These photos were taken on a Geological Society of America field trip, October 15, 2005, run by Ron Bruhn, Christopher DuRoss, Ronald Harris and William Lund, supplemented by others taken a few days later.
Little Cottonwood Canyon is a marvelous glacial trough that exits through the Wasatch front. Adjacent to the front, the Wasatch Fault (green, above) offsets glacial moraines. A graben along the fault is shown in red. A geological overlook (yellow) offers views.
|Left and below: distant views of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The smaller glacial tough to the right (south) is Bells Canyon.|
|Bells Canyon is a spectacular glacial trough but much smaller than Little Cottonwood Canyon.|
|Left and below: looking up Little Cottonwood Canyon.|
|The moraine between Little Cottonwood and Bells Canyon. There's no corresponding moraine north (left) of Little Cottonwood Canyon, probably because this is a medial moraine and there is no corresponding valley on the other side of Little Cottonwood Canyon.|
|The moraine, showing a fault offset (far right).|
|There are actually several fault offsets in the moraine.|
The best part (the Wasatch is a low-angle normal fault) is that fault offset
has actually created a graben in the moraine.
How many places can you actually see a cross-section of a graben?
How many places can you see one above you?
|Approaching the fault scarps on Utah 209.|
|The fault offset at highway level.|
|Looking north along the graben. Note the houses in the graben.|
|The Wasatch front north of Little Cottonwood Canyon.|
|Left and below: looking north along the Wasatch Front.|
|Looking south along the Wasatch Front, showing some of its famous faceted spurs.|
Bruhn, R. L., DuRoss, C. B., Harris, R. A., and Lund, W. R., 2005; Neotectonics and Paleoseismology of the Wasatch Fault, Utah, in Pedersen, J. and Dehler, C. M., eds., Interior Western United States: Geological Society of America Field Guide number 6, p. 231-250, doi: 10.1130/2005.fld006(11).
Created 18 November 2005, Last Update 01 July 2012
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