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The Sedimentary Geology Research Group at the University of Utah (Department of Geology and Geophysics), under the guidance of Professor Cari Johnson, is studying the geology of Range Creek. Our work currently focuses on defining the transition in depositional systems from the lacustrine Flagstaff limestone, through a basal unit of the fluvial Colton Formation defined by dark red mudstone with laterally discontinuous sandstone channel units, overlain by a thick upper Colton unit of laterally continuous sandstone sheets.
Within this general framework, many questions remain including:
1) What kinds of fluvial systems were these and how and why did they change through space and time?
2) How do these rocks correlate to other well-known sections of Paleogene strata in the area, including the well-studied nine mile canyon area to the north (Keighley et al., 2002; Taylor and Ritts, 2004).
Our work includes measured sections to characterize the stratigraphy and fluvial architecture, as well as ‘Gigapans’ to document lateral and temporal variations (see www.gigapan.org; search for user UU_Geo. See this one, for example).