Jurassic World – Architecture of Eolian Dunes, Ephemeral Streams, and Marine Shoreline: Page Sandstone, Carmel Formation, and Navajo Sandstone, Southwest Utah
Pacific Section SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Fall Field Trip
Saturday & Sunday, October 7th & 8th, 2017
Thomas B. Anderson, University of Nevada, Reno
Mario V. Caputo, San Diego State University
REGISTRATION RESERVATION DEADLINE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017
PS-SEPM Fall 2017 FT Registration (PDF)
FIELD TRIP INFORMATION
Participant Limit: 48 plus 2 field trip leaders; no exceptions as regulated by the Bureau of Land Management; no more than 5 students per college or university unless the trip is not filled by the registration deadline, Friday, September 22nd
Vehicles Recommended: High-clearance, and/or 4-wheel drive for Sunday’s field trip
Highlights: The theme for this year’s PS-SEPM fall field trip is “back-to-basics in sedimentology” in the Paria Canyon – Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (PC-VCW) east of Kanab in Kane County, southwest Utah. Co-leaders will focus on eolian sedimentary architecture preserved in the Middle Jurassic Page Sandstone exposed at White House Camp for a full day on Saturday, and in the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone exposed along Wire Pass/Coyote Wash Trail for a half day on Sunday. Field trippers –professionals and students– have payment options for registration fees that vary according to the number of overnight stays and a preference for either indoor lodging or camping. An accompanying field-trip guidebook calls reader’s attention to structural, geomorphic, and stratigraphic features seen along the paved route between Kanab, Utah and the two selected field-trip sites: White House Camp and Wire Pass/Coyote Wash Trail. It gives further details on the nature and origin of mainly eolian sedimentary characteristics visible in the Jurassic Page and Navajo Sandstones at the two field sites.
Field Schedule: Saturday, October 7, 2017 at White House Camp: From their location –home, Kanab, camp, etc. Friday night or Saturday morning– field trippers should assemble by 9:00 a.m. at White House Camp. The turn-off to White House camp is ~ 46 mi (~ 74 km) east of Kanab along federal route 89, and is marked by a brown Bureau of Land Management sign for “Paria Contact Station” on the south side of route 89. A graded road (named White House Trailhead Road on a Google Earth® view of the area) extends 2 mi (3.2 km) south of route 89 and ends at White House camp (Figure 1). Park vehicles outside of and north of the wooden fence that separates camp sites to the south and parking area to the north.
Good hiking boots or trail shoes that grip well on sandstone will enable short, easy hiking into shallow gullies and on rounded slickrock cliffs to view the best developed and exposed eolian stratification in the Page Sandstone in the Colorado Plateau Province. Nearly all sedimentary processes that operate on eolian dunes are represented by their resulting stratification. A lenticular redbed facies, deposited by interdune wadis (pronounced wä’dēs; restricted sense: ephemeral streams coursing through an eolian sand sea) locally interrupts the succession of eolian bedding. At this location, a tongue of the Middle Jurassic Carmel Formation, in conformable contact with an overlying tongue of the Page Sandstone, is another redbed facies of possible shoreline microbial origin.
A ranch-style, outdoor dinner will be served at nearby Copper Cloud Ranch, the entrance of which is about a mile (1.6 km) west of the Paria Contact Station and south of route 89. Drive past the first white building and proceed southwest to the brown rugged buildings in the main part of the Ranch.
Sunday, October 8, 2017 at Wire Pass/Coyote Wash Trail: From their Saturday night location –Kanab or camp– field trippers should assemble by 9:00 a.m. in the parking area across from and west of the head of Wire Pass/Coyote Wash Trail; ~ 42 mi (~ 67 km) east of Kanab on route 89 and ~ 8 mi (~ 13 km) south of route 89 on House Rock Valley Road, a sometimes rugged, uneven graded road. Walking ~ 1.5 mi (~ 2.0 km) along the trail and creek bed enables views of Jurassic sedimentary strata, particularly of a spectacular exposure of brittle and plastic deformation of possible seismic origin in eolian dune beds of the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone.