The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 41 Number 3: 89-94 - July 1979

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Glaciokarst in the Bear River Range, Utah
James R. Wilson


The Tony Grove and White Pine basins, two large cirques in the Bear River Range of northern Utah, have karst landforms developed in the folded Paleozoic dolomites that form the basin floors. Precipitation averages 50 to 60 inches per year (water equivalent). The drainage is primarily subterranean and its probable resurgences are three srpings several miles south of the basins in Logan Canyon. The spring waters are undersaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite except during winter, when reduced flow conditions exist. Degree of saturation is closely related to residence time in the rock. The rate of surface lowering in the basins is estimated at 2.1 in./1000 years (53 mm/1000 years) on the basis of geochemical data and 1.8 inc./1000 years (46 mm/1000 years) on the basis of perched blocks.

Surface solution features tend to be concentrated in the sector most favorable to snow retention, N5E to N90E with respect to the nearest ridge. Scouring by glaciers has produced dolomite pavement broken by scarps formed along chert-rich beds. Caves within the basins are small, joint-controlled, and are generally restricted to areas peripheral to the path of glacial advance. The anomalous position of the caves relative to the present topogrpahy, solution breccias, and the occurrence of fluvioglacial material in karst features suggest several periods of karstification, each followed by a glaciation.

This page last updated: 17 June, 2002 11:55
Web Author: Jim Pisarowicz