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Slide1: 

Graphic created by Eduardo Iturrate at Research Systems, Inc. COLORADO MOUNTAINS Plains Mountains Colorado Plateau San Luis Valley North, Middle, South Park

Slide2: 

Never summer Rampart Range Uinta Mtns Needle Mtns Wet Mtns Medicine Bow Uncompahgre Mtns Colorado Mtns

Boulder Area Stratigraphy: 

Boulder Area Stratigraphy Be able to reproduce this figure on test!

BASEMENT ROCK: 

BASEMENT ROCK Emplaced 1.4-1.7 Gy Crystalline rock Black Canyon of the Gunnison: 1.7 Gy dark gneiss cut through by lighter 1.4 Gy granite and pegmatite Underlies most of present day Colorado Rockies

GREAT UNCOMFORMITY: 

GREAT UNCOMFORMITY An uncomformity is when formations of different ages lay on top of each other Another way to say this is that part of the geologic record is missing From 1.2 Gy to 500 My the geologic record is mssing

TROPICAL SEAS RETURN: 

TROPICAL SEAS RETURN 500 to 330 My Sawatch sandstone from beach sands (near Glenwood Springs) Leadville limestone deposited Missing in Boulder area

FRONTRANGIA: 300 My: 

FRONTRANGIA: 300 My Ancestral mountain range 35 miles west of Boulder. Streams carried eroded sand and pebbles from the Ancestral Rockies, dumping the material in wide deposits of gravel. These debris would later become the Flatirons!

FOUNTAIN FORMATION: 270 My: 

FOUNTAIN FORMATION: 270 My Arkose sandstone, gravel deposits Sharp, angular points Iron oxidiation, red color Good climbing Remnants of FrontRangia Little transport Flatirons, Red Rocks park, Roxborough State Park

LYONS FORMATION: 250 My: 

LYONS FORMATION: 250 My 220’ thick Well-sorted, fine sand Old sand dunes Main building material for CU-Boulder Sea began to creep in from the east Arid to west

LYKINS FORMATION: 240 My: 

LYKINS FORMATION: 240 My Red color, soft, consisting mostly of shale, sandstone, and siltstone. 675’ thick, Broad, flat floodplains

Entrada Sandstone: 150 My: 

Entrada Sandstone: 150 My A desert environment with widespread sand dunes once again 30’ thick Cross-bedded Much more developed (thicker) around Moab

MORRISON FORMATION: 140 My: 

MORRISON FORMATION: 140 My Broad, swampy lowlands, floodplains Lake and stream deposits, mostly clays, Volcanic ash, Wild colors Massive amounts of dinosaur fossils; has been described as a bone yard.

MORRISON DINOSAURS A HOAX: 

MORRISON DINOSAURS A HOAX Fossils from the DNM quarry represent a water-transported and processed assemblage, not an in situ ecosystem. The "mass accumulation" of dinosaur bones at DNM, a sort of trademark feature for the Morrison Formation in the American West, represents a mystery that lacks satisfactory explanation. Clams, snails, and dismembered dinosaurs within the same deposit demonstrate a watery catastrophe. (Noah’s ark flood?) http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-370.htm

DAKOTA FORMATION: 135 My: 

DAKOTA FORMATION: 135 My shoreline of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, massive sea to the east Lots of dinosaur tracks, but few fossils Mostly sandstones, some shales, 320’ thick First hogback (resistent ridge)

NEXT 70 My: 

NEXT 70 My marked by several advances and retreats of the sea. The deposits associated with these episodes of marine flooding consist of shale, sandstone, limestone, and some beds of coal. The environments suggested by the rocks include the deep sea, sandy beaches, and coast swamps. Names applied to the various formations are (from oldest to youngest): the Benton Shale, Niobrara Limestone, Pierre Shale, Fox Hills Sandstone, and the Laramie Formation. Together these formations total over 10,000 feet of sediment.

PIERRE SHALE: 

PIERRE SHALE Up to 9,000’ thick Deposited by an inland sea Lots of dinosaurs, such as this pterodactyl City of Boulder built on Pierre Shale

70 My: 

70 My 70 million years ago, the sea slowly withdrew to the northeast. It left behind vast swamps, from which the coals of the Laramie Formation formed. Explains natural gas deposits in Denver Basin The withdrawal of the sea took about 10 to 15 million years.

LARAMIDE OROGENY: 

LARAMIDE OROGENY 70-40 My ago High angle thrust faults, Reverse fault Uplift of Precambrian basement Deformation of overlying Paleozoic & Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, eg Fountain Formation, Lyons Formation

Colorado Mineral Belt: 

Colorado Mineral Belt Emplaced during Laramide Orogeny and during volcanism immediately afterward Hydrothermal emplacements caused formations of mineral veins Almost all mineral at high elevation

SAN JUAN VOLCANICS: 

SAN JUAN VOLCANICS Ash-flow eruptions in the SW corner of state about 30 My Silverton Caldera Formation of San Juan mountains

EPIEROGENIC UPLIFT: 

EPIEROGENIC UPLIFT 28 My to present Broad, regional uplift with little tilting 10 My really kicked into gear Still continuing

THE BIG DOME: 

THE BIG DOME Uplifted all of western and central Colorado Reason so many 14’er Dome is centered under near Leadville Center of 14’ers Antecedent rivers invigorated: Black Canyon, Gore River, Roaring Fork, Royal Gorge Rivers flow in radial pattern from dome: North Platte, Colorado to west, Arkansas to south, South Platte to east

RIO GRANDE RIFT: 

RIO GRANDE RIFT Also 28 My-present Runs south-north Cuts across previous faults Forms San Luis Valley, Arkansas River graben Continues on to Wyoming Still growing May connect in future to the Gulf of California

PLEISTOCENE ICE AGE: 

PLEISTOCENE ICE AGE 1.5 My to 12,000 yrs Glaciated down to about 8,000’ elevation Glacial erosion shaped modern mountains

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