The Book Cliffs Cretaceous section: Western edge of the Interior Seaway
J. Keith Rigby, Michael P. Russon, Richard E. Carroll, 1987. "The Book Cliffs Cretaceous section: Western edge of the Interior Seaway", Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America, Stanley S. Beus
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Location and Access. A classic cross section through Cretaceous and early Tertiary rocks is well exposed along U.S. 50-6 in Price Canyon, a gorge cut through the Book Cliffs of eastern Utah (Fig. 1). Price Canyon occurs, in part, on the Helper, Standardville, and Kyune 7½-minute Quadrangles, in northern Carbon County and southeastern Utah County.
Most significant outcrops are readily available along the highway on land controlled by the Utah State Highway Commission. Land beyond the right-of-way is privately owned in the lower part of the canyon, from Castlegate southward, but above Castlegate it is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.
Significance. Roadside exposures up Price Canyon provide an almost totally exposed section from the middle of the Late Cretaceous Mancos Shale up to the Paleocene-Eocene Flagstaff and Colton Formations (Fig. 2). These outcrops show threedimensional relationships of open marine, deltaic and piedmont systems of the western margin of the Cretaceus Interior Seaway. The section provides excellent models for interpreting deposition in such environments and records a generally regressive elastic sequence. Relationships of major coal accumulation to these depositional environments are also clearly exposed in and near Price Canyon.
Previous Work. Geologic investigation in the area began more than 80 years ago. Numerous reports that concern the area are listed in Cross et al. (1975); Balsley ( 1982); Fouch and others(1983); and Russon (1986). Fouch and others (1983) summarized regional patterns of deposition of Late Cretaceusrocks of
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Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America
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