The crazy hollow formation (Eocene) of central Utah

Brigham Young University Geology Studies



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The Late Eocene Crazy Hollow Formation is a fluviatile and lacustrine unit that was deposited locally in the southwest arm of Lake Uinta during and after the last stages of the lake the deposited the Green River Formation. Most exposures of the Crazy Hollow are located in Sanpete and Sevier Counties. The unit is characterized by a large variety of rock types, rapid facies changes within fairly short distances, and different lithofacies in the several areas where outcrops of the remnants of the formation are concentrated. Mudstone is dominant, volumetrically, but siltstone, shale, sandstone, conglomerate and several varieties of limestone are also present. The fine-grained rocks are mostly highly colored, especially in shades of yellow, orange and red. Sand grains, pebbles and small cobbles of well-rounded black chert are widespread, and "salt-and-pepper sandstone" is the conspicuous characteristic of the Crazy Hollow. The salt-and-pepper sandstone consists of grains of black chert, white chert, quartz and minor feldspar. The limestone beds and lenses are paludal and lacustrine in origin; some are fossiliferous, and contain the same fauna found in the Green River Formation. With trivial exceptions, the Crazy Hollow Formation lies on the upper, limestone member of the Green River Formation, and the beds of the two units are always accordant in attitude. The nature of the contact differs locally: at some sites there is gradation from the Green River to the Crazy Hollow; at others, rocks typical of the two units intertongue; elsewhere there is a disconformity between the two. A variety of bedrock units overlie the Crazy Hollow at different sites. In the southeasternmost districts it is overlain by the late Eocene formation of Aurora; in western Sevier County it is overlain by the Miocene-Pliocene Sevier River Formation; in northernmost Sanpete County it is overlain by the Oligocene volcanics of the Moroni Formation. At many sites bordering Sanpete and Sevier Valleys the Crazy Hollow beds dip beneath Quaternary sediments that fill the two valleys. The Crazy Hollow Formation ranges from 0 to 1,307 feet (0-398 m) thick in the region, but is usually much thinner than the maximum value. At most outcrops it is only a few scores of feet (12-50 m) thick. Its age is middle Eocene, for it is only a little younger than the underlying Green River Formation. The unit developed by the washing of detritus into the basin of the southwest arm of Lake Uinta from the various source rocks in the highlands surrounding the basin. The limestone beds and lenses formed in ponds and small lakes that developed in the basin from time to time during and following the draining and evaporation of Lake Uinta. The qualities of the Crazy Hollow Formation are described in detail for 10 different areas of outcrops in the Sanpete and Sevier Valleys and vicinity.

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The crazy hollow formation (Eocene) of central Utah
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Brigham Young University Geology Studies
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