A geological exploration of the Colorado Plateau is an opportunity to observe and understand many of the principles that established the science of geology. For those who have not visited the region previously (or have not had the chance to tour it in depth), this field seminar will provide a comprehensive journey into the geological story of this fascinating landscape. The arc of our trip, from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and back, provides a remarkably detailed history of the North American continent from the Early Proterozoic to Holocene time. Few places provide the story in such scenic fashion.
Who Should Attend
Geologists, educators and students of earth science who seek a working knowledge of the geological, archaeological and natural history of the Colorado Plateau as revealed at Grand Canyon,Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks and other localities on the Colorado Plateau.
Identify the geologic principles derived from early studies on the Colorado Plateau by J.W. Powell, G.K. Gilbert, and others.
Summarize the origin and history of the Proterozoic metamorphic complex of the Grand Canyon region and contrast these rocks with other western metamorphic terranes.
Identify and analyze the depositional environments of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks of the Colorado Plateau, as exposed at each of the parks and landscapes in-between.
Analyze and classify the faults and folds associated with Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic activity, including the unique monoclines that define sub-provinces within the plateau country.
Assess and evaluate competing hypotheses concerning the erosional history of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.
Analyze and assess the history of land use on the Colorado Plateau from prehistoric time to the present, including water use, agriculture, and mineral/energy development.
1 hr of video lectures
1 hr reading
30 min quiz
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