Pittsburg Lake, Utah County, Utah
Photographer: Sonja Heuscher

Pittsburg Lake, a glacial tarn formed in a cirque carved into the Cambrian-age Tintic Quartzite in upper American Fork Canyon, Utah County.


One of the biggest earthquakes in U.S. history didn’t occur in California. Or Alaska. It happened in the country’s midsection some 200 years ago in an area where today seven states straddle the Mississippi River Valley.



In recent years geologists have hotly debated the age of the Grand Canyon. Some think it’s young (just 6 million years old), while others argue that it dates back 70 million years — to the days of dinosaurs.


Mirror, mirror…on the Wall Lake! Happy Friday, geo friends!

Mount Watson, western Uinta Mountains, Summit County, Utah
Photographer: Mike Hylland

Wall Lake, a glacial tarn, reflects the morning sun on the Precambrian-age sandstone of Mount Watson (11,521 feet), western Uinta Mountains, Summit County.

It’s another wonderful Thursday…and time for “Spot the Rock” again!

Though this red rock may look familiar, something tells me it’s quite peculiar. If you know where this slot canyon hides, try your luck and tell us where it resides.

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UPDATE: Location Revealed
This Spot the Rock photo was taken in Quail Creek Canyon, roughly 15 miles northeast of Saint George, Washington County. This section of Quail Creek Canyon is located within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, and Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness. The trailhead for this site is found in the Red Cliffs Campground.

The red rocks of the Red Cliffs are composed primarily of Jurassic age Navajo Sandstone. The towering Pine Valley Mountains, which provide the water for the creek, are a volcanic feature called a laccolith.

This area of Utah is unique in that it is a transition zone between the Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and Mojave Desert.

Northern Uinta Mountains, Summit County
Photographer: Greg McDonald

The Uinta Mountains, widely glaciated thousands of years ago, now contain many glacial features, including this kettle pond formed within a moraine depression. Permian-Pennsylvanian-age Weber Sandstone is at the head of West Fork Blacks Fork drainage.

Mount Baldy, Salt Lake County, Utah
Photographer: Rich Giraud

Wildflowers among sandstone boulders of the Cambrian-age Ophir Formation, Mount Baldy, Salt Lake County

Chalk Knolls, Tule Valley, Millard County, Utah
Stefan Kirby

Stromatolites, precipitated by algae in reef-like columns, are common in the Cambrian-age Hellnmaria Member of the Notch Peak Formation, Chalk Knolls, Tule Valley, Millard County

Hey there geo friends! It’s another wonderful Thursday, so you know what that means…
Time for “Spot the Rock”! Oodles of doodles etched in stone. Truth is they’re actually well known! If you’ve got a guess, write it down.

Like us on FACEBOOK or follow us on TWITTER to participate in “Spot the Rock”!

UPDATE: Location Revealed
Parowan Gap (located approximately 20 miles north of Cedar City along Gap Road) is the product of a bygone stream. It’s a 600-foot deep canyon carved into the Red Hills. Millions of years ago, the hills began to rise as a result of fault movement, and the stream eroded the Parowan Gap canyon across the emerging ridge. An often-used analogy is that of a buzz saw (the river) slicing a groove (Parowan Gap) into a log rising up from below (the Red Hills).

The Parowan Gap Rock Art is on the National Register of Historic Places. There is a diverse array of deeply carved petroglyphs with geometric designs and repeating elements suggesting some could be astronomical calendars (Zipper Glyph Calendar as seen in the picture) or maps. Much of this art is thought to be inspired by Parowan Gap’s fixed position to viewers in relation to the varying position of the sun, sunrise, and sunset throughout the year.


We all have our faults, and that includes planet Earth. Earthquakes rattle the globe every day, big and small, most recently making news this week with temblors in Puerto Rico and southern California.