Entrada Sandstone

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Entrada Sandstone
Stratigraphic range:
Middle Jurassic
Entrada Type.jpg
Type of the Entrada Formation at Entrada Point, Emery County, Utah
TypeGeological formation
Sub-unitsCannonville Member, Cow Springs Member, Dewey Bridge Member, Escalante Member, Henrieville Member, EExeter Member, Gunsight Butte Member, Iyanbito Member, Moab Member, Red Mesa Member, Slick Rock Member
UnderliesCurtis Formation
Todilto Formation
OverliesCarmel Formation
Primaryfluvial mudstone, siltstone, and eolian sandstone
Coordinates39°15′40″N 110°32′35″W / 39.261°N 110.543°W / 39.261; -110.543
RegionColorado Plateau
CountryUnited States
Type section
Named forEntrada Point, northern San Rafael Swell
Named byJames Gilluly and J.B. Reeside, Jr. (1928)
Entrada Sandstone conformably overlies the Carmel Formation, Park Avenue, Arches National Park

The Entrada Sandstone is a formation in the San Rafael Group found in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Colorado, northwest New Mexico, northeast Arizona, and southeast Utah. Part of the Colorado Plateau, this formation was deposited during the Jurassic period sometime between 180 and 140 million years ago in various environments, including tidal mudflats, beaches, and sand dunes. The Middle Jurassic San Rafael Group was dominantly deposited as ergs (sand seas) in a desert environment around the shallow Sundance Sea.[1]

Age and history of investigation[edit]

This formation has been dated to the early to middle Callovian stage of the latest Middle Jurassic.[2] The type locality and place for which the unit is named is Entrada Point, located in the northern part the San Rafael Swell in Emery County, Utah.[3]

The Entrada Sandstone was named as one of the four formations of the San Rafael Group by James Gilluly and Reeside in 1928. In the 1928 description, the Entrada is overlain by the Curtis Formation, and overlies the Carmel Formation. In the Curtis Mountains region of northeastern Arizona, the Entrada is overlain by the Wanakah Formation.[4] Gregory and Moore worked out the geographic extent of the formation and gave an overview of it in 1931. The extent was revised several times afterwards (most recently in 1992 by Condon). It was divided into the Gunsight Butte, Cannonville, and Escalante members by Thompson and Stokes in 1970. The principal reference for the formation was written in 1988 by Peterson.


Entrada members are (in alphabetical order):[2]

  • Cannonville Member (UT),
  • Cow Springs Member (AZ),
  • Dewey Bridge Member (CO, UT) - named after the type locality at Dewey Bridge. This brick-red layer has a blocky look to it.
  • Escalante Member (UT),
  • Henrieville Member (UT),
  • Exeter Member (NM),
  • Gunsight Butte Member (UT),
  • Iyanbito Member (NM),
  • Moab Member (CO, UT) or Moab Tongue (CO, UT) - named after the type locality of Moab, Utah. The whitish sands from inland dunes make up this "cap rock" layer, as seen atop Delicate Arch and Broken Arch in Arches National Park.
  • Red Mesa Member (AZ, NM, UT),
  • Slick Rock Member (CO, UT) - named for the type locality at Slick Rock, Colorado; rounded beach sands were cemented together to create this uniform layer.

Places found[edit]

Entrada Sandstone at Red Wash Canyon, near Abiquiu,New Mexico

Entrada Sandstone is found in these geologic locations:[2]

Geologic province:

The Three Gossips in Arches National Park

Found in these parklands (incomplete list):

Spatial distribution:


  1. ^ The formation of the Entrada Sandstone: Tectonics, Accommodation space, Wind and lots of Sand. Written in Stone, 2011
  2. ^ a b c USGS GEOLEX database
  3. ^ Gilluly and Reeside, 1928
  4. ^ O'Sullivan, 2003
  • Condon, S.M., 1992, "Geologic framework of pre-Cretaceous rocks in the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and adjacent areas, southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico, IN Geology and mineral resources of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation", U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper, 1505-A, p. A1-A56
  • Gilluly, James; Reeside, J.B., Jr. (1928). "Sedimentary rocks of the San Rafael Swell and some adjacent areas in eastern Utah". U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper. 150-D: D61-110. doi:10.3133/pp150.
  • Gregory, H.E. and Moore, R.C., 1931, "The Kaiparowits region, a geographic and geologic reconnaissance of parts of Utah and Arizona", U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper, 164, 16 p.
  • O'Sullivan, Robert B., 2003, "The Middle Jurassic Entrada Sandstone in northeastern Arizona and adjacent areas", New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 54th Field Conference, Geology of the Zuni Plateau, p. 303-308.
  • Peterson, Fred, 1988, "Stratigraphy and nomenclature of Middle and Upper Jurassic rocks, western Colorado Plateau, Utah and Arizona, IN Revisions to stratigraphic nomenclature of Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks of the Colorado Plateau", U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin, 1633-B, p. B13-56
  • Thompson, A.E. and Stokes, W.L., 1970, "Stratigraphy of the San Rafael Group, southwest and south central Utah", Utah Geological and Mineral Survey Bulletin, no. 87, 53 p.
  • USGS GEOLEX database entry for Entrada Sandstone Accessed 18 March 2006 (public domain text)

External links[edit]