Glad You Asked: August 7, 2014

As we find ourselves in another hot Utah summer, some of you may be wondering where the coolest spot in Utah is. Among all the cool places in Utah, the coolest by far is Peter Sinks. High in the Bear River Range in Cache County, Peter Sinks is frequently the coldest place in the United States in wintertime, even colder than anywhere in Alaska. Peter Sinks holds the second-place record—less than half a degree shy of the all-time record at Rogers Pass, Montana—for coldest recorded temperature in the contiguous United States at -69.3°F set on February 1, 1985.

Read more about Peter Sinks in our Glad you Asked article HERE

Glad You Asked: July 10, 2014

We’re getting further into our wildfire season as summer heats up. Fires can start from both lightning and human causes, but did you know that rockfalls sometimes cause wildfires too? Check out our “Glad You Asked” article on what ignition source started Utah’s July 2012 Lighthouse Fire in Range Creek, Emery County.

View the article HERE.

Glad You Asked: July 3, 2014

We reflect on our American heritage with July 4th on the horizon and our weekend adventures coming up. How about a little Utah history to go with it? Sedimentary rocks are telling teachers in piecing together Utah’s geologic history. Check it out in our “Glad You Asked” article HERE!

Glad You Asked: June 26, 2014

Is that coral in Great Salt Lake? Great Salt Lake was lower than average last summer, exposing coral-like structures that are usually beneath water. Maybe some of you saw them!

Great Salt Lake has reef-like structures that resemble coral and are often called coral, yet they are not true coral. Algae build bulbous sedimentary rock structures known by various names: algal bioherms and stromatolites are two of the most common.

Read more about bioherms and stromatolites in our “Glad You Asked” article HERE

Glad You Asked: June 19, 2014

So you think you’ve found a meteorite; is it really a meteorwrong? You found a strange rock. It is heavy, dark-colored, and magnetic; so you are thinking it must be from outer space.

Find out more about meteorites in our “Glad You Asked” article HERE.

Survey Notes volume 46 number 1

Current Issue Contents:

  • Microbial Carbonate Reservoirs and the Utah Geological Survey’s “Invasion” of London
  • Utah Still Supplying Gilsonite to the World After 125 Years
  • Frack Sand in Utah?
  • Energy News
  • GeoSights: St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson’s Farm, Washington County
  • Glad You Asked: How can sedimentary rocks tell you about Utah’s history?
  • Teacher’s Corner
  • Survey News
  • New Publications



Survey Notes volume 45 number 3

Current Issue Contents:

  • Damaging Debris Flows Prompt Landslide Inventory Mapping for the 2012 Seely Fire, Carbon and Emery Counties, Utah
  • Rock Fall: An Increasing Hazard in Urbanizing Southwestern Utah
  • New Geologic Data Resources for Utah
  • Energy News
  • Teacher’s Corner
  • Glad You Asked: Where is the Coolest Spot in Utah?
  • GeoSights: The Goosenecks of the San Juan River, San Juan County, Utah
  • Survey News
  • New Publications


How can I name a mountain?

The “Glad You Asked” article, What is the correct name of…?, in a previous issue of Survey Notes addressed how to find the correct names of Utah’s geographic features using the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).

This article addresses how to propose a new name or change an existing geographic feature name.

Policies for naming geographic features have been established by the Domestic Names Committee (DNC) of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Want to name a geographic feature after your boss or favorite geologist? First, wait until they have been deceased five years as features cannot be named after the living or recently deceased.

Additionally, they need to have had a direct and long-term association with the feature (tragic death at a site does not normally qualify). Exceptions are made for those who have made a significant contribution to the area or state and those “with an outstanding national or international reputation.”


Utah Has Two Wives, and Other Interesting Geographic Facts

It sounds like a bad joke: What has 29 Bars, 69 Devils, and 13 Heavens? Utah does. Those are part of the names of geographic features found throughout the state. The topic of interesting names was recently tackled by the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) in its “Glad You Asked” section of Survey Notes.

“Utah has more bars than Arizona, Nevada and Wyoming combined,” said Mark Milligan, a UGS geologist. Bars, in this case, are elongated ridges of sand, gravel or other sediment.

Utah beats other states by having ‘Wife’ in the name of two locations. Utah’s 69 Devils are trumped by God and Jesus, which total 1,163 combined. However, Hell is found 55 times, but Heaven only 13.

There are 104 ‘Strange’ names and 311 ‘Odd’ names in the United States, but surprisingly none are in the Utah. But Utah is swell having one of only 12 ‘Swell’ places across the U.S.




SURVEY NOTES volume 43 number 1

This Issue Contains:

  • Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures in Cedar Valley
  • Updated Landslide Maps of Utah
  • GPS Monitoring of Slow-Moving Landslides
  • Liquefaction in the April 15, 2010, M 4.5 Randolph Earthquake
  • Glad You Asked: What are the Roots of Geobotany?
  • Teacher’s Corner
  • GeoSights: Devils Kitchen, Juab County, Utah
  • Survey News
  • Energy News: Energy Office in Transition
  • New Publications