New Utah Dinosaur Named after Martha Hayden, Assistant to the Utah State Paleontologist

Martharaptor greenriverensis, a puzzling dinosaur lacking a complete skeleton, has been named after its co-discoverer Martha Hayden. Hayden, a dedicated advocate of paleontology, has served for more than 20 years as the assistant to several Utah state paleontologists. She has also donated numerous volunteer hours in her paleontological endeavors, and works with the Utah Geological Survey (UGS).

The dinosaur’s remains were found in the roughly 125-million-year-old rock of the Cedar Mountain Formation southeast of Green River, Utah, and collected under permit from the Bureau of Land Management and placed into the collections of the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City.


Utah's Online Interactive Geologic Maps

Until now, Utah’s online geologic maps were difficult for the general public to find and view, lacking an online interface. With the advent of ArcGIS for Server, displaying Utah’s geologic maps in one online location is now possible:

A mosaic of over 400 of Utah’s geologic maps is draped over the user’s choice of base map. Map scales range from 1:500,000 (less detail) to 1:24,000 (more detail). While zooming in with the application, maps of greater detail will begin showing up where they are available, answering the question, “What am I standing on?”. This application works on any web-browser and looks great on tablets. Utah’s expansive geologic formations are described in detail in the right pane of the application by clicking anywhere on the map. Users have the option to download GIS data (raster/vector), and each map’s corresponding report. Check back often as there will be additional maps added in the future. Feel free to provide feedback—we are looking for ways to improve the application.

UGS scientist Hellmut Doelling honored in naming of Utah’s newest raptor dinosaur; Yurgovuchia doellingi

Utah Geological Survey (UGS) paleontologists have uncovered three new dromaeosaur (“raptor”) dinosaurs near the base of Utah’s Cretaceous fossil record (130-120 million years ago) in eastern Utah on Bureau of Land Management lands near Arches National Park.

The paper describing these new dinosaurs — New dromaeosaurids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah and the evolution of the dromaeosaurid tail — was published today in PLos One (Public Library of Science) as part of a collaboration between UGS paleontologists and Phil Senter, an expert on dromaeosaurs from Fayetteville University in North Carolina.

Dromaeosauridae is a diverse family of predatory (carnivorous) dinosaurs with a plethora of species that have been discovered within the last two decades and a few that were known previously. The three newly discovered species were found at two nearby dinosaur sites: Doelling’s Bowl Bone Bed and Andrew’s Site.


UGS Receives Special Recognition for its Outstanding Contributions to the Understanding of Utah’s Oil and Gas Resources and Geology

The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) was honored “for [its] past and ongoing exemplary contributions to the understanding of the geology of Utah and surrounding states” by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) — the largest professional organization of petroleum geologists worldwide with more than 39,000 members.

At the recent AAPG Rocky Mountain Section annual meeting, the UGS Energy and Minerals Program was presented with a plaque stating “With sincere appreciation for your support of the AAPG Rocky Mountain Section, of the AAPG meetings and members, and for your continued timeless contributions to the geoscience knowledge of the West. We are in your debt.”


New Geologic Maps of Southern Portions of the Uinta Mountains Now Available

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.”


MP 10-3
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DNR Map & Bookstore Goes Online

Shopping is now easier at the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore. The store, known for its extensive collection of topographic and recreational maps, now provides easy-to-use online shopping for its customers. The Web site is:

“Our customers who have been frustrated by the construction on the North Temple viaduct and TRAX rail will be able to shop at their own convenience,” said Pat Stokes, bookstore manager.

“The Web site is a wonderful resource for anyone unable to visit the store during our regular business hours or those who live out-of-state.”



Summary of 2009 Utah Mineral Released

Utah’s mineral extraction industry recorded a successful year on 2009, according to a recently released publication.

The Utah Geological Survey’s (UGS) 2009 Summary of Mineral Activity in Utah publication reveals that despite a recession induced dip from peak commodity values in 2008, Utah ranked third nationally in the value of nonfuel minerals produced in 2009, accounting for about 7% of the total value of U.S. production. Utah mines and energy companies produced a gross value of $6.97 billion in mineral and energy commodities in 2009 from oil gas (37%), base metals (31%), industrial minerals (14%), coal-uranium (9%), and precious metals (9%). All sectors suffered a dip from mid-2008, except for precious metals which expanded on higher prices.





Paying for home improvements that increase energy efficiency just got easier for Utah residents. A new program, Utah Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, will pay cash rebates to Utah homeowners to help offset the cost of retrofits that save energy and money.

Jason Berry, Utah State Energy Program Manager oversees Utah Home Performance.  He anticipates high demand for the program which covers up to 50% or 80% of the energy-efficient home improvements.

“We expect to perform almost 2,800 comprehensive, Home Performance assessments across the state,” Berry said.

“Having a Home Performance assessment is a great opportunity for Utah residents to find out how they can make their homes more comfortable and healthier for their families. These assessments let homeowners know what improvements will provide the greatest savings.”


Utah Home Performance
Utah State Energy Program


A new cash rebate incentive program for solar and wind energy systems begins today. The Utah State Energy Program (USEP) announced applications are now available for Utah residents, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations interested in generating renewable energy. The rebate amounts cover approximately 25 percent of the cost of a typical residential system.

“This program will stimulate employment in grid-tied renewable energy construction and increase distributed renewable energy capacity,” said Chris Tallackson, Incentives Coordinator.


Renewable Energy Rebate Program
Utah State Energy Program


The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) was notified of a large rock fall in Rockville, Utah Wednesday morning that damaged several buildings.  Geologists say it could have been much worse and are worried about the possibility of second boulder breaking loose.

Around 7:30 a.m., a boulder estimated to be 35-feet by 30-feet by 30-feet broke loose and rolled down a hill toward the home that Tamara Burton was renting.

Tyler Knudsen and Bob Blackett, UGS geologists, were asked by Rockville Mayor Alan Brown to investigate what happened.  According to air photos, the boulder had been there for at least four years after detaching from a ledge and sliding about 20 feet and coming to a rest on a 45-degree slope above Burton’s home.



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