Monday, September 19, 2011

A new campsite for geology field class

Last week I spent an enjoyable 4 days floating down a nearby stretch of the Colorado River looking for new places to take my geology-by-canoe class. There is a campsite almost 1/2 way down this particular stretch that has a name made for a geology field class. "Fault Line".

These images show the Kayeta-Wingate combination being bent downward by the actions of the fault. The canyon just to the left of the fold continues upward right along the fault. It is an easy hike with the exception of minor 15 foot pour over that requires a touch of scrambling.

How easy is it to find this fault line? The BLM post identifying the campsite. Unfortunately the site is found on an outside bend and with the fast water of last week the landing was not pretty. We stayed dry but just barely.
The view across the river from the campsite. Although not as dramatic as the big fold in the first image, I think the fault line is easier to see. The right side (upriver) shows the mid-Jurassic Entrada sandstone. Just downstream from the fault is the early-Jurassic Kayenta formation.
As an added attraction, the cobbles on the gravel bar encompass examples from all directions in the Colorado Rockies. And, if that wasn't enough the channel in the fore ground makes for an awesome float. I love having my students become particles and float down stream.

It truly doesn't get any better

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