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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 38 (1954)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 953

Last Page: 953

Title: Wasatch Plateau Review, Central Utah: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Graham S. Campbell

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The Wasatch Plateau is an elevated tract in central Utah, having a north-south length of 60 miles and a width of 20 miles. It is not a separate or unique geologic feature, but rather a segment of the long transition belt between the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau.

Rocks capping the plateau are Tertiary Eocene and uppermost Cretaceous in age. The Mesozoic section is about 12,000 feet thick, thickening and becoming more clastic toward the west. The Paleozoic rock thickness is probably comparable with that of the Mesozoic. The Ferron and Dakota sands of Cretaceous age are gas-productive on the plateau.

The Wasatch monocline constitutes a very distinctive topographic and structural boundary between the plateau and Sanpete Valley on the west. Except for normal fault-block tilting and/or slumping, the plateau top is almost flat. Little, if any, actual bending of the strata is evident except on the monocline. A north-south fault system of Tertiary age is predominant throughout the plateau. Although there is probably a deep-seated fault beneath the Wasatch monocline, many of the smaller faults on the Wasatch Plateau and in Sanpete Valley may be due to movement and solution of salt-bearing beds in the underlying Jurassic rocks.

Structural and stratigraphic evidence tends to shift the Great Basin-Colorado Plateau boundary westward from previously assigned positions. This would increase the area of potential oil-bearing post-Paleozoic rocks considerably.

It is suggested that the Paunsaugunt and Wasatch plateaus were parts of the same province through Wasatch time, and that the Paunsaugunt, 100 miles south, offers the same excellent Cretaceous oil and gas possibilities as those offered by the Wasatch Plateau.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists