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Geology - Geologic Setting

Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa is situated on the northern edge of the Colorado Plateau's Geological Province, which extends throughout the entire "Four Corners" region, and which offers unparalleled geological exposures of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rock sequences that testify to dynamic changes in a broad spectrum of Earth environments over the past one-quarter of a billion years. The varied rock units testify to a constantly changing landscape of shallow seas, ocean shorelines, forested uplands and dune-covered deserts, each containing a rich record of fossils reflecting the fascinating parade of extinct life forms that have inhabited our state of Utah throughout the vastness of geologic time.

Within a short drive from the center, one can easily reach two one-of-a-kind national parks (Arches and Canyonlands) and one spectacular state park (Deadhorse Point) that are world famous their numerous unique geological features. This area has a wealth of natural resources, including a wide variety of economic minerals and fossil fuels, as well as a scenic splendor that supports an ever-growing outdoor tourist industry, which attracts a large number of visitors from around the globe.

Learn more about Rio Mesa's geology:

Last Updated: 7/21/22