Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Goosenecks of the San Juan


When I took Advanced Stratigraphy we had a field trip to the Goosenecks of the San Juan River.  We made other stops as well along the way including Lake Powell.  The hike down into the canyon was pretty awesome.  Sedimentologists are true men.

A little from the State Park Guys:

"The San Juan River makes a series of tight turns - goosenecks - ... The river has carved a deep canyon here, dropping about 1,000 feet...  Geologists say this erosion has uncovered a rock record exposing some 300 million years of time. The state park offers spectacular views of the goosenecks, officially known as an entrenched meander. Over a distance of one and a half miles, the San Juan River flows for more than six miles through the twists of the entrenched meander."

By the way, most of those rocks you see are marine southern Utah.  That gives us some perspective of the time involved in making the Goosenecks.  First an ocean...then some marine mud and sand and clay...then etc etc etc...uplift and erosion and voila there are the Goosenecks.

Dr. Morris (Doc), my mentor.

The San Juan River

Lunch, about half way down.  Pretty spectacular views.

Near the top of the canyon.
On the road somewhere...

This is at Lake Powell...kinda...If you squint real hard you'll see a marina on the other side of the river with a boat ramp.  Since Lake Powell was first created, this spot has silted in and the Marina isn't useful at the current water level.

Me at the same spot.
Once again, geology has taken me to some cool places.  I am so lucky!  Thanks Doc and Scott (Dr. Ritter).