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Upheaval Dome

Utah’s Upheaval Dome has been the subject of theories surrounding its existence for decades. This article outlines one theory in particular. Check it out!

atlasobscura.com

For decades, two theories about the formation of Utah’s Upheaval Dome jostled for supremacy.

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GeoSights— Utah's belly button, Upheaval Dome

Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, is a colorful circular “belly button,” unique among the broad mesas and deep canyons of the Colorado Plateau.

The rim of Upheaval Dome is 3 miles across and over 1000 feet above the core floor. The central peak in the core is 3000 feet in diameter and rises 750 feet from the floor.

Since the late 1990s, the origin of the Upheaval Dome structure has been considered to be either a pinched-off salt dome or a complex meteorite impact crater; in other words the “belly button” is either an “outie” (dome) or “innie” (crater).

Both origin hypotheses account for the overall structure of Upheaval Dome, assuming approximately a mile of overlying rock has been eroded. The main differences between the two hypotheses are the amount of time and the pressures needed to produce the structure.

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