Abstract by Joseph Tolworthy
Jeff Keith, Eric Christiansen
The geometric constraints on the mega landslide of the central Wasatch Mountains, Utah
The Traverse Mountains, at the north end of Utah Valley, could be part of an immense landslide rather than a rooted mountain. To see if this is geometrically feasible, a NE-SW geologic cross-section through the proposed slide was created. The cross-section is ~ 34 km long and extends from east of the Silver Fork Fault to just west of the Jordan River. The southern end was modified from a cross-section by Biek (2005) while the east side was reconstructed from geologic maps and stratigraphic columns for the area. These constraints include stratigraphic thicknesses as well as dip angles of units. There are also constraints from new field mapping including details about the White Pine-Red Pine Porphyry. I have reconstructed the structure and stratigraphy over the Little Cottonwood Stock to an Eocene erosion surface (John, 1989) about 11 km above the current surface. The reconstruction shows that a Traverse Mountain Slide is geometrically possible with the units now found in the landslide being above the current erosional surface after reconstruction.