thrived, according to a new study of the discovery.

The results, published this week in the British journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, show that an unusually large hip bone compared to other sauropods could mean that the Brontomerus Mcintoshi had powerful hind legs to kick away predators, such as raptors.

“This is a very exciting discovery, because a majority of sauropods were known to have lived during the Jurassic period, but these fossils show us that they lived well into the early Cretacious period,” said Mathew Wedel, an assistant professor of anatomy at the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif.

The fossils were excavated by American scientists in the mid-1990s.


*correction: Jim Kirkland is the state paleontologist for the Utah Geological Survey.


Crews tore down a house that fell victim to a slow-moving landslide in North Salt Lake.

The home was one of several in the Spring Hill development in North Salt Lake that suffered damage with the slow movement of the hill.

It took demolition crews less than an hour to tear down a home on Spring Hill Circle Thursday.

Just before noon, they collapsed the home into the foundation. They will then grind up the debris before hauling it away. At a later date, crews will return to the site of the home and remove the foundation and the concrete.

The company that has been working on the demolition have been contracted by the bank that now owns the home after the resident owners moved out about six months ago.

The contractor told KSL the home was coming down one way or another because of the slow-moving landslide that’s been plaguing this area for the past decade and forced many families in the area to leave their homes.

The landslide has already caused a lot of damage. Back in 2009, geologists estimated the landslide was moving about 2 inches a week, equal to about 9 feet a year.

Neighbors say this home is the second in the neighborhood to come down. It’s unclear at this time whether or not other home are scheduled to be demolished.



Demolition crews today are preparing to knock down a house damaged by a slow-moving landslide in the Springhill area.

City manager Barry Edwards said a recent report from the Utah Geological Survey indicated there had been “significant movement of the ground” in the past 30 days, creating additional damage to homes in the North Salt Lake neighborhood.

“There’s movement underneath the house,” Edwards said. “It’s pushing the house down the hill.”

Front pillars recently have fallen from the bank-owned home near 150 South and 400 East. In addition, the floor has buckled, and windows have broken.

“It’s getting in a position where the house itself poses somewhat of a safety hazard,” he said.

The bank obtained a demolition permit from the city, and crews were waiting for the gas to be shut off to the home before beginning demolition work.

Edwards said there are other houses in the area that are in similar condition and also should be torn down. However, owners of those homes haven’t yet said that’s what they want to do.

“We haven’t pressed (the issue) because the people who lived in those houses have already been financially stressed,” he said. “We don’t want to add any financial burden on them right now.”

According to the Utah Geological Survey’s website, the state agency has been monitoring conditions in the Springhill neighborhood since 1998. Residents first began noticing cracks related to minor movement in their homes about a year earlier.



Celina Suarez and her twin sister, Marina, had always hoped they’d find dinosaur bones in the backyard of their childhood home in San Antonio, Texas.
The pair never found any dinosaur bones behind their home. But they have found dinosaur bones — more than once. It was their find in Utah in 2004 that led to the naming of a new species of dinosaur after the sisters, both now 29-year-old geochemists doing post-doctoral research.

“We’re very honored,” said Celina Suarez, who is doing research at Boise State University. Her sister, Marina, is a researcher at Johns Hopkins University. The sisters are identical, mirror-image twins (“She’s a leftie, and I’m a rightie,” Celina said.)

At the time of their big find, they were both Temple University master’s students working on a summer excavation project near Green River, Utah, with the Utah Geological Survey. While investigating the sediment near the site, they came across a gulley with rocks that had bones sticking out.


Three earthquakes less than three day shave residents in Utah County on edge. Two of the quakes happened Sunday within hours of each other.

The most recent happened just at 6:09 p.m. According to the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, the 2.8 magnitude tremor hit roughly 3 miles west of Lehi.

Prior to Sunday night’s trembler, that Seismograph Stations’ data shows an earthquake early Sunday at 2:25 a.m. that measured a 2.8 magnitude. The first quake happened four miles west of Lehi at 7:38 p.m. Friday, registering 2.5 in magnitude.

While they disturbed hundreds of people, seismologists say frequent earthquakes like these are pretty normal.

“It sounded like a Mac truck was just like making its way around the neighborhood, crashing into houses. It was really loud,” said Saratoga Springs resident Dave Roach.



This section summarizes landslide conditions from January 20 through December 7, 2010. Precipitation for the water year is also discussed.

Landslide Movement

The landslide was active in 2010 and had been continuously moving at a very slow rate since at least January 2008. Measurements indicate that different parts of the landslide were moving at slightly different rates. In general, the landslide moved to the northwest, toward Valley View Drive. Ground deformation measurements were collected from survey markers using a steel measuring tape and a survey-grade GPS instrument, depending on location.

The UGS monitored ground deformation at several locations on the landslide with wooden stakes to estimate approximate movement. At the head or main scarp of the landslide (uppermost part), stretching (points on the ground get farther apart) occurred due to landslide movement. At the toe of the landslide (lowermost part), shortening (points on the ground get closer together) occurred.


Two new geologic maps near Vernal, Utah have been released. The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) recently published two 1:24,000-scale geologic maps covering a part of the south flank of the Uinta Mountains near Vernal. These maps provide data useful to consultants/land-use managers to address geologic hazard and resource issues; they will also be of interest to educators and others simply interested in learning about the fascinating geology of the Vernal area.

“The Dry Fork and Steinaker quadrangles contain some of the most scenic and geologically diverse landscapes in the southern Uintas,” said Doug Sprinkel, UGS geologist. “These quadrangles reflect that diversity and provide basic geologic information for the popular Steinaker Reservoir, the Red Cloud Loop Drive, and the spectacular Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway.”


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Two new geologic maps near Vernal have been released by the Utah Geological Survey, providing information that will help land-use managers and others chart geologic hazards and resources on the south flank of the Uinta Mountains.

“The Dry Fork and Steinaker quadrangles contain some of the most scenic and geologically diverse landscapes in the southern Uintas,” said Doug Sprinkel, a geologist with the survey. “These quandrangles reflect that diversity and provide basic geologic information for the popular Steinaker Reservoir, the Red Cloud Loop Drive, and the spectacular Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway.”

The Uinta Mountains feature Kings Peak, Utah’s highest point, and are the setting for recreation, tourism, timber harvesting, mining and grazing. They are also an important source of drinking and irrigation water for residents of the Uintah Basin and surrounding areas.




Decorative stone public collecting localities

Landscaping rock can be collected from “community pits” on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands. Common-use areas/community pits are for noncommercial or small-scale collection and require a permit.

The rules and stipulations for collecting vary from region to region and pit to pit. For details on obtaining a permit, call the appropriate permitting office listed with each collecting location.



Fremont Indian State Park is named after a diverse group of people, the Fremont Indians, who lived in Utah from A.D. 400 to 1350. The park exists because of successful archaeological excavations in Clear Creek Canyon prior to construction of Interstate 70 between Richfield and Cove Fort, Utah. There are at least 10 Fremont sites within the park.

In 1983 local elementary school students told Brigham Young University archaeologists that there were pottery shards and collapsed dwelling depressions on top of Five Finger Ridge. At the time bulldozers were removing the surficial deposits of Five Finger Ridge for use as highway fill. The archaeologists quickly recovered hundreds of artifacts from Five Finger Ridge; these and other Fremont artifacts are housed and displayed in the Fremont Indian State Park museum that opened in 1987.