Tag Archive for: geological

Salt Lake Tribune

Jeff and Denise Roberts love to roam the hills south of Richfield, sleuthing for fossils and ancient artifacts. During one of those trips several years ago, the couple found fossilized jaw bones so small they can sit on a penny.
The significance of those puny jaws outweighs their size: Paleontologists say they shed light on an era in Utah 8 million years ago that has produced few fossils, unlike the huge dinosaur bones from earlier periods that have made the state a paleontology treasure trove.
The Roberts reported their find to state experts, who determined the fossils came from two heretofore unknown species of rodents related to modern deer and pocket mice. In their honor, the species related to the deer mouse was named Basirepomys robertsi , while the other species was named Metaliomys sevierensis for the formation in Sevier County where the fossils were found.



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Carole McCalla and Sandy Eldredge

Fossils – remains, traces, or imprints of past plant and animal life – are widely found throughout Utah. Depending on land ownership, some fossils can be collected for personal non-commercial use.

However, vertebrate fossils (see description below) may not be collected on any federal or state lands.

Whether you can keep a fossil or not depends on
1. the type of fossil, and
2. who owns or manages the land where the fossil was found.




Donald L. Clark, Robert F. Biek, Grant C. Willis, Kent D. Brown, Paul A. Kuehne, J. Buck Ehler, and Carl L. Ege

This area is located in west-central Utah within the eastern Basin and Range Province, near the southern margin of the Great Salt Lake Desert, and within the confines of Dugway Proving Ground.  Granite Peak consists of a granitic intrusion that is Late Jurassic in age (149 million years old).  The upper part of the intrusion was altered and intruded by numerous pegmatite dikes.  Metamorphic rocks of likely Paleozoic or Proterozoic protoliths are exposed at the far south end of the mountain.  These granitic and metamorphic rocks were exhumed during Basin and Range extension, likely from about 15 to 5 million years ago.  Sapphire Mountain is a Miocene-age rhyolite flow that erupted 8 million years ago.  Quaternary surficial map units include lacustrine, alluvial, and eolian deposits, and desert mudflats.  Three of the four primary shorelines of the Bonneville lake cycle are preserved on the mountains’ flanks.

CD (2pl., 1:24,000)




Utah is making a multi-million dollar investment in residential energy efficiency. The Utah State Energy Program (USEP) has issued a Request for Grant Applications (RGA) for a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR offers a comprehensive approach to improving energy efficiency in existing homes.

USEP will award up to $4.5 Million for this program. The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program will include activities such as:

  • establishing market baselines and performance indicators,
  • contractor training opportunities,
  • homeowner outreach,
  • home performance assessments and a utility bill analysis,
  • projected cost-effectiveness of energy retrofits,
  • installation of energy efficiency measures, and
  • incentives for participation.



A newly-published report describes the discovery of two new prehistoric rodents in Utah. The report also identifies two fossil rodents and a rabbit previously known from other states. All are from a site near Sevier in central Utah.

“In addition to identifying the new species, the findings are significant because until now, Utah has been a big hole in the Miocene map of western North America for fossil mammals,” said Don DeBlieux, report co-author and paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey (UGS). “The uplift and erosion of the Colorado Plateau which makes Utah such a good place for finding dinosaur fossils means that younger rocks and fossils, such as those from the Miocene Epoch which lasted from 23 to five million years ago, have been washed way.”


The Spectrum

In light of the proposed Capo Di Monte subdivision on Cedar Mountain, the issue of the west facing side being declared a landslide, one of the largest in the state, is up for debate at Thursday’s Iron County Planning Commission meeting.

The Cedar Highlands subdivision exists on the mountain and has activated two of the smaller landslides since comprehensive studies were completed in 1981, which found the larger landslide to be inactive.

Bill Lund, Utah Geological Survey geologist, said based on his findings he would recommend that more research be done on the mountain before making any decisions to approve further development.


Fox 13

A Utah geologist was recognized for keeping Utahns safe. Geologist William Lund ate, slept, and studied fault lines and earthquakes for a number of years for the Utah Geological Survey, which has studied and investigated geologic hazards in Utah for more than 40 years. “I’m very honored and surprised, I had no idea, but it’s truly an honor and I’m happy,” Lund said.

Lund said he has spent a good part of his career trying to characterize past big earthquakes and figure out what might happen in the future.


Congratulations to Mike Hylland who was named the 2009 UGS Employee of the Year.  Mike has worked for the UGS for 16 years and does an extraordinary job balancing duties as technical editor and geologic researcher. Mike is quite knowledgeable and professional, and his work ethic and demeanor are exemplary. As a patient, positive, and well-rounded reviewer, he strives for consistency and thoroughness, but is also flexible and willing to look at an author’s particular viewpoint. His ongoing contributions to fault studies in northern Utah and maintenance of the Quaternary fault database are long-lasting. Overall, Mike’s excellent technical skills and great temperament make him the perfect UGS role model.

Sun Advocate

With the Scofield Pleasant Valley Plan going before the county commission for final approval later this year, new development regulations will likely come into effect. However, throughout the approval process, many questions arose concerning the water quality in Scofield reservoir, because it supplies most of the county’s drinking water. While many questions were answered, a few remained unresolved. Now Carbon County and the Utah Division of Water Quality (DWQ) are considering conducting an extensive ground water study in the Pleasant Valley area. Although funding is not yet secured, most personnel who are involved with the project are confident that an agreement between the county and the state can be arranged.


Michael D. Vanden Berg

Did you know that Utah is one of only six states that generate electricity from geothermal sources? Did you know that Utah recently produced its one billionth ton of coal? Did you know that Utah has the second lowest price for home-heating natural gas in the nation? Did you know that Utah has been a net-exporter of energy since 1980?

These little known facts, along with many more interesting details, can be found in the Utah Geological Survey’s (UGS) new publication Utah’s Energy Landscape – a visual-based comprehensive description of Utah’s entire energy portfolio.

41p. booklet




Emery County Progress