The Rocky Mountain Trench is defined as the 1 000-mile valley which marks the west side of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The background of the Trench as a problem is examined, and descriptions, geographical and geological, are given. Previous work on Trench origin is reviewed and note is taken of the seeming inapplicability of accepted erosion theories to the making of the erosion-made Trench. An hypothesis is offered in which the combined action of drainage hemmed in by bordering uplifts, guided headward erosion, lateral corrasion, and streams repeatedly reversed by continuing diastrophism is suggested as the excavator of the Trench, a valley characterized by the puzzling peculiarity of continuous depth without a consistent gradient.

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