EPHRAIM, UTAH — On July 9, four Wooster students traveled to Utah to begin structural and stratigraphic research with me. They will be out here until July 22, when we will all fly back to Ohio together. I’d like to introduce these students to you!!
Above is a great picture of Team Utah on the morning of their first day in the field. From L to R, the students are: Michael Williams (’16), Kelli Baxstrom (’16), Sarah McGrath (’17), and Chloe Wallace (’17). Don’t they look enthused, happy, and eager? (At this point, they do not actually realize that impact of desert heat: temperatures will soon be 95-100 degrees by noon each day!! Utah at the end of July can definitely be hot, making field work strenuous.)
During our time in Utah, we have 3 projects that require our attention. Our primary objective will be to collect data for the deformation band work that I have been doing for a few years. We will take a comprehensive look at some additional Cretaceous units that may contain deformation bands. Also, we want to undertake two reconnaissance projects for future I.S. research. One involves the Cretaceous to Paleogene North Horn Formation, and the other involves the Paleogene Colton Formation. If there is time left, we will undertake more reconnaissance work in the Jurassic Arapien Formation, which is the core of an amazing diapir in the Sanpete Valley. Because Mark Wilson has also been interested in the Jurassic of Utah for several years, I’m hoping that I can convince Mark to join forces with me one summer for a joint I.S. research project in Utah. I really love the stratigraphy of central Utah, so I want to incorporate more I.S. research on the units out here (which have experienced the spectrum of Sevier orogenesis to Basin and Range extension.)
In the coming days, I’m going to ask each of the students to blog in order to reflect on their time in Utah thus far. They have nearly been here for one week, so stay tuned for some additional news from Ephraim!!