Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The Dinosaur Quarry Quadrangle lies in the southwest corner of Dinosaur National Monument, 1 1/2 miles north of Jensen, Uintah County, Utah. The rock units that crop out in the quadrangle range in age from Pennsylvanian to Quaternary. The Paleozoic rocks that crop out in the quadrangle are: (1) the Pennsylvanian Morgan Formation, a sand stone, shale, and limestone unit, (2) the Pennsylvanian- Permian Weber Sandstone, a massive, unfossiliferous sandstone, and (3) the Permian Park City Format ion, dominantly limestone with small shale and sandstone units. Triassic rocks consist of the Moenkopi Formation, a shale and siltstone unit, and the Chinle Formation, consisting of two members: (1) the upper member, a varicolored shale, siltstone, and sandstone; and (2) the lower Gartra Grit Member, a conglomeratic sandstone. The late Triassic (?) - Early Jurassic Glen Canyon Sandstone is a massive quartzitic sandstone. Jurassic rocks are represented by the: (1) Carmel Formation, a fluvial red shale, sandstone, and limestone unit, (2) Entrada Sands tone, a massive sandstone unit, (3) fossiliferous sandstone, limestone, and shales of the Curtis formation, and (4) Morrison Formation, consisting of continental deposits of variegated shales and sandstones . The Morrison Formation is well-known for its fossil dinosaur remains exhibited in the Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center. Cretaceous formations exposed in the quadrangle include: (1) the Cedar Mountain Formation, a fluviatile shale and sandstone sequence; (2) the Dakota Sandstone, a nonmarine sandstone, (3) the Mowry Shale, a bentonitic, silver-gray shale, (4) the Frontier Formation; a sandstone and shale unit, and (5) the Nancos Shale, a thick sequence of marine shale with interbedded sandstone units. Quaternary deposits overlie the older formations in the quadrangle and consist of stream gravels and dune sand. Three main erosional surfaces are present: (1) the highest, the Jensen surface, (2) the Vernal surface, and (3) the lowest, the Thornburg surface. Other prominent geomorphic features in the quadrangle are the flat irons developed in the Park City Formation and the box canyons developed in the Weber Sandstone. Prominent surface structures located within the quadrangle are the Split Mountain anticline and the associated Cub Creek syncline. Three areas of faulting are present: (1) the fault on the north side of Split Mountain anticline displacing the Glen Canyon Sandstone, the Chinle Formation, and the Moenkopi Formation, and (2) two faults on the south side, each displacing the Mancos Shale, Frontier Formation, and the Mowry Shale. Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center was designed as an in-place exhibit of dinosaurs. The fossils were reliefed on the quarry wall by two technicians and include nine saurischians and four ornithischians.


Michael E. Nelson

Date of Award

Fall 1976

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1976 Vickie D. Niermeier


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