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Abstract

The Desert Member of the Blackhawk Formation and the Castlegate Formation are well exposed along the Book Cliffs in eastern Utah and western Colorado. The cliffs are oriented relative to the southeasterly paleotransort direction within the Desert and Castlegate so that outcrops expose both strike and dip views of these strata] units. Starting in Tuscher Canyon outside of Green River, Utah and ending in West Salt Creek Canyon, one can traverse the Castlegate and Desert from a totally nonmarine depositional environment updip to shelf mudstones, in the case of the Desert, and red, ferruginous oolites in the case of the Castlegate downdip. Three sequence boundaries are developed in the interval, one within the Desert and and two within the Castlegate. Because of the high-quality of the exposures, the superb access to the rocks, and the orientation of the cliffs, these two units provide an unsurpassed natural laboratory to study nonmarine to marine sequence stratigraphy. Variations in sequence-boundary expression from updip to downdip, systems tract variations across a basin, changes in incised-valley geometries, and fluvial architecture in nonmarine lowstand deposits can all be analyzed in the Castlegate and Desert

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