By Donald L. Baars
This re-creation of Donald L. Baars's vintage The Colorado Plateau contains new textual content, maps, pictures, figures, tables, and bibliography to supply the main updated geology of the purple rock and canyon nation of the 4 Corners of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Baars's entire geological precis of the canyonlands is certain sufficient to meet a geologist searching for an summary of the sector but in actual fact sufficient written to attract someone attracted to studying the clinical tale at the back of this terrific scenic region.
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Extra resources for The Colorado plateau: a geologic history
Footprints of primitive four-footed, shortlegged amphibian animals have been found in the red shales. They measure several inches in length, with three- and five-toed varieties being rather common. These clumsy salamanderlike animals plodded along the river floodplains in search of food; their bones have recently been discovered in the Monument Valley region to the east. Gullies and channels were eroded into tile top of the Supai sandstone ledge in Grand Canyon by ancient streams, and these were infilled and eventually covered by more red muds of the overlying Hendr Shale.
At some later time, which cannot be fixed with much accuracy but was probably at about the end of the Mesozoic, the entire Grand Canyon region was uplifted into a great, gentle fold. " The western flank of the broad fold is much more gentle and barely discernible, for the strata dip very gently westward throughout the length of Grand Canyon. This broad upfolded structure is known as the Kaibab uplift. Geological Survey. Toward the upper right of the view is Marble Canyon, which leads into Grand Canyon in the center of the photograph; the canyon in the lower right is the lower termination of the Little Colorado River canyon.
The Dawn of LifeCambrian Period The Paleozoic Era dawned in the Grand Canyon country when the sea again migrated slowly eastward over the upturned and eroded edges of the Precambrian terrain. The initial sediments of this period were deposited along the shoreline in the form of beaches and related Page 15 sand dunes and sand bars. The sand must have come from the weathering of the Precambrian rocks that formed the country rock along the shore. The beach environment at the shoreline of this great sea probably extended for many miles in a general north-south Page 16 direction, but was only a few yards wide, as beaches of today are.