Geology

The Geology of Moab is visible to all who visit the area because the desert environment reveals the multi-layered history of the land. But in the Museum of Moab you can begin to piece together some 500 million years of geologic change and truly understand how what was once a marine environment and a dense green swamp with dinosaurs became the red rock wonderland we see today.

Visit the Virginia Fossey Room and see in murals the various stages of the region’s geology and climate. Beneath each mural are samples of rocks and fossils that directly link to the life depicted in the murals.

Join other visitors who marvel at the amazing 55 square foot, three-dimensional topographical map of the region, created by John Urbanek. Over 25 years, Urbanek stacked and carved thousands of pieces of balsa wood into a stunning depiction of the area, which you can light to show dawn or sunset.

You’ll clearly see the collapsed salt anticlines we now call Moab Valley and Castle Valley. And you’ll note the massive volcanic intrusion of the relatively new – a mere 24 million years ago—La Sal Mountains. And you will follow the path of last great geologic invader of the area, the Colorado River, which has carved down through sandstone to create the wonders of the river canyons above and below Moab.

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