Garden of the Gods at Colorado Springs: Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentation and tectonics
Published:January 01, 2010
Marcus R. Ross, William A. Hoesch, Steven A. Austin, John H. Whitmore, Timothy L. Clarey, 2010. "Garden of the Gods at Colorado Springs: Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentation and tectonics", Through the Generations, Lisa A. Morgan, Steven L. Quane
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Exposed along the southeast flank of the Colorado Front Range are rocks that beautifully illustrate the interplay of sedimentation and tectonics. Two major range-bounding faults, the Ute Pass fault and the Rampart Range fault, converge on the Garden of the Gods region west of Colorado Springs. Cambrian through Cretaceous strata upturned by these faults reveal in their grain compositions, textures, and bed-forms radically different styles of sedimentation. The Cambrian/Ordovician marine transgressive deposits appear to have come to rest on a passive and tectonically inactive craton. In contrast, coarse-grained Pennsylvanian/Permian marine deposits of the Fountain Formation and Lyons Sandstone reveal deposition by suspension and tractive currents in a very dynamic tectonic setting. These styles are contrasted with the alternating eustatics of the Western Interior Seaway which led to the local Cretaceous section. Finally, the powerful imprint of the Laramide orogeny is evident in the sandstone dikes of Sawatch Sandstone which are found within the hanging wall of the Ute Pass fault.
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Through the Generations
The tradition of Rocky Mountain geology remains strong at all scales, spatially and temporally. This volume fosters that tradition with its collection of peer-reviewed papers associated with the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Spatially, this volume discusses theories of continental mountain building events in tandem with microscopic observations and parts per billion trace element concentrations. Temporally, the volume covers geologic history from the Precambrian to modern issues of climate change and energy, groundwater contamination, geologic hazards, and landscape evolution. Many of the trips propose new interpretations of famous geologic ideas and environs such as Laramide deformation, the Colorado Mineral Belt, the Lewis and Clark Line, the Chalk Cliffs, and Garden of the Gods.