360° panorama by John Austin Roberts.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

The Red Butte gets its name from the nugget sandstone formation, deposited as sand dunes 150 to 200 million years ago. The Red Butte Canyon sandstone was once quarried for use in construction. The old Salt Lake City Hall, located across the street from the State Capitol building, is constructed of the rock brought down by rail car. Several old houses in the area on Capitol Hill are also constructed of the same material.On this cold January morning, the valley below is locked in an atmospheric inversion, when cold air traps fog and pollution below that cannot rise through the warmer air above.   The surrounding mountains also help trap the pooled cold air and the ground cover of snow insures that temperatures near the ground will remain near or below freezing.  That morning, the 2.5 particulate index was near 40.  By way of comparison, on the same day in Beijing the PM2.5 was near 200.

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