Wasatch Mountain State Park : Geography Essay
The Wasatch Mountain State Park is located in the Heber Valley, just outside of Midway, which is 77 miles from the main WSU campus. The park consists of 21,592 acres, and sits at an elevation of 5,900 feet.
The Wasatch Mountains are the remnants of 20 million years of geologic faulting, volcanic activity, and glaciation. The Wasatch Mountain range is part of the Middle Rocky Mountains Province. The Middle Rocky Mountains province is known for the sharp ridge lines, U-shaped valleys, glacial lakes, and piles of debris (called moraines) created during the Pleistocene (within the last 1.6 million years) by mountain glaciers.
The Wasatch range has a core of Precambrian rocks, some of which are over 2.6 billion years old. These rocks have been changed by the processes of mountain building and burial.
Uplift of the modern Wasatch Range only began within the past 12 to 17 million years.
The formation of the Wasatch Mountains began during the cretaceous geologic time period which is around 138 to 66 million years ago. compressional forces in the earth’s crust began thrusting up large sheets of rock in the northern section of Utah. The thrust rock heavily eroded over a long period. Beginning around 38 to 24 million years ago other geologic processes took place when large bodies of magma intruded granitic intrusions, which further eroded the thrust rock, exposing the older sedimentary rock that forms the uplifted Wasatch Range.