Scientists have made a fascinating finding in legendary Zion National Park in Utah.
Scientists have just made a big discovery about one of the most beautiful parks in the United State.
A new paper now claims that the sweeping valley in Utah with the river cutting through the center came about due to an absolutely epic landslide that may have shaped the entire landscape long ago, according to a University of Utah statement.
The idea was actually proposed all the way back in 1945, but it wasn’t until now that researchers really looked deeply into the claim. So they analyzed Sentinel Mountain, first defining the volume of the landslide, then measuring the quantities of beryllium-10 in surface rock, and then putting the data in modeling systems to see what it shows.
They found that a huge landslide with 10.1 billion cubic feet involume blasted through the area at 200 miles per hour, sculpting Zion in just about a minute.
They think it probably happened about 4,800 years ago, meaning that Zion National Park actually isn’t that old.
The landslide also led to the formation of a lake, which last for about 700 years before disappearing. The valley floor, which today is flat and covered in sediment, was once a lake.
“The ancient Zion landslide would cover New York City’s Central Park with 275 feet of debris,” says Jeff Moore, the new study’s senior author and an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, in the statement. “And you would need 90 times the volume of concrete in Hoover Dam to recreate the mountainside that failed.”
The Sentinel rock avalanche also “would bury Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park 2,340 feet deep, which is almost a half mile,” Moore adds.