Upheaval Dome: New research confirms impact theory (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Sat, 29 Nov 2008

Upheaval Dome: New research confirms impact theory

Kurt Fisher wrote to draw my attention to the latest Lunar Photo Of the Day (LPOD), a lovely shot he made of one of my favorite places anywhere, Upheaval Dome in Utah's Canyonlands National Park.

Upheaval Dome has long been strongly suspected to be a massive, eroded impact crater, but the LPOD highlights a study that finally puts this (non-)controversy to rest, Elmar Buchner and Thomas Kenkmann's Upheaval Dome, Utah, USA: Impact origin confirmed, documenting shocked quartz grains in the Kayenta sandstone of Upheaval's outer ring.

[Upheaval Dome] It's about time -- it's been pretty clear for many years that this structure was an impact formation, not a collapsed salt dome (the relative lack of salt in the core might have been a clue) but the park service doesn't seem to have gotten the message, giving equal weight to the salt-dome theory in all its Canyonlands literature and signs. Perhaps the Buchner and Kenkmann paper will finally convince them.

Reading about this gave me the push I needed to update my own Upheaval Dome page, adding links to the latest research and to the excellent Upheaval Dome Bibliography Kurt has put together. My page also badly needed a bigger view of the crater itself, so I stitched together a quick panorama of the view from the rim that I'd shot on a trip several years ago but never assembled.

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[ 12:15 Nov 29, 2008    More science/geology | permalink to this entry ]