Plate Tectonics

Mineral Resources

Geological History



Potash Geology 101

Geology of Potash- Rock and Water

Earth has layers and these layers go deeper into time as you go down.  This reveals the fascinating past history of Eastern Utah.  During the Pennsylvanian time period 300 million years ago southeastern Utah was covered periodically with sea water.  The water would evaporate and leave behind salt deposits and then refill again, evaporate, and repeat over millions of years.  This salt layering is 3,000-4,000 ft deep within the Earth in what is known as the paradox formation.  The potash or sylvite KCl mineral ore is mined out of the Earth with solution mining and processed the exact same way it was created...with evaporation!  Potash is used in fertilizers today and about half of all potash fertilizer in the US comes from the Potash mine in San Juan and Grand Counties.


Potash Uses

Potash is a mineral resource that is mined in our county.  It provides over fifty great paying jobs.  It has been an industry that has survived over the last few decades and can continue for 50-100 years to come.  The material that gets mined here travels mostly to the mid-west to grow the foods you eat.  This mining process uses water to dissolve the mineral so that it can be extracted. Potash is a essential part of our diet and needed for plants.  

Potash Mine Tour

This video is a tour through the Intrepid Potash Mine south of Moab, Ut.  The evaporative ponds for the mine are in San Juan County and the plant and mine head quarters are in Grand County.  This mine provides potash (used in fertilizers) for a lot of the farms that help feed America.  
Look at this video on evaporation: