31 May 2012

Plane views: Wyoming

Posted by Callan Bentley

I wanted to pick up where I left off months ago with some airplane photos as I was flying back from my California field class (over spring break). All views are to the north (out the left side of the airplane as we flew from Reno to Minneapolis).

We crossed from northern Nevada into Wyoming, and started encountering Laramide uplifts. Here is a look at bedding dipping off to the east, on the eastern flank of one of these massive anticlinal structures:

Hark! What’s that in the distance? A bold orange stripe!

This appears to the be the Triassic-aged Chugwater Formation, a classic of Wyoming stratigraphy.

Here it is again, exposed on the flanks of an elliptically-outcropping Laramide domal uplift:

A second dome lies further away, along strike of the long axis of the first. Note how it has a road traversing it:

And then I noticed some east-west trending mountains in the distance – the Owl Creek Range! So that would mean I’m flying over the Wind River Basin…

Annotated version of the previous view:

Some decent folds in the foreground, just beyond the snow…

The broad arc of the Bighorn Mountains appears next:

There is something very, very satisfying about seeing the same places both from the ground and from the air.