Geology of Provo Canyon UT

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Sedimentary Fold

Layers of sedimentary rock folded along rift
A closer look at the base of that mountain reveals multiple layers of sedimentary rock. Note that some of that rock is contorted into odd shapes.

That dip in the sedimentary rock is know as a syncline a fold that is concave upward. Extraordinary forces shape otherwise flat rock into that shape.


Anticline along rift in East Provo Canyon
Not far from that syncline but on the opposite side of the highway is this anticline, a fold that is convex upward. An anticline always has the oldest rock in the center. This my friend is a classic anticline. This area has been subjected to tremendous forces. You are looking at an ancient fault line running down the center of that anticline.


Sincline along rift in East Provo Canyon
across the canyon water is not flowing in this obvious fault. This fault is creating a sicnline.


This is a large boulder at the bottom of the canyon near that waterfall.

It seems so odd seeing this obsidian boulder here with all this sedimentary rock.

Mt. Timpanogos Park Orem UT

Built to host the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, this park is a great place for family gatherings.

While you are visiting the mountains does your mind wonder over the unique rock structures? If you are creative and you look long enough you can see images in the mountain not apparent at first glance. The local Indian tribes thought Mt. Timpanogos possessed a female spirit and the outline of the mountain ridge looked like an Indian maiden lying on her back.

I see elephants in the rock structures when I am visiting Provo Canyon. The rock formations have a grey color with rough textural lines similar to an elephant’s skin.

Photographer Jim McAllister of Demetrius Mac Wildlife Photography took shots of the structures I am describing and local artist Ashmae drew the renderings filling in the details of the elephants to illustrate the concept for you.

Here the elephants are greeting you at the e
ntrance of Provo Canyon:

Have you ever seen the elephants of Provo Canyon? Are there other images you see when you visit our canyons?