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

Page Sandstone

(in San Rafael Group)



Figure 1: Paleogeographic map of the Middle Jurassic, Page Sandstone, Carmel Formation, Entrada Sandstone, Curtis Formation, and Summerville Formation. (Blakey, 2008)

Middle Jurassic


Depositional Environment:




In the Middle Jurassic, Utah lay closer to the equator creating an arid, eolian environment (Blakey 2008).  Sedimentation was controlled by sea level, climate and tectonics. The Sundance sea entered the area from the north due to a global sea level rise. This was a time of subsidence most likely due to a sag next to west lying Nevadan highlands. The Page Sandstone is confined to the south central portion of Utah and north central regions of Arizona.  Narrowing of the seaway in northern Utah encroached and inundated onto the Page Sandstone erg to cease the eolian deposition.



In the Middle Jurassic, parts of Utah were in a period of mountain-building phase.  Tectonic activity, like the Nevada Orogeny, was centered in the northeast portion of Nevada and volcanic highlands were located to the south and southwest. Folding and thrusting from the orogeny led to subsidence and a foreland basin.



The Page Formation was a large dune field (erg/eolian system) ranging from northern Arizona, in the Middle Jurassic, that extended northward across a band within Utah to Wyoming (Fillmore 2000). It was separated to the west by a tidal-flat/sabkha complex and then the Sundance seaway.  The Sundance seaway expanded and extended southward and eastward and as it retreated, the Page erg followed and expanded over the sabkha sediments.  Page Sandstone and the Carmel Formation comprise a mix of marine, sabkha, fluvial systems of the Carmel (marinal marine and marine) and eolian deposits of the Page Sandstone.


Sites Best to See it:

Stop 2-3: Navajo Waterfall



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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