Paleogeography (Historical Geology) Research
This is an index page to take a deeper look at locations that
have special significance for the
Evolution of the Colorado River as well as offering scenic
attractions on their own.
The Evolution of the Colorado River (and origin
of the Grand Canyon) is interrelated with the historical
geology of many other locations in the southwestern U.S.
Clicking on each of the following links will display a page
containing a computer generated picture(s) of the area plus
a brief description of the pertinent geologic significance.
"Barbed" Tributaries: The Marble Canyon section of the
Grand Canyon has several arroyo/canyons that flow "against
the grain" of the Colorado River drainage. These canyons are
all less than 3 million years old, and a model for their
origin/formation is given.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
The Black Canyon has the greatest depth to width ratio of
any canyon in the Colorado River system. It appears to be
very young, and there is an impossible contradiction in the
"standard explanation" of its origin. A new model for its
origin is given.
Canyon of Lodore, Colorado: Also shown are Split Mountain and
the highlands of Dinosaur National Monument. The canyon cuts
north to south through the east end of the Uinta Mountain
Range. Mountains in this area exceed 8,000 feet. The
highlands had to be much lower when the Green and Yampa
Rivers established their paths as both rivers have always
had alternate escape routes eastward across Wyoming where
elevations have never exceeded 7,000 feet.
Desolation (and Gray) Canyon,
Canyon and the Tavaputs Plateau are keys to the change in
river patterns that took place about 20 to 25 million years
ago. An explanation for the irrational path of the Price
River is also presented.
Dolores River, Colorado: These views show a large portion
of the Dolores River both upstream and downstream from
Dolores, Colorado. Downstream from Dolores, the river turns
north-northwest and climbs over the Dolores Anticline (cuts
Dolores Canyon) and continues northward through Slick Rock.
Flaming Gorge and the eastern
Uinta Mountains, Utah: The Green River has cut a deep gorge on the north
side of the Uintas during the last 5.4 million years. The
river is now dammed to form a large reservoir.
Glenwood Canyon, Colorado: The Colorado River has cut through
the south side of the White River Plateau producing a
3,000-foot deep canyon.
Gore Canyon, Colorado: The Colorado River has cut a short
deep canyon through the Gore Range. An old high dry valley
exists just south of Gore Canyon where the Blue River once
crossed the range but it now joins the Colorado east of Gore
Grand Canyon - Colorado River
page shows a graph giving the elevation and gradient of the
Colorado River as it travels through the Grand Canyon from
Lees Ferry to Lake Mead
Grand Canyon Maps: This page contains four 3-D maps
showing the entire Grand Canyon area. Clicking on any map
gives an enlarged view. (Please allow a minute for the
pictures to download.)
Harpers Corner - Dinosaur
In addition to the spectacular view of the central portion
of Dinosaur National Monument, Harpers Corner provides a key
to river systems as they existed 30 million years ago.
Kaibab Plateau: The Kaibab Plateau is the linchpin
for the formation and origin of Grand Canyon. This view
shows the Grand Canyon from east of the Kaibab Plateau
westward to Kanab Creek. Also a quick synopsis is given for
the evolution and origin of the Grand Canyon
La Plata Mountains, Colorado: This view shows the La Plata
Mountains, Bridge Timber Mountain and the three canyons that
merge to form Mancos Canyon.
Little Colorado River: The Little Colorado River
is of interest as it has played a part in both the oldest
and most recent derivation of the Colorado River drainage
system. The page covers several million years of its history
as well as taking a brief look at the Grand Falls of the
Little Colorado River.
Paria Canyon, Utah and Arizona: The Paria River flows
southeastward into the rising strata and topography of the
Paria Plateau instead of taking a far easier course
following highway U. S. 89.
Salina Canyon, Utah: This is where the ancestral
Colorado River flowed until it found a new route through the
Grand Canyon about 5.4 million years ago.
San Juan River, Utah: The San Juan River's Goosenecks
are a classic example of river meanders that subsequently
eroded straight downward when canyon cutting took over. Also
shown are Cedar Mesa and Douglas Mesa which are remnants of
the old Monument Upwarp, but are now separated by the San
Unaweep Canyon, Colorado: This canyon about 20 miles south
of Grand Junction, Colorado is dry today. However, up to
about 7 million years ago, there was a big river here.
Also please see Grand Canyon Geologic Tour. An end-to-end tour with computer
generated 3-D pictures every four miles.
Return to the Evolution of the
Colorado River page.
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