The Pavant and Canyon Ranges: Windows into the Sevier Orogeny

July 26th, 2009

Pavant and Canyon Ranges, Utah. Research Day 6 (July 15).

The old slogan for geologists is that the best geologists are the ones who have seen the most rocks. So, today, instead of spending time in the Green River Formation, we joined Ohio State’s field camp on their yearly visit to the Pavant and Canyon Ranges.

Because of my affiliation with OSU’s field camp through the years (this year I helped teach the first half of field camp), the Wooster Crew stayed in the same apartment complex in Ephraim as the OSU crowd. Each day, we were able to interact with other professors, TAs, and students. So, when we found out the day of their Pavant and Canyon Range trip, we decided to tag along. For their Junior I.S., both Phil and Bill read literature on the Sevier Orogeny in Utah, and today’s visit to these ranges enabled us to first-hand witness some of the figures published in this literature that we had read earlier in the spring.
The Pavant Range and the Canyon Range expose some of the large thrust sheets associated with the Sevier Orogeny, along with some additional small-scale faulting and folding due to the regional compression.

We welcomed the trip to the Pavant Range.  The photo above is a typical stream dissecting the canyon where the Pavant Thrust is exposed.  Temperatures in the Canyon were slightly cooler than what we had grown accustomed to back in Ephraim, where we had been working in 99 F temps for the past few days.  Everyone was tempted to wade in these cool streams during our lunch break.

We welcomed the trip to the Pavant Range. The photo above is a typical stream dissecting the canyon where the Pavant Thrust is exposed. Temperatures in the Canyon were slightly cooler than what we had grown accustomed to back in Ephraim, where we had been working in 99 F temps for the past few days. Everyone was tempted to wade in these cool streams during our lunch break.

Bill and Phil are posing in front of one of the small folds in phyllites associated with compression events in the Pavant Range.

Bill and Phil are posing in front of one of the small folds in phyllites associated with compression events in the Pavant Range.

The Wooster and OSU gang looks at some of the rocks exposed in the Pavant Range.

The Wooster and OSU gang looks at some of the rocks exposed in the Pavant Range.

This is another spectacular fold in the Pavant Range that shows several folding generations.

This is another spectacular fold in the Pavant Range that shows several folding generations.

Wooster makes it to the Canyon Range Thrust overlook!  Behind Bill is the famous exposure of the Canyon Range Thrust, where synorogenic conglomerates were deposited at the front of the thrust sheet.  The exposure is located in Oak Creek Canyon in the Canyon Range.

Wooster makes it to the Canyon Range Thrust overlook! Behind Bill is the famous exposure of the Canyon Range Thrust, where synorogenic conglomerates were deposited at the front of the thrust sheet. The exposure is located in Oak Creek Canyon in the Canyon Range.

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