Virgin Anticline and Quail Creek Reservoir

  • Robert F. Biek Utah Geological Survey
Keywords: Quail Creek, Virgin anticline, anticline


The first thing most visitors to Quail Creek State Park notice, apart from the improbably blue and refreshing waters of the reservoir itself, are the brightly colored, layered rocks of the surrounding cliffs. In fact, Quail Creek State Park lies astride one of the most remarkable geologic features in southwestern Utah. The park lies cradled in the eroded core of the Virgin anticline, a long upwarp of folded rock that trends northeast through south-central Washington County. The fold is breached by erosion along its crest, creating a window into the geologic past. Famous for its geology, the park is also infamous for the 1989 catastrophic collapse of the Quail Creek south dike, which unleashed a torrent of water and caused millions of dollars of damage.

Virgin Anticline from Quail Creek State Park.
How to Cite
Biek , R., 2019, Virgin Anticline and Quail Creek Reservoir: Geosites, v. 48, no. 1, p. 1-8., doi: 10.31711/geosites.v1i1.52.