Upheaval Dome In Canyonlands National Park

April 17, 2013

Upheaval Dome

Photographer: Brent Watson
Summary Author: Brent Watson

The photo above shows an aerial view of rugged Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. This impact crater remnant was taken at an altitude of approximately 2,000 ft (610 m). Perhaps the best known impact crater in North America is the Barringer Meteor Crater in northeastern Arizona. Upheaval Dome in southeastern Utah, though less well known, is still quite impressive. Currently, the most accepted theory of its formation is that it was created by a meteorite of perhaps 1,580 ft (483 m) in diameter between 60 million and 150 million years  ago. The crater complex itself is about 6.25 mi (10 km) in diameter. By way of contrast, Barringer Crater is about 0.8 mi (1,287 m) in diameter and 50,000 years old -- the object that formed the Barringer Crater was likely 450 ft (137 m) across. Compared to Upheaval Dome, very little erosion has occurred at Barringer Crater. Because of the extensive erosion by wind and water (episodic flooding) evident at Upheaval Dome, as its name indicates, it wasn't initially recognized as an impact crater. Some scientists believe that as a result of complex erosional processes, Upheaval Dome is one of the best places in the world to study impact dynamics. Click here to read a recent news feature about this area. Photo taken on October 25, 2003.

Photo details:  Nikon E990 camera; 1/338 sec. exposure;  f/5.5 aperture; 8.2 mm focal length.