Saturday, May 10, 2008

Where in the West: May

Click Photo to Enlarge

This large, semi-circular feature can be found somewhere in the west. Only one paved road is reputed to run through it (I will personally attest that one paved road runs through it; I can't attest that it is the only one). Supposedly no one lives there, although I have seen people selling things inside the feature. The photo was taken from an eastbound airliner, looking approximately north. The color in the photo is perhaps slightly extreme in a few places, though maybe not by very much.

At least two geo-blogospheric types are known to have been to this feature (besides myself) - I can't exactly invoke a Schott Rule, but if you have your field camp here, perhaps you can wait an hour or more. (Or not.) Can you name any of the geomorphic and structural features either seen in the photo or found while traversing the area on the ground? And can you name any of the rock formations and their ages? Name the cliffs or formations in the background for extra credit. (Oops - "cliff" - that's a geomorphic feature!)

Sorry, no T-shirts!


Garry Hayes said...

Off the cuff, I've gotta assume it is the San Rafael Swell in central Utah. It is crossed by Highway 70. The road at the bottom of the picture leads to Goblin Valley State Park, and most of the rocks in the upwarped monocline are the Mesozoic rocks of the Colorado Plateau, especially the white Navajo Sandstone and orange Entrada Fm. The core of the dome, I am less sure, although rocks of the Upper Paleozoic (Kaibab Fm) are exposed in part.

I love the picture; I wish I had taken it!

Garry Hayes said...

Oh, cliffs in the distance should be the Book Cliffs in the Mancos Shale.

Anonymous said...

hmmm ... my first impression was exactly what MJC Rocks says, but, after looking at it some more, i'm not so sure it's The Swell.

But, it's definitely on the Colorado Plateau somewhere ... maybe down south a bit in Utah ... near Escalante?

Callan Bentley said...

I was going to guess the Swell, as well.