Capitol Reef


Return to Geology of Utah's National Parks Home Page
Return to Syllabus Overview Page

DESCRIPTION

Field Location: Capitol Reef National Park and vicinity (click on link to see photos)
Geologic Feature: Monocline. Cretaceous marine, shoreline, and continental units (including coal).
Necessary Background Information: Coal forming environments. Coal resources in Utah.

Geologic Problem: How and when did the monocline (reef) form?

Rock Units Exposed: Permian White Rim Sandstone Cretaceous Mancos Shale. 
Skills: Geologic cross sections. 
Other Questions to Consider: (1) How are the sedimentary units linked to one another? (2) Where else might there be coal in Utah? (3) What does the presence of coal indicate about the paleogeography and climate of the area in the past?

Anticipated Outcomes: Consolidation of field evidence into a cohesive and understandable format. Understanding of depositional environments based on field observations. Derivation of climatic conditions from the rock record. Recognition of multiple interpretations, and ability to test hypotheses in a logical, rigorous manner.