Recently, The Real Mr. Science took a break from labors and traveled to southern Utah to visit the national parks and monuments there. It is part of his investigation of the great western Basin and Range country, which will be the subject of a comprehensive future story. In the meantime, visit TRMS video and picture storage site on Flickr to see pics and video clips of the incredible rock formations of Utah. Most of these images were made in Utah’s Plateau Country. SEE LINK BELOW.
Utah consists of three geologic zones: The Basin and Range largely on the western side of the state, the Plateau Country largely on the southern and eastern parts of the state and the High Country, separating the two of them.
On the western side, next to Nevada, Utah is part of the Basin and Range province that stretches all the way to California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The central part of Utah (which actually angles a bit to the west near the southern border) contains Utah’s High Country, a series of mountain ranges from the Wasatch in the north to the Hurricane Cliffs in the south. On the eastern side lies the high, wide and lonesome reaches of the Colorado Plateau Country.
Utah’s Basin and Range formed at the same time as the Nevada and California portions of it did. In a future story TRMS will explore the geological origins of the Basin and Range in detail and to do so will take us on a journey across Nevada on the “Loneliest Highway in the World”—U.S. 50—from Carson City, Nevada to Baker, Nevada, 380 miles with 11 “Ranges” and 12 “Basins.”
TRMS also plans to amplify this story with a detailed explanation of the fantastical rock formations, mountain shapes and desert plains seen in the pictures and videos. In the meantime remember that all of this was caused by the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates over millions of years, followed the erosion of the rocks by water and wind over millions more.