Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

W. David Liddell


W. David Liddell


Robert Q. Oaks, Jr.


Thomas E. Lachmar


The fracture-dominated Tony Grove alpine karst system in the Bear River Range in north-central Utah, has caves ranging from 5m deep, consisting of solution-enlarged single fractures, to the large, 374m deep, Main Drain Cave, characterized by a series of vertical drops and horizontal passages. The caves int he Tony Grove area are developed throughout the 510m thick Fish Haven and Laketown Dolomites. The Swan Peak Formation, consisting of orthoquartzite and shale, underlies the dolomites.

Surface fracture measurements (n=3502) yielded two distinctive sets of fractures. The northeast-southwest sets had a mean orientation of 41±0.7°

and the northwest-southeast set with a mean of 133±5°. Of the sixteen caves surveyed for fractures and passages, fifteen were controlled by fractures, although some caves had both facture-and non-fracture-controlled passages. Only one cave was entirely non-fracture controlled, likely due to a change in lithology.

Main Drain Cave, the only cave with long horizontal passages, was surveyed for both fracture and stratigraphic influences on horizontal cave development. Results indicate some sections are controlled by southeast-trending-fractures and other sections are controlled by southwest-dipping-bedding planes. Alternatively, parts of the down-dip-oriented sections may be influenced by southwest-oriented fractures. Stratigraphic control in this cave includes cherty layers that appear to hinder down-cutting of passages into lower stratigraphic units.

Surface mapping determined that there is a southeast-oriented fold pair east of the Logan Peak Syncline, consisting of the Naomi Peak Syncline and the Cottonwood Canyon Anticline. The anticline merges with the Logan Peak Syncline near the head of Cottonwood Canyon. The Naomi Peak Syncline continues north-northeast through the Tony Grove area and may divert water from the Tony Grove area to Wood Camp Hollow Spring in Logan Canyon. The anticline acts as a divide between groundwater traveling southwest to Dewitt Spring and south-southeast to Wood Camp Hollow Spring. The Swan Peak Formation appears to act as a barrier to groundwater movement into the underlying formations, separating the Tony Grove system from underlying systems.



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