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Henry Mountain Structure, Hanksville, Utah

Tim McElvain

The Henry Mountains

are conventionally described as Mid-Tertiary,

and are more particularly

shallow emplacement, laccolithic structures described in the publication:

Geology of the Tertiary Intrusive Centers of the La Sal

Mountains, Utah—Influence of Preexisting Structural Features on Emplacement and Morphology

By Michael L. Ross

The Henry Mountains are located approximately 80 miles East Southeast of Moab, Utah.

View looking southwest at the southern half of the Henry Mountains, Mt. Pennell to the left

View looking southwest at the southern half of the Henry Mountains, Mt. Pennell to the left and the North and South Summit Ridge consisting of Kimble, Turner, and Mt. Ellen Peak to the right.

View looking west at the North and South Summit Ridge of the Henry Mountains consisting of

View looking west at the North and South Summit Ridge of the Henry Mountains consisting of Mt. Kimble, Mt. Turner, and Mt. Ellen.

Map of the Henry Mountains with my waypoints plotted on it and marking the area where I found the Shatter Cones(?) illustrated below.

PLANAR MICROSTRUCTURES

The following photomicrographs of quartz grains with planar microstructures, (PM's) were made from samples of sandstone (possibly Dakota sandstone) collected at the southern end of the Henry Mountains to

the east of Mt. Hillers, and between Mt. Pennell and Mt. Hillers. The scale

of the PM's fit the scale of

planar deformation structures, (PDF's) which I

believe they are but they have not been verified by the experts in the field of

impact structure geology. If they prove to be PDF's they would be diagnostic of an impact structure.

The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain with two sets of PM's illuminated with cross

The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain with two sets of PM's illuminated with cross polarized light.

The above photomicrograph is of a highly shocked quartz grain with three sets of PM's illuminated

The above photomicrograph is of a highly shocked quartz grain with three sets of PM's illuminated with cross polarized light.

The above photomicrograph is of a highly shocked and plastically deformed quartz grain with three possibly

The above photomicrograph is of a highly shocked and plastically deformed quartz grain with three possibly five sets of PM's illuminated with cross polarized light.

The above photomicrograph is of a cataclastic, micro-clastic dike in the same sandstone as the above

The above photomicrograph is of a cataclastic, micro-clastic dike in the same sandstone as the above photomicrographs of planar microstructures illuminated with cross polarized light.

The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain collected from a sandstone (possibly Dakota sandstone) at

The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain collected from a sandstone (possibly Dakota sandstone) at Waypoint 02075 located to the east of Mt. Hillers.

SHATTER CONES

The following photos of possible shatter cones were taken in the area indicated on the above map. The proposed shatter cones are not classic shatter cones, nor are they slickensides. The horsetail striations are on a curved surface but not on a conical surface. Some of the shatter cones at the Santa Fe Impact Structure are similar; however, at Santa Fe the surfaces have more curvature than at this location (Waypoint 08020) in the Henry Mountains.

The above photograph of horsetail striations on a curved and grooved surface is very interesting.

Another illustration of strange horsetail striations on a rather flat but grooved joint surface.

Another illustration of strange horsetail striations on a rather flat but grooved joint surface. The above

The above photograph is of a proposed shatter cone (Waypoint 08016) with a clast of another shatter cone within, the larger shatter cone is represented by the convex surface at the bottom or outside edge of the sample.

The above photo is a close-up of the same shatter cone cast (08016) with rather faint
The above photo is a close-up of the same shatter cone cast (08016) with
rather faint horsetail striations.

The following photomicrographs are of quartz grains with planar microstructures were made of grains of quartz taken from the orthoquartzite making up shatter cone sample 08016 above.

The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain that has one set of planar microstructures (PM's)

The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain that has one set of planar microstructures (PM's) that are somewhat difficult to see in the northwest quadrant of the photomicrograph and one set of planar fractures (PF's).

Summary

The above evidence indicates to me that the Henry Mountains, Hanksville, Utah are the central uplift of a large impact crater.