2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
403 Thursday, 28 October 2010
7:45 AM-6:00 PM, Colorado Convention Center: Lobby E

Late Cenozoic Evolution of the Colorado Rockies: interplay between uplift, climate, and drainage integration

Primary Leader: Andres Aslan
Leader(s): Karl Karlstrom, Laura J. Crossey
Field Trip Description: The Colorado River system, as the single river system that drains the western slope of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, is a sensitive gauge of the uplift history and landscape evolution of the western U.S. This trip focuses on the Upper Colorado River basin and evaluates the hypothesis that the river system and modern Colorado Rockies are being shaped by neotectonic epeirogenic uplift of the Colorado Rockies, interacting with climatic and geomorphic forcings. In the context of key outcrops and new data, we will discuss (1) geomorphic analysis of river profiles; (2) new incision rates showing differential incision and important transient knickzones along the river system; (3) effects of isostatic response to denudation; (4) thermochronologic evidence for broad epeirogenic uplift starting 206 Ma; (5) new mantle tomographic images of the Aspen Anomaly that may be driving surface uplift; (6) evidence for mantle- derived 3He in Colorado hot springs as evidence for mantle- to-surface interconnections; and (7) terrace chronologies that reveal climatic influences on river aggradation and incision superimposed on longer-term tectonic signals. Trip stops in the upper Colorado and Yampa River valleys include the Gore Range, Glenwood Canyon, Lava Creek B ash at Dotsero, salt-collapse near Carbondale, Miocene lava flows at Grand Mesa, Colorado River terraces, and Browns Park Formation near Yampa. Includes two nights at Glenwood Springs with complimentary access to the hot springs.
Field Trip will span: 3 days
Sponsor(s): Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology Division

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