View east from Jackson Bottom along the Colorado River, Grand County.
Photographer: Brian Butler © 2017
While this photo is a throwback to colder seasons, we cannot deny the stunning #UtahGeology present. This crisp, cold picture is worth a thousand hand warmers—that’s how the saying goes, right?
Dead Horse Point State Park, San Juan County, Utah
Photographer: Gregg Beukelman; © 2014
The Colorado River loops around the Gooseneck between Dead Horse Point State Park and distant cliffs of the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. The river has carved and exposed nearly flat-lying Jurassic to Pennsylvanian-age sedimentary strata of the Colorado Plateau.
Colorado River, Grand County, Utah
Photographer: Adam Hiscock; © 2014
Late-winter ice still clings to the Colorado River near Big Bend, north of Moab. Boulders of Jurassic-age Wingate Sandstone and Triassic-age Chinle Formation line the banks of the river, eroded from the cliffs and ledges cut by the river as it has incised its channel over millions of years.
In more recent times, focus has been on the drought conditions affecting Southern Utah and the Colorado River. But what if the Colorado River were flooding? An interesting insight to the river’s extreme flood history, and research for better understanding of the rare events.
Scientists say it would have been a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. If the Glen Canyon Dam had failed, it would have changed the lives of millions of people and reshaped the history of the American West.
Even though we are a “desert” state, Utah’s rivers are world-renowned among river runners and geoscientists. Several of America’s early geologists, including G.K. Gilbert, W.M. Davis, C.E. Dutton, and J.W. Powell contributed to theories of stream evolution from observations made in Utah.
Rivers typically originate in the mountains, flow away from them in a more-or-less constant direction, enter increasingly broad river plains, and terminate at an ocean. But many rivers in Utah flow toward and across mountains, run contrary to valleys, make U-turns, and many never reach the ocean.