Sunday, May 11, 2008

Swell Day

I'm having a "Swell" day here in the hinterland of eastern Nevada. I don't know if this little paragraph will post via email or not - blogger seems erratic in that, or I have erratic blog settings(!).

Indeed, Where in the West - May is the San Rafael Swell, which is in more-or-less central Utah. The distant cliffs seem to go by either "Book Cliffs" or "Roan Cliffs" - and I don't know what the difference might be - with the Mancos Shale forming at least the lower parts of the cliffs. I-70 bisects the Swell into a northern and southern half. I-70, therefore, might be an antecedent highway. [Well, that's not really the case - the highway no doubt WAS built AFTER the uplift of the Swell - so maybe it's a "post-cedent" highway! Sorry for these non-technical terms, it just seems to be the facetious mood I'm in.]

We do have a winner - MJC Rocks of Geotripper commented first with the correct name and location! Brian of Clastic Detritus came in with a second unsure comment mentioning the San Rafael Swell. And now, Callan Bentley of NOVA Geoblog has come in third (or second, depending on how you think this should be scored.

Many other rock formations are still up for grabs, as are structural and geomorphic features.


BrianR said...

The Book Cliffs are the closer cliffs - Cretaceous marine, shallow-marine, and coastal plain. The Roan Cliffs are off in the distance a bit, eroded back on a dip-slope - mostly Tertiary nonmarine, if I remember.

Mel said...

The San Rafael Swell at that part of I-70 may be more commonly known among tourists as "The Reef." A series of hogbacks (white Navajo Sandstone, red Carmel Formation) look like shark teeth. It's always puzzled me how the shark-teeth looking hogbacks got named "The Reef" though.

Ron Schott said...

@Mel: The Reefs of the western USA (including Capitol Reef) are so named because they were barriers to navigation. As sea schooners found treacherous going passing through coral reefs, prairie schooners found the bedrock "reefs" of the west with their slickrock and slot canyons just as perilous to traverse.

Silver Fox said...

I'd add a little more to this conversation, but right now I'm navigating my computer via TAB and ARROW keys - somehow my computer has forgotten where the drivers or files for the cursors are. Possibly if I plug in a mouse, but maybe not!

It's a little slow getting through web pages!