Geology of Central Utah

By Benoît Lavigueur, TCA sophomore.

The geology in Utah is fascinating. In the region of Joe’s reservoir, it is characterized by big red and grey cliffs and the boulders that came down the surrounding mountains thousands of years ago, and that are now very popular among climbers from around the world.

The rock here is Dakota Sandstone, a sedimentary rock found mostly in the region of Colorado, New-Mexico, Utah, and Nebraska and extends all the way to Wisconsin. Even though the rock is usually found in more of a grey tone, it can sometimes be of a tan, yellow, or even bright red color.

Indeed, Sandstone is usually composed of quartz and feldspar, but when the dark amber feldspar that we find in the sand is mixed with clear quartz, the sandstone then takes a brown or yellow tint. An additional colourant that is found really often in the southwest of the United State is the iron oxide, which gives a reddish hue to the rock, going from pink to dark red. If you put magnesium in it too, the rock gains a beautiful purplish tinge.

Mixed all together, these different colours create some beautiful formations that we can admire all day in central Utah, and in some other magnificent areas of the world.

Watch this video we put together to help understand how beautiful these cliffs and mountains are.

-Video and edit by Benoît and Aaron Hjelt.

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