Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Gani, Royhan

Second Advisor

Georgiou, Ioannis

Third Advisor

Kulp, Mark


Though stratigraphic correlations are abundant in the Cordilleran basin-fill, they rarely include along-strike transects providing a spatio-temporal sense of deformation, sediment-supply and subsidence. A new, high-resolution, regional strike-correlation of the Castlegate Formation reveals progressive northward-growth of the San Rafael Swell during two embryonic episodes of Laramide-style deformation in central Utah. The intrabasinal deformation-events produced gentle lithospheric-folding punctuated by erosional-truncation of upwarped regions. The earliest episode occurred at 78 Ma in the southern San Rafael Swell likely causing soft-sediment deformation and stratal-tilting. Following this the alluvial-plain was leveled and rapid, extensive-progradation took place. A second episode, at 75 Ma, where deformation was focused in the northern San Rafael Swell, also caused sediment-liquefaction and erosional beveling. The stratal-tilting and sediment-liquefaction is attributed to seismicity induced by basal-traction between a subducting flat-slab and continental-lithosphere. The south-to north time-transgression of uplift is spatio-temporally consistent with NE-propagation of an oceanic-plateau subducted shallowly beneath the region.


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