Monday, May 7, 2012

Delicate Arch

On the spring 2012 field trip we went to Arches National Park.  We saw a ton of beautiful arches and a lot of other cool geology.  My favorite arch of the trip was Delicate Arch.  It is the same arch you can see on many of the Utah State license plates.  I had no idea that the arch was so big.  The arch is pretty high up there.  You can sit and watch birds flying beneath you.  Through the arch you can see the La Sal Mountains.  We got to stand underneath the arch and touch it.  It was amazing!  
Fault to the side of trail -Slickrock Member
on left, Morrison Fm on right.
However, the arch wasn’t the only cool part of the Delicate Arch Trail.  The small hike up to the arch was pretty cool in and of its self.  There was a smaller picturesque arch on the way up there.  Also, when we were hiking up the Entrada formation we stopped and looked at some ripple marks formed by the wind during the Jurassic.  Because of ripple marks you can even tell what direction the wind was blowing almost 200 million years ago.   On the start of the hike we saw a fault to the side of the trail.  This fault formed from the collapse of the Salt Valley anticline.  It's really cool to actually be able to see faults.  Next to that fault We saw a lot of little white lines in the Slickrock Member of the Entrada Formation.  They were joints and mini faults in which fluids has precipitated calcite  I had come across lines like that before I took geology, but I didn't know why they had formed.  Because of geology class I now know how arches formed and a whole host of

other things I have always wondered about.  During the field

trip, it was great to actually see the things we had learned 

about in class.
Calcite filled faults

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