Date and Time
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
The Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, USA, is situated on the western side of the Colorado plateau where an almost complete stratigraphic succession of Mesozoic rocks is exposed. The area surrounding the Henry Mountains nearby also shows a similar succession though beds near the top have been removed by erosion and a large Oligo-Miocene intrusion has steeply tilted the strata. Both areas are of interest to the Utah Museum of Natural History as the Kaiparowits Formation of the Upper Cretaceous found in both has produced many vertebrate localities. Using the help of volunteers and students from the University of Utah, prospecting and excavation have revealed a high number of hadrosaurid dinosaur skeletons, other rarer theropod dinosaurs, crocodiles and turtles. Bivalves, gastropods and plant debris occur in dense horizons throughout the formation, though the latter often occurs close to the skeletons excavated, revealing something of the transportation processes at the time of deposition. The frequent numbers of channels within the formation are repeatedly filled by sand, fining upward into silts of the vast flood plain environment envisaged for the Kaiparowits Formation.
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