Geography students study Navajo Sandstone in the Colorado Plateau

Eight Geography students spent two weeks in September 2015 in the Colorado Plateau, studying the geology of the Navajo Sandstone for their final-year dissertation projects.

Colorado 1 2015190 million years ago the Navajo Sandstone formed part of the largest sandy desert the Earth has ever seen, and student projects included reconstructing the dynamics of the desert dunes, determining the significance of deformation features related to groundwater movements, and reconstructing the environmental conditions in which dinosaurs thrived.  Highlights included visiting the St George Dixie Roundup rodeo, hiking in Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, and using a drone to make a photo-montage of geological features exposed along canyon walls.  The students were camping near St George and Kanab in southern Utah and were accompanied by Geraint Owen and Kath Ficken (Geography) and supported by Gerald Bryant, Andrew Milner and Jerry Harris of Dixie State University and the Johnson Farm Dinosaur Discovery Site.

Colorado 2 2015Afterwards, students commented that this had been “a fantastic trip where you get to do your fieldwork in a beautiful environment, get to make new friends from your course and get to visit several different national parks all in the space of 2 weeks” and “a really great experience and with everyone who went they created a really great atmosphere and made the whole trip even more enjoyable"