Quaternary geology and geologic hazards of the West Desert Hazardous Industry Area, Tooele County, Utah

Edited by:
Robinson Lee


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The study of Quaternary geology provides information to evaluate geologic conditions and identify geologic constraints on construction in the West Desert Hazardous Industry Area (WDHIA). The WDHIA includes portions of the Great Salt Lake Desert to the west, underlain by several thousand feet of sediments capped by saline mudflats, and Ripple Valley to the east, separated from the Desert by the Grayback Hills and underlain by several hundred feet of sediments in the Cedar Mountains piedmont zone. Quaternary surficial units include marginal, shore-zone, and deep-water lacustrine sediments deposited in Pleistocene Lake Bonneville; eolian deposits; and alluvial sediments. The level of Lake Bonneville underwent major oscillations resulting in the creation of four basin-wide shorelines, three of which are recognized in the WDHIA. Geologic hazards in the WDHIA include the possible contamination of ground water in basin-fill aquifers, debris flows and flash floods in the piedmont zone, and earthquakes and related hazards. Numerous factors contribute to unsafe foundation conditions. Silty and sandy sediments may be subject to liquefaction or hydrocompaction, clayey sediments and mud flats of the Great Salt Lake Desert may be subject to shrinking or swelling, and gypsiferous dunes and salt flats are subject to subsidence due to dissolution.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Quaternary geology and geologic hazards of the West Desert Hazardous Industry Area, Tooele County, Utah
Year Published:
Publ by Idaho State University
Publisher location:
Pocatello, ID, United States
Conference Title:
Proceedings of the 1990 Annual Symposium on Engineering Geology & Geotechnical Engineering
Conference Location:
Pocatello, ID, USA
Conference Date:
4 April 1990 through 6 April 1990