sandstone - fine grained buff Dakota Sandstone from the Dakota aquifer - Lower Cretaceous near Vernal, Utah - teaching hand specimen
The Dakota Sandstone was deposited nearshore, as terrestrial deposits or in intertidal and shallow marine environments. Dinosaur trackways are common in Colorado and Utah. This fine-grained yellow brown quartz sandstone was collected about four miles north of Vernal, Utah.
Exposed by weathering and erosion, the Dakota Sandstone is resistant and forms ridges. Where tilted, the Dakota forms cuestas and hogbacks, typically populated with pines. The field photo shows a typical outcrop of Dakota along I-40 near the Colorado/Wyoming border. It also forms the Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado and vertical fins near Los Cerillos, New Mexico, both tilted up during the Laramide Orogeny that raised the Rockies.
This sandstone forms a part of the Dakota aquifer which, with its equivalents, extends across much of the central North American continent, northward from Kansas to approximately the Arctic Circle in Canada, southward into northeastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma panhandle, westward to the Rocky Mountain front, and eastward to western Iowa and Minnesota. Across the Continental Divide, the Dakota aquifer is present in many of the intermontaine basins.
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