PaleoGeography/Geologic History Overview
PaleoGeography is the study of how the earth's landforms change with time. Accessible from the geologic period selection page, this section is devoted to how the geography of the Colorado Plateau has changed throughout the geologic past. For the time being this page contains links to Ron Blakey's site on the evolution of the Colorado Plateau. His site, located at http://jan.ucc.nau.edu is the best site I have found so far, showing depictions of the changing depositional environments and geography of the Colorado Plateau. Ron Blakey and his graduate students are located in Flagstaff at Norther Arizona State University, so his maps seem to have their greatest accuracy in that location.
At some point, we would like to carry on the torch of this project by creating our own maps (or working with him?) which detail more specifically the paleogeography of the Northern Colorado Plateau. We would also like to add data points to the map which show (and link to) the stratigraphic columns and data which were used to recreate the given paleomaps.
In the end, an accurate representation of an area's paleogeography is really the goal and capstone of the study of stratigraphy. Geology, in a way, is like a time machine or crystal ball allowing us to peer into the past and see what things were like. This is one of the most facinating aspects of geology, and to pursue it, requires a geologist to use nearly every other subdisipline of the science. Knowledge of Paleontology, Ichnology, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Petrology, Geomorphology, and Structural Geology must all be used and synthesized in order to accurately recreate the earth's geologic past. All the data gathered and organized in the "stratigraphic columns" section of this site will be used for the purpose of being able to recreate accurate paleomaps. At some point in the future, we hope to be able to recreate paleomaps, isopach maps, and cross sections on the fly with the strat column information found in the database.
This is a basic introduction to the geologic history of the Colorado Plateau--especially focusing on the southern regions.