Day 2 – Sedona, AZ / Brins Ridge

After breakfast at Super 8, we had a devotional lead by Josh Perez and he shared his thoughts on Job 37:14 (ESV) “Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” Josh encouraged us to just “stop” in our daily activities & just life “and consider the wondrous works of God” around us. It was encouraging & yet challenging even out in this beautiful area of the country.

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Josh sharing a morning devotional.

We headed out to Brins Ridge just outside of Sedona. I missed getting a group picture yesterday so I could not pass up taking one at the start of our hike. Dr. Whitmore had the students take measurements as part of mapping out Brins Ridge. It took a good part of the day for the students to take their measurements to the top of the ridge.

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Starting the hike with a group photo.

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Josh, Erica & Rachel preparing to take measurements.

I asked Josh to give an explanation of what he & the other students did throughout their day on the hike. I figured one of the students could do a better job explaining what they did better than I!
“What a day! Today proved itself a memorable one as the predicted rain held off and the sun shined beautifully on Brins Ridge in Sedona. As a group, it was an eventful day full of hiking and learning new techniques in order to characterize the rock strata in which we were both climbing and studying. Brins Ridge stands above Brins Mesa, the ridge peak standing approximately 800 feet above Sedona, which has an approximate elevation of 4,500 ft. Today we learned two new techniques by studying two of the main rock strata in Brins ridge; the Schnebly Hill Formation, and the overlying Coconino Sandstone. Our first task was to measure vertical thickness of the various beds we passed by, using Jacobs’ staffs, a wooden staff tool which measures height in 1.5 meter increments. In doing this, we identified various thicknesses, some of which were covered in loose, unconsolidated material and vegetation, while others were composed of thin, angled layers known as cross beds. The cross beds of the Coconino Sandstone provided a place for us to learn our second technique (composed of two individual techniques) called strike and dip. Since cross beds plunge in a general direction, we can measure that direction and the angle in which it plunges. This is known as dip. Perpendicular to the dip direction is the strike, or the general trend in which the rock layer points. The Cedarville Geology department has purchased Brunton compasses which allow us to measure both strike and dip, in order to better understand the rocks and the probable way they formed. At this point, it may be wondered, “whats the point of all this?” Well, I’m glad you asked! In addition to learning important techniques that we will use often as geologists, the studies particularly of the Coconino Sandstone prove fascinating for the large controversy regarding the way it formed. We study the Coconino in order to better understand the rock units set in place by the Catastrophic flood written of in Genesis. As we hiked today and studied the Coconino sandstone composing the top of Brins Ridge, we were not only able to learn important geological techniques, but also able to get a greater glimpse of the shear beauty of God’s creation.”

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At the top of Brins Ridge, you can see others in the distance on the ridge.

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Emily & Calvin take a few minutes to take notes of things they have observed & learned.

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“Perhaps the most interesting part of the Coconino Sandstone is the folding which occurs throughout.  The type of fold in particular which is most note worthy is called a Parabolic Recumbent Fold, in which the sandstone layers make a sort of sideways “u” shape. These folds are thought to occur from stream velocities changing. It can be thought of as sand on the bottom of a particular bed of water (with current) forming underwater waves, in which grains fall in the far side of the wave. As velocity changes, the waves do some interesting things and can form this spectacular type of folding. Dr. Whitmore has devoted much of his life studying the Coconino and has enriched us with knowledge on its probable origins, something most geology students are not fortunate enough to experience.”

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Dr. Whitmore takes time to answer students questions.

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Even though these Manzanita trees are dead, I can’t get over how beautiful they are against the backdrop of the mountains.

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Dr. Whitmore discusses the Parabolic Recumbent Folds with Josh & Connor.

We finished our time on top of Brins with another group photo to document our time up there. We had a nice walk back down.

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A group photo before heading down off of Brins Ridge.

Tomorrow morning we head out to the Grand Canon. We plan to hike the Grandview Trail. The weather looks perfect for a nice hike.

Geology Sed Strat Spring Break DAY 4

After spending two days studying and taking measurements in the Skull Creek area in Colorado, We left Rangely, Colorado and went back to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah.

Dr. Whitmore points out a dinosaur bone in the rock formation on a short hike in the Dinosaur National Monument.

Dr. Whitmore points out a dinosaur bone in the rock formation on a short hike in the Dinosaur National Monument.

Here is large dinosaur bone along the hike.

Here is large dinosaur bone along the hike.

Dr. Snelling & Dr. Whitmore lead the students on a hike looking at rock formations and comparing what they recorded at the Skull Creek area the two days before.

Dr. Snelling & Dr. Whitmore lead the students on a hike looking at rock formations and comparing what they recorded at the Skull Creek area the two days before.

Students looking and taking notes at the boundary of the dinosaur bone bearing formation.

Students looking and taking notes at the boundary of the dinosaur bone bearing formation.

We drove further into the Dinosaur National Monument. After eating lunch, we took a hike into the Box Canyon.

We drove further into the Dinosaur National Monument. After eating lunch, we took a hike into the Box Canyon.

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Dr. Whitmore wanted the students to see the great cross bedding & sediment deformation in the Bow Canyon and how that's important to what they've been studying this week.

Dr. Whitmore wanted the students to see the great cross bedding & sediment deformation in the Box Canyon and how that’s important to what they’ve been studying this week.

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We stopped to look at a few of the many petroglyphs in the monument.

We stopped to look at a few of the many petroglyphs in the monument.

After leaving the Dinosaur National Monument, we took a drive up into the Uynta Mountains. We stopped at the Red Canyon Overlook to view the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

After leaving the Dinosaur National Monument, we took a drive up into the Uynta Mountains. We stopped at the Red Canyon Overlook to view the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

On our drive back to Vernal, we stopped at Aspen Overlook on US 191.

On our drive back to Vernal, we stopped at Aspen Overlook on US 191.

Geology Sed Strat Spring Break DAY 3

Dr. Whitmore met with the class just before we headed out into the field for the day. Dr. Whitmore reviewed formation names of the layers that the class was going to measure.

Dr. Whitmore met with the class just before we headed out into the field for the day. Dr. Whitmore reviewed formation names of the layers that the class was going to measure.

After arriving at the Skull Creek area, the students immediately got to work measuring layers while Dr. Whitmore & Dr. Snelling went off on their own making observations and taking notes on layer formations in the area. I followed along for awhile and found myself on top of a small ridge. I came across two Juniper Cedar trees, one alive & the other dead. I found this image very intriguing.

After arriving at the Skull Creek area, the students immediately got to work measuring layers while Dr. Whitmore & Dr. Snelling went off on their own making observations and taking notes on layer formations in the area. I followed along for awhile and found myself on top of a small ridge. I came across two Juniper Cedar trees, one alive & the other dead. I found this image very intriguing.

Dr. Whitmore brought the students back together to review the mornings layer measurements.

Dr. Whitmore brought the students back together to review the mornings layer measurements.

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There's always time for a group photo.

There’s always time for a group photo.

You can see the students & Dr. Whitmore off in the distance taking measurements. The students worked hard throughout the day measuring the downward slope as well as the side they were standing on.

You can see the students & Dr. Whitmore off in the distance taking measurements. The students worked hard throughout the day measuring the downward slope as well as the side they were standing on.

After lunch back at the van, I took a walk up another ridge.  From the top, you can barely see the students working in the distance. (circled)

After lunch back at the van, I took a walk up another ridge. From the top, you can barely see the students working in the distance. (circled)

While taking measurements, students find and examine dinosaur bones trapped in siltstone layer.

While taking measurements, students find and examine dinosaur bones trapped in siltstone layer.

At the end of the day standing by the van, you can see the ridge I climbed to the top.

At the end of the day standing by the van, you can see the ridge I climbed to the top.

Geology Sed Strat Spring Break DAY 2

After a short drive from Vernal, Utah where we stayed the night, we stopped at the entrance of Dinosaur National Monument for a group picture.

After a short drive from Vernal, Utah where we stayed the night, we stopped at the entrance of Dinosaur National Monument for a group picture.

The students had an opportunity to observe dinosaur fossils in the cliff face at the Carnegie Quarry, Dr. Whitmore brought the students back together to discuss what they observed and give some possible explanation.

The students had an opportunity to observe dinosaur fossils in the cliff face at the Carnegie Quarry, Dr. Whitmore brought the students back together to discuss what they observed and give some possible explanation.

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A fairly large dinosaur and vertebrae in the quarry exhibit.

A fairly large dinosaur and vertebrae in the quarry exhibit.

After spending the morning at the DNM, we moved on into Colorado. Dr. Whitmore reviews with the students on measuring the thickness of rock formations.

After spending the morning at the DNM, we moved on into Colorado. Dr. Whitmore reviews with the students on measuring the thickness of rock formations.

Dr. Andrew Snelling and Dr. Whitmore still can't escape the grasp of technology miles away from civilization.

Dr. Andrew Snelling and Dr. Whitmore still can’t escape the grasp of technology miles away from civilization.

Students split up into two groups to measure the thickness of the rock layers and describe the lythology.

Students split up into two groups to measure the thickness of the rock layers and describe the lythology.

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Ryan shows Victoria how to sight down a Brunton Compass with a Jacob Staff to measure rock layer thickness.

Ryan shows Victoria how to sight down a Brunton Compass with a Jacob Staff to measure rock layer thickness.

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While traversing the slopes and hills with Dr. Whitmore and students, it was not hard to observe the unique shapes of the cedar trees.

While traversing the slopes and hills with Dr. Whitmore and students, it was not hard to observe the unique shapes of the cedar trees.

Geology Sed Strat Spring Break DAY 1

So begins a week long journey documenting Dr. Whitmore and his Sedimentary & Stratigraphy geology class. We will be spending a fair amount of time in and around Dinosaur National Monument in Utah observing and studying depositional processes and history.

Dr. Whitmore started the morning off with devotions referencing Ex 17 & Num. 20.

Dr. Whitmore started the morning off with devotions referencing Ex 17 & Num. 20.

After driving out of Salt Lake city, we stopped alongside the road to see the landslide that destroyed Thistle, Utah in 1983.

After driving out of Salt Lake city, we stopped alongside the road to see the landslide that destroyed Thistle, Utah in 1983.

As we traveled on US6 on our way to Vernal, Utah, we stopped several times along the road to observe various strata and sedimentary structures.

As we traveled on US6 on our way to Vernal, Utah, we stopped several times along the road to observe various strata and sedimentary structures.

We stopped for lunch and then walked along a nice outcrop that showed classic Bouma sequence..

We stopped for lunch and then walked along a nice outcrop that showed classic Bouma sequence..

Dr. Whitmore gives a short lesson on how to use a Brunton Compass.

Dr. Whitmore gives a short lesson on how to use a Brunton Compass.

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We stopped outside of Duchesne, Utah on US 191. while Dr. Whitmore & students took a look at the oil shale deposits on one side of the road, I took some pictures of an abandoned cabin on the other side of the road.

We stopped outside of Duchesne, Utah on US 191. while Dr. Whitmore & students took a look at the oil shale deposits on one side of the road, I took some pictures of an abandoned cabin on the other side of the road.

In Vernal, Utah there are all kinds of dinosaurs around town.

In Vernal, Utah there are all kinds of dinosaurs around town.