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Upheaval Dome is a dissected domal structure that lies in the rugged "Canyon Lands" of southeastern Utah. Extensive canyon development within the dome's immediate area has produced remarkable exposures of the feature. It is surrounded by a distinct rim syncline and piercement is much in evidence within the dome's central portion; the area of deformation is approximately three miles in diameter and a vertical displacement of at least 1,200 feet exists at the feature's center. Strata that crop out within the domal area range in age from Permian to Jurassic, and all exhibit deformation by the forces that produced the dome. The area is underlain by some 3,000 feet of Pennsylvanian saline strata. The origin of the dome has not been proven, but the following hypotheses have bee advanced: (1) it is a cryptovolcanic feature; (2) it was formed by meteorite impact; and (3) it is a salt dome (but there are conflicting views concerning the reason for salt intrusion at this specific site). An additional hypothesis for salt intrusion is advanced: Upheaval Dome is the product of salt intrusion resulting from differential compaction of the sediments lying above and on the flanks of a low conical hill on the Precambrian surface.
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