Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Kaibab Monocline

Our class was able to meet with Dr. Alan Titus in the Grand Staircase National Monument. We helped dig up some real dinosaur bones. It's not every day you find yourself digging up something you've seen only in the movies and natural history museums. 

We were asked to give a brief explanation of something we learned on the field trip. I have chosen a geological feature known as the East Kaibab monocline.  A monocline is a single bend (mono) of rock strata. (picture below)

The East Kaibab monocline dips from west to east and runs north to south. The formation of the monocline is due to a west dipping reverse fault. This fault lays in the Precambrian rock beneath the newer folded Mesozoic and Paleozoic Rock. The hanging wall of the reverse fault moved up and pushed up overlaying rock with it. The foot wall moved down allowing the rock above to settle. Over millions of years the Mesozoic and Paleozoic rocks has slowly been eroded down into jagged hogbacks and deep slot canyons. The weather resistant sandstone forms most of the protruding hogback features. East (picture looking south) of the Navajo and Dakota sandstone the less erosion resistant Tropic Shale (Caleb Franks is standing in) forms a valley that parallels the monocline. (picture below)


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