Abstract

The eastern Markagunt Plateau is a characteristic part of the extensive Markagunt Plateau—an uplifted, eastward-tilted earth block that lies between the Hurricane and Sevier faults in Garfield and Kane counties, Utah. The exposed sedimentary rocks are Tertiary—representatives of the Wasatch, Brian Head, and Sevier River formations. Rocks of volcanic origin include lavas and pyroclastics. The oldest extrusive rocks are porphyritic andesites, of doubtful origin. Next in order are the “old basalts,” which during two or more periods flowed from widely spaced craters over fiat lands and far down stream channels, and in the present topography cap mesas, ridges, and the palisade walls of canyons. Very recent volcanic activity is recorded by little-modified cones, long narrow flows, broad sheets, and fields of olivine basalt.

The plateau (average altitude, 8,000 feet), uninhabited because of its inhospitable climate, is part of the Dixie National Forest—a summer grazing district and a source of marketable timber. The snow that covers the plateau for 6–8 months each year feeds the streams utilized for irrigation at Panguitch, Hillsdale, and Hatch.

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