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Geology of Utah National Parks Syllabus

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Field Location: Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District.
Geologic Feature: Eolian and fluvial deposits. Deposition under relatively arid conditions. 
Necessary Background Information: Jurassic tectonic configuration. 
Geologic Problem: Determine the environments represented and document them. Discuss how changes through time and space are related to sea level, climate, and tectonics. 
Rock Units Exposed: Jurassic Wingate Sandstone, Jurassic Kayenta Formation and Navajo Sandstone. 
Skills: Correlation and interpretation of measured sections. Petrographic interpretation of sand grain sizes, grading, sources and morphology.
Other Questions to Consider: (1) Which way is up? - what clues tell the orientation of a sedimentary layer. (2) Compare the depositional rates of sediments from an arid to a wet climate. (3) What do geologic ages represent? (4) Is it a coincidence that the characteristics of rock units change across a major time boundary?
Anticipated Outcomes: Increased awareness of depositional environments. Correlation of rock units to geologic time scale transitions. Understanding of how processes result in the development of different stratigraphic successions.