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Park City Museum will have Senior Scientist Bob Biek present a lecture called Utah’s Gigantic Landslides (and their Smaller Cousin near Park City) on Wednesday, April 3rd from 5-6 p.m. at the Park City Museum Education and Collections Center located at 2079 Sidewinder Drive.
Utah is home to the largest terrestrial landslide known in the world, a gigantic mass of volcanic rock in south-central Utah that collapsed and moved rapidly over the landscape 21 million years ago. We call that landslide the Markagunt gravity slide and announced its discovery in 2014. In 2016, we discovered a second very large slide nearby. These enormous landslides—collectively larger than the state of Delaware—were the subject of an international field symposium in 2017. In many respects, both slides are similar to the Silver Creek Chaos, a 35 million-year-old landslide just east of Park City. That Chaos resulted from the collapse of one of many Cascade-like volcanoes that once towered over the Park City area.
Park City lies in the now deeply eroded roots of ancient volcanoes, the ultimate source of silver-lead-zinc deposits of the mining district, and also the source of one fantastically large landslide whose remains are visible today north of Jordanelle Reservoir. Join Bob Biek, Senior Scientist of the Utah Geological Survey, to learn about this deep, geologic history of the Park City area and the recent discovery of the world’s largest landslides.
Bob Biek is a Senior Scientist with the Utah Geological Survey’s Geologic Mapping Program, having joined the group in 1996 after 4 years (5 winters!) as a mapping geologist with the North Dakota Geological Survey. Most of his geologic mapping is in southwestern Utah and along the Wasatch Front and back valleys. Bob received his B.A. in Geology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983 and a M.S. in Geology from Northern Illinois University in 1987.