Tag Archive for: Moab Valley

Slickrock Trail near Moab, Grand County, Utah
Photographer: Jim Davis

Giant weathering pits or potholes like this one (about 16 feet across at the bottom) in the Jurassic-age Navajo Sandstone typically form along fractures and joints atop fins, knolls, and rounded domes. Potholes are created through a combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes that weather and erode the rock and are home to a remarkable array of ancient aquatic organisms.

river-runs-through-it Jim Davis

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.