Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Robert Oaks, Jr.


Robert Oaks, Jr.


J. Stewart Williams


Donald R. Olsen


The Swan Peak Formation in southeastern Idaho and north-central Utah is a sedimentary unit consisting of orthoquartzite, sandstone, siltite, shale, and limestone. The formation is divisible into three members, and the lower two members each are divisible into two informal lithologic subunits.

The lower member consists of a lower subunit of gray, calcareous sandy siltite composed of subangular to subrounded quartz grains cemented by quartz overgrowths, calcite, or iron oxide, and an upper subunit of black shale with minor interbedded silty quartzose sandstone and biomicrite (limestone).

The middle member consists of a lower subunit of interbedded pale green shale and yellowish brown silty orthoquartzite and an upper subunit of purple orthoquartzite. The brown orthoquartzite consists of well-sorted, well-rounded very fine sand- to silt-sized quartz grains cemented by quartz overgrowths which are in optical continuity with the grains they surround. The purple orthoquartzite consists of wellsorted, well-rounded, very fine to medium sand-sized quartz grains cemented by quartz overgrowths and hematite. Hematite gives the rock its purple color. gydroxylapatite is locally abundant.

The upper member is an orthoquartzite consisting of very fine to medium sand-sized, well-sorted, well-rounded quartz grains cemented by quartz overgrowths. The gastropod Murchisonia (Hormotoma) sp., the first body fossil found in the upper member, is reported.

Previous work has shown that the upper member of the Swan Peak Formation and the Eureka Quartzite are similar in lithology, stratigraphy, and trace fossils. The Eureka Quartzite in the Newfoundland Range is a very fine to medium sand-sized, well-sorted, well-rounded orthoquartzite cemented predominantly by quartz overgrowths, locally by dolomite. The petrographic similarities of the two units, shown in the present study, strengthens their proposed correlation.

High percentages of well rounded, polycrystalline and undulatory extinction quartz show that source areas for the Eureka Quartzite and Swan Peak Formation probably were immature sandstones or quartzites of Cambrian or Precambrian age, and./or exposed igneous or metamorphic rocks. The source for most of the sand probably was the Northwest Montana Uplift, although local sources along the Uinta Uplift undoubtedly played a minor role in supplying hydroxylapatite to the middle member and fine-grained elastics to the lower member.



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