sand - orange-tan dune sand with iron-oxide coated grains derived from the Navajo sandstone in the San Rafael Swell - set of two 2-ounce jars
Transported from the Appalachians by a continent-spanning river system, the Navajo was deposited during the Jurassic as sand in a vast coastal and inland dune field, which subsequently became lithified into a sandstone. Near Hurricane, Utah this sandstone is 2,400 feet thick. It is weathering and forming new dunes where it is picked up by the wind and redeposited.
A hematite coating gives this quartz sand its color. The Navajo sandstone is widely exposed in southern Utah and forms the colorful crossbedded cliffs at Zion National Park. Its color varies from deep red orange to white.
The San Rafael Swell, in Emery County, Utah, is an elongated anticline. Along its eastern edge the strata are almost vertical and form a wall locally called the Reef. The Navajo primarily forms the face of the reef near Temple Wash, where it is buff to white, and contributes sand to small dunes near its base.
Sand forms from whatever material is available. Quartz sand is the most common, because of its hardness and resistance to weathering.
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