Panorama Trail

Kodachrome Basin State Park

Moonrise over sandstone pipe and Jurassic Entrada Sandstone

Sandstone pipes, or sedimentary pipes as they are sometimes called, are a common feature of the Entrada Sandstone in southeast Utah.  Interestingly enough, they seem to be rather unique to the Entrada.  Observations and recent research suggest that the pipes are formed by the upward movement of groundwater, sand and sediment blocks in response to liquefaction of buried dune sands.  So what caused the liquefaction?  Tectonics or bolide impact?  See the related research below.

A related feature is the contorted bedding of the Dewey Bridge Member of the Entrada Sandstone which lies below, here in Arches National Park.

Dewey Bridge Member, Arches NP


San Rafael Group (Jurassic)
====Entrada Sandstone
========Moab Tongue (Jem)
========"Slickrock" or Main Body (Je)
========Dewey Bridge Member (Jed, formerly Carmel Fm)

Doelling, H. H., 1985, Geologic Map of Arches and Vicinity, Grand County, Utah: Utah Geological Survey Map 74, scale 1:50,000.

More Information

Entrada Sandstone (USGS)
Kodachrome Basin State Park (

Related Research

Alvarez, W., Staley, E., O’Connor, D., and Chan, M. (1998), Synsedimentary deformation in the Jurassic of southern Utah—A case of impact shaking. Geology, v. 26, p. 579–582, doi: 10.1130/0091-7613(1998)026 <0579:SDITJO>2.3.CO;2

Huuse, M., Shoulders, S. J., Netoff, D. I. and Cartwright, J. (2005), Giant sandstone pipes record basin-scale liquefaction of buried dune sands in the Middle Jurassic of SE Utah. Terra Nova, 17: 80–85. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3121.2004.00587.x



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Updated 11 November 2015