Unaweep Canyon and Earth's deep-time past

Unaweep Canyon and Earth's deep-time past
Figure 1 from Soreghan et al.: This is a digital elevation model of the Uncompahgre Plateau and greater study region with key features labeled. Credit: Soreghan et al. and Geosphere

Unaweep Canyon is a puzzling landscape—the only canyon on Earth with two mouths. First formally documented by western explorers mapping the Colorado Territory in the 1800s, Unaweep Canyon has inspired numerous hypotheses for its origin. This new paper for Geosphere by Gerilyn S. Soreghan and colleagues brings together old and new geologic data of this region to further the hypothesis that Unaweep Canyon was formed in multiple stages.

The inner gorge originated ~300 million years ago, was buried, was then revealed about five million years ago when the ancestral Gunnison River began incising the Uncompaghre Plateau as part of the incision of the larger Colorado Plateau, and then the Gunnison River then abandoned the canyon upon landslide damming, ultimately joining the Colorado River.

This work highlights that incision of the Colorado Plateau by the Colorado River and its tributaries (including the Gunnison River) began synchronously across the entire Plateau, linking the incision of the Grand Canyon on the southern Plateau to events on the northern Plateau. It also highlights the intriguing possibility of preservation of very ancient landscapes from Earth's deep-time past, and the role of exhumation of those landscapes in shaping the modern face of the planet.


Explore further

Could the Colorado River once have flowed into the Labrador Sea?

More information: Geology of Unaweep Canyon and its role in the drainage evolution of the northern Colorado Plateau, Published online 11 Mar. 2015; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/GES01112.1
Journal information: GeoSphere

Citation: Unaweep Canyon and Earth's deep-time past (2015, March 19) retrieved 16 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-unaweep-canyon-earth-deep-time.html
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Mar 19, 2015
There could be another explanation....

http://www.eu-geo...rtex.pdf

Such a notion explains many features in the region.

Mar 19, 2015
There could be another explanation....

http://www.eu-geo...rtex.pdf

Such a notion explains many features in the region.


Steinbacher is like young earth creationists. He doesn't let facts get in the way of his fairy tales.

Mar 19, 2015
From pg 28 of the pdf, "the lower parts could have been under water, while the upper parts were exposed to electric current and converted in situ into basalt" in reference to a roadcut on pg 26 erroneously referred to as "North of No Aqua Peak" (there are three No Agua peaks). The picture shows Servilleta Basalt over the top of Santa Fe Group alluvial deposits. The former is rich in magnesium and iron and the latter is not. If the Santa Fe Group melted and solidified, it would form not basalt but glasses and feldspars. These two geological units are composed of different ratios of elements and one is not simply a melted and solidified version of the other. Steinbacher's paper is full of other equally egregious gaffs. But keep papers like this coming, cantdrive85, they only prove how laughable EU "theory" is.

Mar 21, 2015
Where can I find that-there "electric current" to make some elemental transformations?

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