TERRACE GRAVEL DEPOSITS OF WESTWATER CREEK, GRAND COUNTY, UTAH AND THEIR POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP TO PLEISTOCENE CLIMATE
The present study consists of detailed mapping of stream terraces in the Harley Dome and adjacent quadrangles. A result has been the division of Qap4 terraces into 6 members and Qap5 terraces into 3 members. The age of these terraces can only be estimated based on their elevation position between Westwater Creek (below them) and the 630K Qap7 terrace (topographically above). Below is a list of terraces, their elevation above Westwater Creek, their approximate age, and the age range suggested by Willis (1994).
In the Holocene and late Pleistocene the dominant geomorphic process in the Grand Valley has been erosion that has removed an enormous amount of material. The terraces are a tiny but significant remnant of this valley fill. The Qap4, 5 and 7 terraces have features that indicate rapid deposition by flash flooding events such as monsoonal storms. These terraces are large, thick, extend many miles out into the valley, contain a mixture of clast sizes from coarse sand to very large boulders, and lack silt and clay. The distribution of terrace elevations and ages indicates that such large monsoonal storms are rare events from interglacial periods.
The location of these terraces reflects the shifting position of Westwater Creek. Qap3, Qap4a and Qap4b are adjacent to the modern stream valley. Qap4c, d, e and f are along an older stream channel about ½ mile north. Qap5 and Qap7 are along a stream channel over a mile to the north. There is a large elevation and age difference (250 feet) between the Qap4 Terraces and the Qap5 terraces.