Welcome to Utah Geology

The inspiration for utahgeology.com is the beauty and unsurpassed geologic exposures of Utah and the Colorado Plateau. This site tries to compliment the incredible geologic exposures of the Colorado Plateau by supplying a database of pictures and information which will aid those seeking to understand its unique geology.

Geologic History

Colorado Plateau Paleogeographic Reconstructions
Similar to the work that Ron Blakey is doing at Northern Arizona State University, this section contains recreated paleogeography for Utah and the Colorado Plateau. The maps we are currently creating will be done with vector graphics instead of rasters, allowing them to be integrated into GIS applications. They will also be integrated with our stratigraphic column database, allowing users to access the DATA used to create the historic interpretations. …read overview

Geologic Formations

This section contains informative pages on each of the individual geologic formations of Utah and Colorado Plateau. The formation description pages are also linked to the image gallery, so users can see pictures of each formation and their changes in facies. …read overview

Road Guides

Geologic Road Guides for Utah’s Highways
This section contains detailed road guides for the state much like the popular “Roadside Geology” books. However, in the future these road guides will be able to have many more pictures and interactive elements than similar printed literature and will be fully integrated with the image gallery. …read overview

Strat Columns

Stratigraphic Sections for Utah Areas
Much like those found many geologic guidebooks, this section has/will have stratigraphic columns from all over the state of Utah and Colorado Plateau. The columns will be dynamically created from a MySQL database allowing us to use the stratigraphic information to create other dynamic online resources such as isopach/layer thickness maps, statewide formation maps and formation name correlation charts. …read overview

Geologic Imagery

Annotated Geologic Aerial Photographs
This section contains/will contain aerial photos of the state and the Colorado Plateau, each with all geologic formations annotated or labeled for easy identification. …read overview

Latest Hiking Guides (Geology Jaunts)

Utah's Three Types of Volcanoes

Perhaps because it is covered in detail in Grade School and Middle…

Why Are There So Many Arches in Utah?

Utah's sandstone units tend to be exposed on the flanks of large gentle uplifts, which because these brittle layers are sandwiched between ductile shale layers, tend to form extensive joint systems which run perpendicular to the direction of the folds and parallel to the stress fields. Here's a example pic where the joints are highly visible..

Keeper Potholes & How They Are Formed

Keeper potholes are found in slot canyons. In the recent decades “slot” canyoneering has become a major sport, and very few areas of the world have nearly the number or diversity of slot canyons as southern Utah. People come from all over the world to descend slot canyons of varying difficulty in places such as Zion National Park, Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, the San Rafael Swell, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.


Nestled in the northwestern corner of Kane County is a geologically unique feature that receives relatively few visitors. Although most people in Utah have seen caves and waterfalls, it is peculiar for a waterfall to emerge from a cave system. Cascade Falls does just that, as an underground river emerges from a deep cave system and cascades down a steep cliff face.

Geo Application Gallery