--> Abstract: BYU Photorealistic Paleogeography Project, by Preston Cook and Jeff Valenza; #90181 (2013)

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BYU Photorealistic Paleogeography Project

Preston Cook and Jeff Valenza

We are assisting in the development of a series photorealistic paleogeographic maps. Our focus is on creating visually impactful reference maps that will help students comprehend the dynamic geologic history of Utah. Using satellite imagery from Google Earth, we synthesized seven paleogeographic reconstructions of different phases in Utah’s geologic past.

The first phase covers the Paleozoic Era and the paleogeographic map depicts the offshore deposits characteristic of that era. The second phase includes the Triassic and Jurassic periods. We created two maps for phase two; the first represents the depositional environment of the Moenkopi Formation and the second shows the depositional environment of the Entrada Formation. The third phase focuses on the Cretaceous, and the map shows the Cretaceous Interior Seaway and significant deltas. The fourth phase is dedicated to the Laramide Orogeny and Eocene lakes, with the map showing Flagstaff Lake and the Laramide uplifts. Phase five covers slab rollback and related volcanism during the Miocene, as illustrated by the map. The sixth phase comprises the initiation of extension and the birth of the basin and range. For this phase, we modified an existing geologic map to highlight basin fill associated with extension. Finally, the seventh phase covers the Pleistocene and Lake Bonneville.

Since it is impossible to illustrate all aspects of Utah’s geologic history in a series of seven paleogeographic maps, we have selected several significant geologic events that are well represented in the National Parks visited by field classes. We will outline the project’s progress, highlighting our maps and figures, research, creative techniques, and collaboration with faculty.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90181©2013 AAPG/SEG Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, September 27-30, 2013