Fault finding in Utah puts longstanding theories on the line


  • J. Wakefield


Imagine that the very fault zone a body of geological theory sprang from turns out not to exist. Besides raising some eyebrows and perhaps some ire, such a finding may well challenge the reigning paradigm that defines a whole class of normal faults, where the upper block moves downward with respect to the lower block.

Well, that's exactly what a duo of geologists from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory claim about a fault in the Sevier Desert in west-central Utah: It frankly doesn't exist, say Mark Anders and Nicholas Christie-Blick.