Overview of Capitol Reef NP     Geology of Capitol Reef NP      Stops of Capitol Reef NP

Kaibab Limestone





Figure 1: Paleogeographic map of the Middle Permian, Kaibab Formation. (Blakey, 2008)

Early Permian, 250 million years ago


Depositional Environment:

Shallow Marine Shelf Deposit



Sediment deposition was influenced by the Uncompahgre Uplift (ancestral Rocky Mountains), but by the end of the Permian, the Uncompahgre mountains had been worn down and was not longer a major sediment source.



Collision of the Gondwana Plate with the Northern Plate resulted in the Uncompahgre highland.



Warm current winds



The Kaibab Limestone is composed of impure cherty limestone and dolomite that interfinger with the White Rim Sandstone below it (Mathis, 2000).  The Kaibab rocks range in color from gray, buff, and brown,  to yellow/brown dolomite. Some sandy, carbonate beds are very fossiliferous (Condon, 1997).   Invertebrate fossils include brachiopods, pelecypods, gastropods, crinoids, and bryozoans. The Kaibab formation in Capitol Reef National Park is only 0-200’ thick and but thickens to 300-500’ in the Grand Canyon (Morris, 2003).  The difference in thickness is attributed to erosion. The environmental setting for the Kaibab Limestone was a shallow marine shelf deposit that represents the time of maximum eastward transgression of  the Kaibab Sea (Condon, 1997).  The Kaibab Sea began to withdraw by the Middle Permian, which left these sediments exposed to be subject to erosion (Condon, 1997).  The Kaibab Limestone is visible at the Goosenecks Overlook in Capitol Reef National Park.


Sites Best to See it:

Stop 2-8: Goosenecks Overlook as seen at Panorama Point



For a complete list of references please go to the References page.



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Disclaimer: The information is property of the University of Utah. Unless cited, images and files found on this site have been taken or created by the Geology and Geophysics Department at the University of Utah. Any use of these images should be cited appropriately. The stratigraphic column is from: Mathis, A. C. 2000. Capitol Reef National Park and Vicinity Geologic Road Logs, Utah, in: P.B. Anderson and D.A. Sprinkel (eds.) Geologic Road, Trail, and Lake Guides to Utah’s Parks and Monuments Utah Geological Association Publication 29. http://www.utahgeology.org/uga29Titles.htm

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