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Scientific Investigations Map 3268

Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Navajo Nation

Geologic Map of the Glen Canyon Dam 30’ x 60’ Quadrangle, Coconino County, Northern Arizona

By George H. Billingsley and Susan S. Priest

Thumbnail of and link to Sheet 1 PDF (9.1MB)Summary

The Glen Canyon Dam 30’ x 60’ quadrangle is characterized by nearly flat lying to gently dipping Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary strata that overlie tilted Proterozoic strata or metasedimentary and igneous rocks similar to those exposed at the bottom of Grand Canyon southwest of the quadrangle. Mississippian to Permian rocks are exposed in the walls of Marble Canyon; Permian strata and minor outcrops of Triassic strata form the surface bedrock of House Rock Valley and Marble Plateau, southwestern quarter of the quadrangle. The Paleozoic strata exposed in Marble Canyon and Grand Canyon south of the map are likely present in the subsurface of the entire quadrangle but with unknown facies and thickness changes.

The Mesozoic sedimentary rocks exposed along the Vermilion and Echo Cliffs once covered the entire quadrangle, but Cenozoic erosion has removed most of these rocks from House Rock Valley and Marble Plateau areas. Mesozoic strata remain over much of the northern and eastern portions of the quadrangle where resistant Jurassic sandstone units form prominent cliffs, escarpments, mesas, buttes, and much of the surface bedrock of the Paria, Kaibito, and Rainbow Plateaus. Jurassic rocks in the northeastern part of quadrangle are cut by a sub-Cretaceous regional unconformity that bevels the Entrada Sandstone and Morrison Formation from Cummings Mesa southward to White Mesa near Kaibito. Quaternary deposits, mainly eolian, mantle much of the Paria, Kaibito, and Rainbow Plateaus in the northern and northeastern portion of the quadrangle. Alluvial deposits are widely distributed over parts of House Rock Valley and Marble Plateau in the southwest quarter of the quadrangle.

The east-dipping strata of the Echo Cliffs Monocline forms a general north-south structural boundary through the central part of the quadrangle, separating Marble and Paria Plateaus west of the monocline from the Kaibito Plateau east of the monocline. The Echo Cliffs Monocline continues north of the quadrangle into southern Utah.

The gentle north- and northeast-dipping Mesozoic strata on the Kaibito and Rainbow Plateaus are partly interrupted by northwest-trending, broad-based, ill-defined synclines and anticlines. These broad-based structures form mesas and buttes near anticlinal crests and deeply incised drainages in synclinal valleys. The 1,300-ft-thick (396-m-thick) Navajo Sandstone erodes into a maze of tributary slot canyons in the northeastern part of the quadrangle. Mesozoic strata in the extreme northeast corner of the quadrangle dip gently southwest due to the influence of the Monument Upwarp in southeastern Utah and by an intrusive uplift (laccolith) that forms Navajo Mountain, a prominent 10,388 ft (3,166 m) landmark just northeast of the quadrangle.

First posted August 16, 2013

For additional information, contact:
Contact Information, Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center—Flagstaff
U.S. Geological Survey
2255 N. Gemini Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86001-1600

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Suggested citation:

Billingsley, G.H., and Priest, S.S., 2013, Geologic map of the Glen Canyon Dam 30' x 60' quadrangle, Coconino County, northern Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3268, pamphlet 43p., 3 sheets, scale 1:50,000,

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