The Salt Valley anticline, which is located about 32 km northeast of Moab, Utah, is perhaps one of the most favorable waste emplacement sites in the Paradox basin. The site, which includes about 7.8 km 2, is highly accessible and is adjacent to a railroad.
The anticline is one of a series of northwest-trending salt anticlines lying along the northeast edge of the Paradox basin. These anticlines are cored by evaporites of the Paradox Member of the Hermosa Formation of Middle Pennsylvanian age.
The central core of the Salt Valley anticline forms a ridgelike mass of evaporites that has an estimated amplitude of 3,600 m. The evaporite core consists of about 87 percent halite rock, which includes some potash deposits; the remainder is black shale, silty dolomite, and anhydrite. The latter three lithologies are referred to as 'marker beds.' Using geophysical logs from drill holes on the anticline, it is possible to demonstrate that the marker beds are complexly folded and faulted.
Available data concerning the geothermal gradient and heatflow at the site indicate that heat from emplaced wastes should be rapidly dissipated.
Potentially exploitable resources of potash and petroleum are present at Salt Valley. Development of these resources may conflict with use of the site for waste emplacement.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Subsurface geology of a potential waste emplacement site, Salt Valley Anticline, Grand County, Utah