Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

A picture named coloradoriverhooverdam.jpg

Here's a short article about the origins of the Grand Canyon from the Arizona Republic. They write, "Clarence Dutton, whose magnificent Tertiary Geology of the Grand Canyon District the University of Arizona Press reprinted in 2001, took the next logical step. If streams have been carving up the land for all of geologic time with the power that the Grand Canyon reveals, why are any high places left? Dutton realized that some mysterious force must lift the Earth's surface, starting the process of erosion anew. Today, we know that force to be plate tectonics, the heat-driven movement of giant, thin slabs of the Earth's surface that collide, split apart, or slide past each other. Plate collision left the mile-high Colorado Plateau with the snow-capped Rockies on one side and the low-lying Mojave Desert on the other. That arrangement afforded the Colorado River both a permanent supply of water and the steepest gradient of any major river on the continent, turning it into a buzz saw of erosion. What caused the Grand Canyon? Geologists continue to work out the details, but the ultimate answer is plate tectonics. From the Grand Canyon-inspired discoveries of Newberry, Powell and Dutton, a genealogy leads directly to the modern theories of geology."

Category: Colorado Water

8:29:32 AM    

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