The topography of Cache Valley is greatly impacted by the ancient Lake Bonneville and the continual movement of tectonic plates. The Utah State University Geology Department released a video to teach people more about the history of the northern Utah landscape.
The geology video begins with images of the Cache Valley landscape. Diagrams and maps provide visual explanations of the geological events that characterized the valley’s features.
“We’ve already had a summer class use the video for educational purposes and we had in mind that perhaps middle school students learning about earth science might be able to view it or their teachers might use it as an educational resource,” said Joel Pederson, the head of the USU Geology Department.
He said the video may also help long term Cache Valley residents better understand the geological time scales of the landscape.
“People from northern Utah have all heard about Lake Bonneville,” Pederson said. “So if you go up Logan Canyon, or you go up into the mountains in northern Utah, you see rocks with fossils of critters that lived in water and it’s really intuitive for people to make a connection, ‘Well, maybe those rocks and those fossils are from Lake Bonneville.’ But in fact, the rocks in the local mountains that have fossils are hundreds of millions of years older than Lake Bonneville.”
The Cache Valley geology video and other videos created by the department can be viewed on the USU Geology Department’s YouTube channel.