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San Rafael Swell

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San Rafael Swell

Geologically, a swell is a place where subterranean forces have lifted up a section of the earth’s crust in a bulge. This bulge happens to be about 40 miles by 70 miles. This rise happened between 40 and 60 million years ago and since then the various erosional forces on the area has shaped it into a fascinating jumble of sandstone, shale, and limestone with canyons, arches, hills and valleys. Some have likened it to sections of Mars and inspired the establishment of the Mars Desert Research Station in the area. For us earthlings, it means a great and fascinating area to explore through hiking, canyoneering, camping, and more.
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San Rafael Swell, Utah, USA