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Mussentuchit, Emery County, Utah



The Cedar Mountain Formation is the name given to distinctive sedimentary rocks in eastern Utah that occur between the underlying Morrison Formation and overlying Naturita Formation (sometimes incorrectly called the Dakota Formation). It is composed of non-marine sediments, that is, sediments deposited in rivers, lakes and on flood plains. Based on various fossils and radiometric dates, the Cedar Mountain Formation was deposited during the last half of the Early Cretaceous, about 127 - 98 million years ago.


The formation was named for Cedar Mountain in northern Emery County, Utah, where William Lee Stokes first studied the exposures in 1944. Only recently did the 125 m (410 ft) thick formation get subdivided into smaller, distinctive beds called members. There is a debate as to whether there are five members or four depending whether the Buckhorn Conglomerate is considered to be at the top of the Morrison Formation or at the base of the Cedar Mountain Formation; most geologists and paleontologists consider it part of the Cedar Mountain Formation. In ascending order the remaining members are the Yellow Cat Member, Poison Strip Sandstone, Ruby Ranch Member, and the Mussentuchit Member. Each of these members are named after a geographic area where they were first studied.


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