Saturday, January 1, 2011

2009 Day 4 64.7-81.3 Carbon Camp to Grapevine GC Formation and layers reprise

Sept 2009 Geology River Trip - Day 4 Part 1 Carbon Chuar Lava Hike (Sept 16 from Carbon Camp to Grapevine)

Day 4 had several interesting items and is covered in multiple parts so that geology journal emails do not exceed mailbox sizes for some participants.

Day 4 starts with a reprise of the Grand Canyon layers along with a previous discussion by Wayne of the conditions that were required to form the Grand Canyon.

This is the start of part 1 of Day 4 –

Yesterday we finished the main Grand Canyon layers by seeing the Tapeats rise out of the river.  A quick photo summary of the rock layers behind the mnemonic “Know The Canyons History, Study Rocks Made By Time” (noting that I used new or different photos in several cases – this is NOT a simple repeat of the original info).  Except where noted, all photos come from the 2009 river trip we just completed.

Kaibab Limestone appears at base of point extending into river on river left


Toroweap rises at river edge


Coconino Sandstone first appears – cross bedding is apparent at right river edge which is downstream of beach on river left around mile 4.7


Coconino exposure with very nice example of cross bedding

2009 09/13 1330CoconinoCrossBeddingDeatil_gc9a_005044.jpg

2008 09/13 Mile3.9_CoconinoSandstone_IMG_0938_resize.JPG

Hermit Shale rises from river around RM 4.9


Supai Group appears around RM11.4

2008 09/13 Mile11.4SupaiAppears_20080913_2533_resize.JPG

2009 09/13 below of Supai

Redwall Limestone - 2008 Sept 13 images



Muav Limestone

2009/09/15 0800MuavAppears_gc9i_002849.jpg

Muav Top Two Cliff Forming and Slope Forming Members


Bright Angel Shale


Tapeats Sandstone - Tapeats is a near shore marine sandstone – this and the origin of all Grand Canyon geology is discussed and illustrated in Wayne’s book with Ron Blakey Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau available thru GCA and other book sellers.  This excellent book covers a lot of the beautiful and exciting geology of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.


Wayne has discussed in other forums (including a 2008 river trip) five criteria needed to form the Grand Canyon (I have a 25 minute recording of the whole talk and will provide links to an mp3 of the 22.6MB recording later as well as access to the 1.7GB avi video much later):

1.    Large expanse of stratified rock (the Grand Canyon are known to extend across a very large area – some strata from well east of the Grand Canyon to west of Las Vegas).

2.    Variably colored (pretty/brightly colored also in our case) – the different colors help make the strata obvious to non-geologists.

3.    Gently uplifted

4.    Eroded/Exposed by Big River(s)

5.    Dry Arid Environment near sea level (lacking the dry environment natural weathering would dominate and strip many layers completely; if well above sea level any deposits would almost certainly be eroded along with the mountains they lie upon; much of the grand canyon sedimentary rock was laid down in shallow seas or formed as part of near shore Aeolian deposits)

Wayne Ranney and Ron Blakey in Ancient Landscapes discuss and show on maps / images what the southwest US looked like when the various layers of the grand canyon were deposited (at sea level).  These support and elaborate on the five criteria discussed above.

Back to Day 4

We camped at Carbon to do the Carbon Chuar Lava hike and will focus on the first section of the hike in the rest of part 1.

With our Grand Canyon strata reprise done let’s get back to the business of the 2009 river trip.

We are hiking up Carbon Creek then across Chuar Valley to Lava Canyon and back to the river – the raft was taken downstream to Lava Camp to wait for us.

We had scouted the canyon the prior night – getting to the slide before turning around due to running out of daylight (poor planning/route finding on my part).

Sept 16 we start fairly early hiking up a nice canyon – here we see an interesting rock (probably an eroded spheroid concretion likely colored by iron) Wayne discussed several possible ways this formed


07:37 Copper Ore


07:45 I took this photo as the group started climbing the slide – to get the whole slide in the photo


Mark Combs photo of group partially up the slide (approx 07:50)


07:55 looking down the slide from half way up – a real rock jumble


07:55 there is a trail here – it is not pretty but really not bad either (no two hands climbing needed)

0755TraillHereNot Pretty_gc9s_006975.jpg

07:59 soon we enter a slot canyon in the Tapeats


08:04 And progress thru it quickly climbing gradually the whole way – here we are approaching the slot canyon end


08:05 Wasp poses for us


Wayne explains the Butte Fault


And it sure is a beaut – note the Tapeats transition from horizontal to almost vertically tilting strata right at the fault


End of Part 1 of Day 4

Subject:   Sept 2009 Geology River Trip - Day 4 Part 2 Carbon Chuar Lava Hike (Sept 16 from Carbon Camp to Grapevine)

Day 4 had several interesting items and is covered in multiple parts so that geology journal emails do not exceed mailbox sizes for some participants.

This is the start of part 2 of Day 4 – from the Butte Fault across Chuar to Lava where we rejoin the boat that went ahead and will be waiting for us

Jim Corken at Butte Fault (a number of photos taken at this location are now on in the dramatis personae set)


Mark and Cindy Combs at Butte Fault


08:22 Butte Fault strata almost vertical – the sky was awesome this day


08:22 Temple Butte over Butte Fault (at point where Tapeats bends)


08:26 Wayne Geology Lecture


Wayne pointed out that the Butte Fault extends over 120 miles all the way thru Cottonwood Canyon where one sees strata standing on end – here is a photo I took during a drive thru Cottonwood Canyon in spring of 2007 of some of those tilted strata – along the same Butte Fault


Another section thru Cottonwood Canyon – almost vertical strata


A wider view also of part of Cottonwood Canyon with tilted section rising above valley


Back to the Grand Canyon and our Sept river trip

08:34 Temple Butte detail (I ran further up Carbon Creek to get better views of Temple Butte and Chuar Valley)


08:34 view of North Rim from up Carbon Creek


Panorama of North Rim and Chuar


08:54 possible Stromatolite


08:55 Looking across Chuar towards Lava


09:10 Stromatolite rich layer


09:13 Temple Butte rises above Chuar deposits


photo of Bill

09:16 fossil mud cracks – textbook shapes/angles


09:35 The Chuar Group is over 5000 feet thick and is composed of sedimentary rocks, including the Galeros and Kwagunt Formations.

Below the Chuar deposits nicely laid out – here we see the Carbon Canyon member of the Galeros Formation on top of the lower mudstones


09:35 North Rim over Chuar Valley – nice shadows


09:38 colored carbonates in Galeros Formation


09:39 Mike in front of rich colors of Galeros Formation – for scale of this and previous image


09:52 Cardenas Lava above us as we descend into Lava drainage


As we continue down we see a Cardenas Lava contact – does it look like the lava "baked" the member it touched?


09:52 hike enters incised Dox cut Lava Creek


10:12 Dox with creek conglomerate cemented into the cut


10:24 stream deposits at different levels in Dox


10:29 we reach the river – looking back up Lava Creek to way we came down


10:50 on the river we see brick red Dox with Lava above it


End of part 2 of Day 4

Subject: Sept 2009 Geology River Trip - Day 4 Part 3 From Lava to Grapevine (Sept 16 from Carbon Camp to Grapevine mile 81.5)

We proceed downriver from Lava

10:50 Brick Red Dox with lava beds above


11:13 we see a high bank comprised of river deposits on river right


11:18 river right supergroup deposits


And again


11:43 we stopped for an arch lecture at Cardenas camp


Here is the arch site excavated from a sand dune


We leave Carddenas Camp and head down the river

12:32 the faulting that preserved the supergroup in the area ends, the canyon closes in,  and the inner gorge rises again


12:32 On the North Rim, Angles Gate is visible

lunch stop was at 75 mile canyon

13:06 Bill hiked up 75 mile canyon about a mile – several nice narrows


New vistas around every turn


Near my turnaround – where the canyon started to open up and you could see the plateau ahead



View upstream towards Nevil Rapid as we prepare to leave our lunch site.


14:11 Inner Gorge slide and pour off


15:10 Grapevine Camp was our stop for the night


15:16 I hiked up a side canyon to get a photo of our Grapevine Camp


15:29 Steve Keagy at Grapevine Camp with great inner gorge backdrop


15:30 detail of quartz in camp boulder


16:08 camp bird poses – we had a lot of “camp birds” on this trip


17:00 Grapevine Camp as the sun begins to go down


18:25 where is the groover?


18:25 obligatory groover photo – this was a serious “watchout for the rocks!” spot in the dark


18:26 Inner gorge granite rises above Grapevine Camp


18:40 Grapevine Camp sunset


End of Part 3 of Day 4  - end Day 4

No comments: