USU’s Science Unwrapped explores Utah’s red rock country

LOGAN – When taking in the spectacular vistas of Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion and other national parks of Utah’s famous red rock landscapes, visitors often wonder how the landforms got so high and so deep. For more than a century, geologists have wrestled with these two main conundrums about the 130,000-square mile Colorado Plateau: how it was uplifted and how it eroded. Geologist Joel Pederson explores these questions at the Science Unwrapped presentation “Cutting Canyon Country: The Origins of Utah’s Red Rock Landscapes” Friday, Feb. 26, at Utah State University. His talk, hosted by USU’s College of Science, begins at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium, Room 130, of the Eccles Science Learning Center on campus. Admission is free and open to all ages. Pederson, associate professor in USU’s Department of Geology, says much of the science of geology has grown out of research of the Colorado Plateau, which covers a strikingly scenic area spanning the Four Corners states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. “Recent findings are helping us unravel even more information about this geologically critical region,” he says. Following Pederson’s presentation, attendees are invited to bring their ‘mystery’ rocks and fossils for identification by USU geologists. Participants will enjoy free refreshments along with a variety of hands-on geological exhibits in the ESLC atrium, including a stream table with flowing water. The presentation is part of Science Unwrapped’s “Origins” series, which began in January and continues through the spring. For more information, call 435-797-3517, visit or find Science Unwrapped at USU on Facebook.

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