The geology of Goblin Valley State Park (PI-65)

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National and State Parks

By: M. R. Milligan

The wonderfully grotesque stone sculptures that are Goblin Valley State Park’s main attraction are the consequence of millions of years of geologic history. Within the park are rocks composed of sediments from ancient seas, shorelines, river channels, and playas. With the passage of time these layers of sand, silt, and clay became deeply buried and transformed to rock. Much later, large-scale tectonic forces uplifted the area and prompted erosion to begin to expose the deeply buried layers of rock. Once the rocks were back on the surface, fractures and variations in hardness within the rocks facilitated carving of the goblins by the erosional power of water, wind, and frost.

Understanding the rocks and structures of Goblin Valley State Park requires not only an investigation of past and present events that have acted on a small scale within the park, but of past large-scale tectonic events and processes. This booklet is intended to further your understanding of the formation of the goblins, soils, and surrounding scenery or “how they came to be.”

Other Information:
Published: 1999
Pages: 21 p.
Location: Emery County
Media Type: Paper Publication

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