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The Colorado
Colorado
Plateau, also known as the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
Province,[1] is a physiographic and desert region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners
Four Corners
region of the southwestern United States. This province covers an area of 337,000 km2 (130,000 mi2) within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, southern and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona. About 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado
Colorado
River and its main tributaries: the Green, San Juan, and Little Colorado. Most of the remainder of the plateau is drained by the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
and its tributaries.[2][3]:395 The Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
is largely made up of high desert, with scattered areas of forests. In the southwest corner of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
lies the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
of the Colorado
Colorado
River. Much of the Plateau's landscape is related, in both appearance and geologic history, to the Grand Canyon. The nickname "Red Rock Country" suggests the brightly colored rock left bare to the view by dryness and erosion. Domes, hoodoos, fins, reefs, river narrows, natural bridges, and slot canyons are only some of the additional features typical of the Plateau. The Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
has the greatest concentration of U.S. National Park Service (NPS) units in the country outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Among its nine National Parks are Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa
Mesa
Verde, and Petrified Forest. Among its 18 National Monuments are Bears Ears, Rainbow Bridge, Dinosaur, Hovenweep, Wupatki, Sunset Crater Volcano, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Natural Bridges, Canyons of the Ancients, Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
and the Colorado
Colorado
National Monument.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Human history 3 Geology 4 Energy generation 5 Natural resources

5.1 Petroleum 5.2 Uranium 5.3 Coal 5.4 Gilsonite and uintaite 5.5 Scenic beauty

6 Protected lands 7 See also 8 References

8.1 Further reading

Geography[edit]

The Four Corners
Four Corners
region and the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. Click image to see state lines.

The Book Cliffs of western Colorado.

The Green River runs north to south from Wyoming, briefly through Colorado, and converges with the Colorado
Colorado
River in southeastern Utah.

Sunset in Ojito Wilderness, near Albuquerque, NM

This province is bounded by the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
in Colorado, and by the Uinta Mountains
Uinta Mountains
and Wasatch Mountains
Wasatch Mountains
branches of the Rockies in northern and central Utah. It is also bounded by the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Rift, Mogollon Rim
Mogollon Rim
and the Basin and Range Province. Isolated ranges of the Southern Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
such as the San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains
in Colorado and the La Sal Mountains
La Sal Mountains
in Utah
Utah
intermix into the central and southern parts of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. It is composed of six sections:[3]:367

Uinta Basin
Uinta Basin
Section High Plateaus Section Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Section Canyon Lands
Canyon Lands
Section Navajo Section Datil Section

As the name implies, the High Plateaus Section is, on average, the highest section. North-south trending normal faults that include the Hurricane, Sevier, Grand Wash, and Paunsaugunt separate the section's component plateaus.[3]:366 This fault pattern is caused by the tensional forces pulling apart the adjacent Basin and Range province to the west, making this section transitional. Occupying the southeast corner of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
is the Datil Section. Thick sequences of mid- Tertiary to late-Cenozoic-aged lava covers this section. Development of the province has in large part been influenced by structural features in its oldest rocks. Part of the Wasatch Line and its various faults form the western edge of the province. Faults that run parallel to the Wasatch Fault that lies along the Wasatch Range form the boundaries between the plateaus in the High Plateaus Section.[3]:376 The Uinta Basin, Uncompahgre Uplift, and the Paradox Basin were also created by movement along structural weaknesses in the region's oldest rock. In Utah, the province includes several higher fault-separated plateaus:

Awapa Plateau Aquarius Plateau Kaiparowits Plateau Markagunt Plateau Paunsaugunt Plateau Sevier Plateau Fishlake Plateau Pavant Plateau Gunnison Plateau
Plateau
and the Tavaputs Plateau.

Some sources also include the Tushar Mountain
Mountain
Plateau
Plateau
as part of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau, but others do not. The mostly flat-lying sedimentary rock units that make up these plateaus are found in component plateaus that are between 1,500 to 3,350 metres (4,900 to 11,000 ft) above sea level. A supersequence of these rocks is exposed in the various cliffs and canyons (including the Grand Canyon) that make up the Grand Staircase. Increasingly younger east-west trending escarpments of the Grand Staircase
Grand Staircase
extend north of the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
and are named for their color:

Chocolate Cliffs, Vermillion Cliffs, White Cliffs, Gray Cliffs, and the Pink Cliffs.[3]:369

Within these rocks are abundant mineral resources that include uranium, coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Study of the area's unusually clear geologic history (which is laid bare due to the arid and semiarid conditions) has greatly advanced that science. A rain shadow from the Sierra Nevada
Nevada
far to the west and the many ranges of the Basin and Range means that the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
receives 15 to 40 centimetres (6 to 16 in) of annual precipitation.[3]:369 Higher areas receive more precipitation and are covered in forests of pine, fir, and spruce. Though it can be said that the Plateau
Plateau
roughly centers on the Four Corners, Black Mesa
Mesa
in northern Arizona
Arizona
is much closer to the east-west, north-south midpoint of the Plateau
Plateau
Province. Lying southeast of Glen Canyon
Canyon
and southwest of Monument Valley
Monument Valley
at the north end of the Hopi Reservation, this remote coal-laden highland has about half of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau's acreage north of it, half south of it, half west of it, and half east of it. Human history[edit] The Ancestral Puebloan People
Ancestral Puebloan People
lived in the region from roughly 2000 to 700 years ago.[3]:374 A party from Santa Fe led by Fathers Dominguez and Escalante, unsuccessfully seeking an overland route to California, made a five-month out-and-back trip through much of the Plateau
Plateau
in 1776-1777.[4] Despite having lost one arm in the American Civil War, U.S. Army Major and geologist John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell
explored the area in 1869 and 1872. Using wooden oak boats and small groups of men the Powell Geographic Expedition charted this largely unknown region of the United States for the federal government. Construction of the Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
in the 1930s and the Glen Canyon Dam
Glen Canyon Dam
in the 1960s changed the character of the Colorado
Colorado
River. Dramatically reduced sediment load changed its color from reddish brown (Colorado is Spanish for "red") to mostly clear. The apparent green color is from algae on the riverbed's rocks, not from any significant amount of suspended material. The lack of sediment has also starved sand bars and beaches but an experimental 12-day-long controlled flood from Glen Canyon
Canyon
Dam in 1996 showed substantial restoration. Similar floods are planned for every 5 to 10 years.[3]:375 Geology[edit]

The Redwall Limestone
Redwall Limestone
cliffs of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
tower above the northern Mojave Desert.

The Permian
Permian
through Jurassic
Jurassic
stratigraphy of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
area of southeastern Utah
Utah
that makes up much of the famous prominent rock formations in protected areas such as Capitol Reef
Reef
National Park
National Park
and Canyonlands National Park. From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone, layered red Kayenta Formation, cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone, slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation, layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation, and white, layered Cutler Formation
Cutler Formation
sandstone. Picture from Glen Canyon
Canyon
National Recreation Area, Utah.

Erosion-resistant sandstones of Mesozoic
Mesozoic
age result in bands of continuous cliffs, central Colorado
Colorado
Plateau.

MODIS
MODIS
satellite image of Grand Canyon, Lake Powell
Lake Powell
(black, left of center) and the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. White areas are snow-capped.

One of the most geologically intriguing features of the Colorado Plateau
Plateau
is its remarkable stability. Relatively little rock deformation such as faulting and folding has affected this high, thick crustal block within the last 600 million years or so. In contrast, provinces that have suffered severe deformation surround the plateau. Mountain
Mountain
building thrust up the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
to the north and east and tremendous, earth-stretching tension created the Basin and Range province to the west and south. Sub ranges of the Southern Rocky Mountains are scattered throughout the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau.[5] The Precambrian
Precambrian
and Paleozoic
Paleozoic
history of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
is best revealed near its southern end where the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
has exposed rocks with ages that span almost 2 billion years. The oldest rocks at river level are igneous and metamorphic and have been lumped together as "Vishnu Basement Rocks"; the oldest ages recorded by these rocks fall in the range 1950 to 1680 million years. An erosion surface on the "Vishnu Basement Rocks" is covered by sedimentary rocks and basalt flows, and these rocks formed in the interval from about 1250 to 750 million years ago: in turn, they were uplifted and split into a range of fault-block mountains.[3]:383 Erosion
Erosion
greatly reduced this mountain range prior to the encroachment of a seaway along the passive western edge of the continent in the early Paleozoic. At the canyon rim is the Kaibab Formation, limestone deposited in the late Paleozoic
Paleozoic
(Permian) about 270 million years ago. A 12,000-to-15,000-foot high (3,700 to 4,600 m) extension of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
called the Uncompahgre Mountains were uplifted and the adjacent Paradox Basin
Paradox Basin
subsided. Almost 4 mi. (6.4 km) of sediment from the mountains and evaporites from the sea were deposited (see geology of the Canyonlands area for detail).[3]:383 Most of the formations were deposited in warm shallow seas and near-shore environments (such as beaches and swamps) as the seashore repeatedly advanced and retreated over the edge of a proto- North America
North America
(for detail, see geology of the Grand Canyon area). The province was probably on a continental margin throughout the late Precambrian
Precambrian
and most of the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
era. Igneous rocks injected millions of years later form a marbled network through parts of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau's darker metamorphic basement. By 600 million years ago North America
North America
had been leveled off to a remarkably smooth surface. Throughout the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
Era, tropical seas periodically inundated the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
region. Thick layers of limestone, sandstone, siltstone, and shale were laid down in the shallow marine waters. During times when the seas retreated, stream deposits and dune sands were deposited or older layers were removed by erosion. Over 300 million years passed as layer upon layer of sediment accumulated. It was not until the upheavals that coincided with the formation of the supercontinent Pangea
Pangea
began about 250 million years ago that deposits of marine sediment waned and terrestrial deposits dominate. In late Paleozoic
Paleozoic
and much of the Mesozoic
Mesozoic
era the region was affected by a series of orogenies (mountain-building events) that deformed western North America
North America
and caused a great deal of uplift. Eruptions from volcanic mountain ranges to the west buried vast regions beneath ashy debris. Short-lived rivers, lakes, and inland seas left sedimentary records of their passage. Streams, ponds and lakes created formations such as the Chinle, Moenave, and Kayenta in the Mesozoic era. Later a vast desert formed the Navajo and Temple Cap formations and dry near-shore environment formed the Carmel (see geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area for details). The area was again covered by a warm shallow sea when the Cretaceous Seaway opened in late Mesozoic
Mesozoic
time. The Dakota Sandstone and the Tropic Shale were deposited in the warm shallow waters of this advancing and retreating seaway. Several other formations were also created but were mostly eroded following two major periods of uplift. The Laramide orogeny
Laramide orogeny
closed the seaway and uplifted a large belt of crust from Montana
Montana
to Mexico, with the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
region being the largest block. Thrust faults in Colorado
Colorado
are thought to have formed from a slight clockwise movement of the region, which acted as a rigid crustal block. The Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
Province was uplifted largely as a single block, possibly due to its relative thickness. This relative thickness may be why compressional forces from the orogeny were mostly transmitted through the province instead of deforming it.[3]:376 Pre-existing weaknesses in Precambrian
Precambrian
rocks were exploited and reactivated by the compression. It was along these ancient faults and other deeply buried structures that much of the province's relatively small and gently inclined flexures (such as anticlines, synclines, and monoclines) formed.[3]:376 Some of the prominent isolated mountain ranges of the Plateau, such as Ute Mountain
Mountain
and the Carrizo Mountains, both near the Four Corners, are cored by igneous rocks that were emplaced about 70 million years ago. Minor uplift events continued through the start of the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
era and were accompanied by some basaltic lava eruptions and mild deformation. The colorful Claron Formation
Claron Formation
that forms the delicate hoodoos of Bryce Amphitheater and Cedar Breaks was then laid down as sediments in cool streams and lakes (see geology of the Bryce Canyon area for details). The flat-lying Chuska Sandstone was deposited about 34 million years ago; the sandstone is predominantly of eolian origin and locally more than 500 meters thick. The Chuska Sandstone caps the Chuska mountains, and it lies unconformably on Mesozoic
Mesozoic
rocks deformed during the Laramide orogeny. Younger igneous rocks form spectacular topographic features. The Henry Mountains, La Sal Range, and Abajo Mountains, ranges that dominate many views in southeastern Utah, are formed about igneous rocks that were intruded in the interval from 20 to 31 million years: some igneous intrusions in these mountains form laccoliths, a form of intrusion recognized by Grove Karl Gilbert
Grove Karl Gilbert
during his studies of the Henry Mountains. Ship Rock (also called Shiprock), in northwestern New Mexico, and Church Rock and Agathla, near Monument Valley, are erosional remnants of potassium-rich igneous rocks and associated breccias of the Navajo Volcanic Field, produced about 25 million years ago. The Hopi Buttes in northeastern Arizona
Arizona
are held up by resistant sheets of sodic volcanic rocks, extruded about 7 million years ago. More recent igneous rocks are concentrated nearer the margins of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. The San Francisco Peaks
San Francisco Peaks
near Flagstaff, south of the Grand Canyon, are volcanic landforms produced by igneous activity that began in that area about 6 million years ago and continued until 1064 C.E., when basalt erupted in Sunset Crater National Monument. Mount Taylor, near Grants, New Mexico, is a volcanic structure with a history similar to that of the San Francisco Peaks: a basalt flow closer to Grants was extruded only about 3000 years ago (see El Malpais National Monument). These young igneous rocks may record processes in the Earth's mantle that are eating away at deep margins of the relatively stable block of the Plateau. Tectonic activity resumed in Mid Cenozoic
Cenozoic
time and started to unevenly uplift and slightly tilt the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
region and the region to the west some 20 million years ago (as much as 3 kilometers of uplift occurred). Streams had their gradient increased and they responded by downcutting faster. Headward erosion
Headward erosion
and mass wasting helped to erode cliffs back into their fault-bounded plateaus, widening the basins in-between. Some plateaus have been so severely reduced in size this way that they become mesas or even buttes. Monoclines form as a result of uplift bending the rock units. Eroded monoclines leave steeply tilted resistant rock called a hogback and the less steep version is a cuesta.

Cliffs of Navajo Sandstone
Navajo Sandstone
in Zion National Park

Great tension developed in the crust, probably related to changing plate motions far to the west. As the crust stretched, the Basin and Range province broke up into a multitude of down-dropped valleys and elongate mountains. Major faults, such as the Hurricane Fault, developed that separate the two regions. The dry climate was in large part a rainshadow effect resulting from the rise of the Sierra Nevada further west. Yet for some reason not fully understood, the neighboring Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
was able to preserve its structural integrity and remained a single tectonic block.[5] A second mystery was that while the lower layers of the Plateau appeared to be sinking, overall the Plateau
Plateau
was rising. The reason for this was discovered upon analyzing data from the USARRAY project. It was found that the asthenosphere had invaded the overlying lithosphere, as a result of an area of mantle upwelling stemming from either the disintegration of the descending Farallon Plate, or the survival of the subducted spreading center connected to the East Pacific Rise and Gorda Ridge
Gorda Ridge
beneath western North America, or possibly both. The asthenosphere erodes the lower levels of the Plateau. At the same time, as it cools, it expands and lifts the upper layers of the Plateau.[6] Eventually, the great block of Colorado Plateau
Plateau
crust rose a kilometer higher than the Basin and Range. As the land rose, the streams responded by cutting ever deeper stream channels. The most well-known of these streams, the Colorado
Colorado
River, began to carve the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
less than 6 million years ago.[5] The Pleistocene
Pleistocene
epoch brought periodic ice ages and a cooler, wetter climate. This increased erosion at higher elevations with the introduction of alpine glaciers while mid-elevations were attacked by frost wedging and lower areas by more vigorous stream scouring. Pluvial lakes also formed during this time. Glaciers and pluvial lakes disappeared and the climate warmed and became drier with the start of Holocene
Holocene
epoch. Energy generation[edit]

Castle Gate Power Plant
Castle Gate Power Plant
near Helper, UT.

Coal
Coal
mine in Carbon County, UT.

Oil well
Oil well
in the Uinta Basin, Utah.

Electrical power generation is one of the major industries that takes place in the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
region. Most electrical generation comes from coal fired power plants. Natural resources[edit] Petroleum[edit] The rocks of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
are a source of oil and a major source of natural gas. Major petroleum deposits are present in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico
New Mexico
and Colorado, the Uinta Basin
Uinta Basin
of Utah, the Piceance Basin
Piceance Basin
of Colorado, and the Paradox Basin
Paradox Basin
of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Uranium[edit] Main article: Uranium
Uranium
mining in Utah The Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
holds major uranium deposits, and there was a uranium boom in the 1950s. The Atlas Uranium
Uranium
Mill near Moab has left a problematic tailings pile for cleanup, which is soon to happen. Coal[edit] Major coal deposits are being mined in the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, though large coal mining projects, such as on the Kaiparowits Plateau, have been proposed and defeated politically. The ITT Power Project, eventually located in Lynndyl, Utah, near Delta, was originally suggested for Salt Wash near Capitol Reef
Reef
National Park. After a firestorm of opposition, it was moved to a less beloved site. In Utah
Utah
the largest deposits are in aptly named Carbon County. In Arizona
Arizona
the biggest operation is on Black Mesa, supplying coal to Navajo Power Plant. Gilsonite and uintaite[edit] Perhaps the only one of its kind, a gilsonite plant near Bonanza, southeast of Vernal, Utah, mines this unique, lustrous, brittle form of asphalt, for use in "varnishes, paints,...ink, waterproofing compounds, electrical insulation,...roofing materials."[7] Scenic beauty[edit] The scenic appeal of this unique landscape had become, well before the end of the twentieth century, its greatest financial natural resource. The amount of commercial benefit to the four states of the Colorado Plateau
Plateau
from tourism exceeded that of any other natural resource.[citation needed] Protected lands[edit]

North Rim
North Rim
of the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
National Park, Arizona.

Painted Desert
Desert
seen from Blue Mesa, Petrified Forest National Park

Erosional features within Glen Canyon
Canyon
National Recreation Area.

Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
at Mesa
Mesa
Verde National Park, Colorado.

This relatively high semi-arid province produces many distinctive erosional features such as arches, arroyos, canyons, cliffs, fins, natural bridges, pinnacles, hoodoos, and monoliths that, in various places and extents, have been protected. Also protected are areas of historic or cultural significance, such as the pueblos of the Anasazi culture. There are nine U.S. National Parks, a National Historical Park, sixteen U.S. National Monuments and dozens of wilderness areas in the province along with millions of acres in U.S. National Forests, many state parks, and other protected lands. In fact, this region has the highest concentration of parklands in North America.[3]:365 Lake Powell, in foreground, is not a natural lake but a reservoir impounded by Glen Canyon
Canyon
Dam. National parks (from south to north to south clockwise):

Petrified Forest National Park Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
National Park Zion National Park Bryce Canyon
Canyon
National Park Capitol Reef
Reef
National Park Canyonlands National Park Arches National Park Black Canyon
Canyon
of the Gunnison National Park Mesa
Mesa
Verde National Park Chaco Culture National Historical Park

National monuments (alphabetical):

Aztec Ruins National Monument Bears Ears National Monument Canyon
Canyon
de Chelly National Monument Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Cedar Breaks National Monument Colorado
Colorado
National Monument Dinosaur National Monument Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument El Malpais National Monument El Morro National Monument Hovenweep National Monument Navajo National Monument Natural Bridges National Monument Rainbow Bridge National Monument Sunset Crater National Monument Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Walnut Canyon
Canyon
National Monument Wupatki National Monument

Wilderness areas (alphabetical):

Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Beaver Dam Mountains Wilderness Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Cebolla Wilderness Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Box-Death Hollow Wilderness Cottonwood Point Wilderness Dark Canyon
Canyon
Wilderness Escudilla Wilderness Flat Tops Wilderness Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness Kachina Peaks Wilderness Kanab Creek
Kanab Creek
Wilderness Kendrick Mountain
Mountain
Wilderness Lizard Head Wilderness Mount Baldy Wilderness Mount Logan Wilderness Mount Trumbull Wilderness Ojito Wilderness Paiute Wilderness Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Pine Valley Mountain
Mountain
Wilderness Saddle Mountain
Mountain
Wilderness South San Juan Wilderness Mount Sneffels Wilderness Strawberry Crater Wilderness Uncompahgre Wilderness High Uintas Wilderness Weminuche Wilderness West Malpais Wilderness

Other notable protected areas include: Barringer Crater, Dead Horse Point State Park, Glen Canyon
Canyon
National Recreation Area, Goblin Valley State Park, Goosenecks State Park, the Grand Gulch Primitive Area, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Monument Valley, and the San Rafael Swell. Sedona, Arizona
Arizona
and Oak Creek Canyon
Canyon
lie on the south-central border of the Plateau. Many but not all of the Sedona area's cliff formations are protected as wilderness. The area has the visual appeal of a national park, but with a small, rapidly growing town in the center. See also[edit]

Deserts Rocky Mountains Mojave Desert Great Basin Sonoran Desert

References[edit]

^ " Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
plateau, United States". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-05.  ^ Leighty, Robert D. (2001). " Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
Physiographic Province". Contract Report. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DOD) Information Sciences Office. Archived from the original on 2004-09-26. Retrieved 2007-12-25.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kiver, Eugene P.; Harris, David V. (1999). Geology
Geology
of U.S. Parklands (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-33218-6.  ^ Crampton, Gregory (1964). Standing Up Country. New York: Alfred Knopf. pp. 43–46.  ^ a b c  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document: " Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
Province". Geologic Provinces of the United States. Retrieved 2017-07-04.  ^ "Why is the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
Rising?". Geology.com. Archived from the original on 2011-05-05. Retrieved 9 May 2011.  ^ Utah: A Guide to the State. 1982. p. 590. 

Further reading[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Colorado
Colorado
Plateau.

Prickly pear cactus are common throughout the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
region.

Baars, Donald L. (1972). Red Rock Country: The Geologic History of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-01341-8.  Baars, Donald L. (2002). Traveler's Guide to the Geology
Geology
of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. University of Utah
Utah
Press. ISBN 0-87480-715-8.  Baldridge, W. Scott (2004). Geology
Geology
of the American Southwest: A Journey Through Two Billion Years of Plate-Tectonic History. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01666-5.  Fillmore, Robert (2011). Geological Evolution of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau of Eastern Utah
Utah
and Western Colorado. University of Utah
Utah
Press. ISBN 978-1-60781-004-9.  Harris, Ann G.; Tuttle, Esther; Tuttle, Sherwood D. (1997). Geology
Geology
of National Parks (Fifth ed.). Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing. pp. 2–3, 19–20, 25. ISBN 0-7872-5353-7.  Plummer, Charles C.; McGeary, David; Carlson, Diane H. (1999). Physical Geology
Geology
(Eighth ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. p. 320. ISBN 0-697-37404-1.  Stanley, Steven M. (1999). Earth System History. W.H. Freeman and Company. pp. 511–513, 537. ISBN 0-7167-2882-6.  Foos, Annabelle. Geology
Geology
of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau
Plateau
(PDF). National Park Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-06-10. Retrieved 2005-12-21.  Roylance, Ward (1982). Utah: A Guide to the State. Salt Lake
Lake
City: Utah: A Guide to the State Foundation. OL 3508093M.  Look, Al (1947). A Thousand Million Years on the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. Golden Bell Publications. OCLC 254673147.  Trimble, Stephen (1979). The Bright Edge: A Guide to the National Parks of the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau. Museum of Northern Arizona
Arizona
Press. OCLC 768218015. 

Links to related articles

v t e

Colorado
Colorado
River system

Jurisdictions

United States

Arizona California Colorado Nevada New Mexico Utah Wyoming

Mexico

Baja California Sonora

Canyons

Byers Canyon Gore Canyon Red Gorge Glenwood Canyon De Beque Canyon Horsethief Canyon Ruby Canyon Westwater Canyon Cataract Canyon Narrow Canyon Glen Canyon Grand Canyon

Marble Canyon Granite Gorge Middle Granite Gorge Lower Granite Gorge

Grand Wash Canyon Iceberg Canyon Virgin Canyon Boulder Canyon Black Canyon Pyramid Canyon Mohave Canyon

Natural features

River course Rocky Mountains Colorado
Colorado
River Basin Colorado
Colorado
Plateau Grand Lake Horseshoe Bend Sonoran Desert Mojave Desert Lower Colorado
Colorado
River Valley Mohave Valley Parker Valley Palo Verde Valley Colorado
Colorado
Desert Alamo River New River Salton Sea Imperial Valley Delta Montague Island Gulf of California/Sea of Cortez

Tributaries

Blue River Dirty Devil River Dolores River Escalante River Eagle River Fraser River Gila River Green River Gunnison River Kanab Creek Little Colorado
Colorado
River Paria River Roaring Fork River San Juan River Thunder River/Tapeats Creek Virgin River Las Vegas Wash Williams Fork Río Hardy

Engineering

Mainstem dams

Shadow Mountain Granby Windy Gap Grand Valley Price-Stubb Glen Canyon Hoover Davis Parker Headgate Rock Palo Verde Imperial Laguna Morelos

Major reservoirs

Fontenelle Reservoir Flaming Gorge Reservoir Blue Mesa
Mesa
Reservoir Navajo Lake Lake
Lake
Powell Lake
Lake
Mead Lake
Lake
Mohave Lake
Lake
Havasu Imperial Reservoir Theodore Roosevelt Lake San Carlos Lake

Aqueducts and canals

Grand Ditch Colorado
Colorado
River Aqueduct San Diego Aqueduct Central Arizona
Arizona
Project All-American Canal Coachella Canal

Water projects

Boulder Canyon
Canyon
Project Colorado-Big Thompson Project Colorado
Colorado
River Storage Project Grand Valley AVA Yuma Project

Designated areas

Arches National Park Canyonlands National Park Colorado
Colorado
National Monument Dead Horse Point State Park Glen Canyon
Canyon
National Recreation Area Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
National Park Lake
Lake
Mead National Recreation Area Rocky Mountain
Mountain
National Park

Related topics

Arizona
Arizona
v. California Colorado
Colorado
River Board of California Colorado
Colorado
River Compact Floyd Dominy Lee's Ferry International Boundary and Water Commission Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Rapids and features U.S. Bureau of Reclamation William Mulholland

v t e

Geography
Geography
topics

History Index Outline

Branches

Human

Agricultural Behavioral Cultural Development Economic Health Historical Political Population Settlement

Regional Urban

Physical

Biogeography

Ecology Phytogeography Zoogeography

Coastal / Oceanography Earth science

Atmospheric science
Atmospheric science
/ Meteorology Environmental science Climatology
Climatology
/ Paleoclimatology
Paleoclimatology
/ Palaeogeography Geobiology Geophysics
Geophysics
/ Geodesy

Earth system science Geomorphology
Geomorphology
/ Geology Glaciology Hydrology
Hydrology
/ Limnology Pedology (Edaphology/Soil science) Quaternary science

Integrated

Integrated / Environmental

Environmental social science Environmental studies Landscape architecture Landscape ecology

Time geography

Techniques and tools

Geoinformatics
Geoinformatics
/ Geomathematics

Cartography Geologic modelling Geostatistics Geographic information system

Geochronology Geomatics Hydrography

Photogrammetry Remote sensing

Institutions

Geographic data and information organizations Geographical societies Geoscience societies National mapping agency

Education

Geography
Geography
education

Geo-literacy International Geography
Geography
Olympiad MSc in Geographic Information Science/Systems Spatial citizenship

Category Portal Commons WikiProject

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World
World
deserts

Desert Desertification List of deserts List of deserts by area

Africa

Algerian Bayuda Blue Chalbi Danakil Djurab Eastern Ferlo Farafra (White) Kalahari Libyan Moçâmedes Namib Nubian Nyiri Owami Richtersveld Sahara Tanezrouft Ténéré Western

Asia

Ad-Dahna Akshi Arabian Aral Karakum Aralkum Badain Jaran Betpak-Dala Cholistan Dasht-e Kavir Dasht-e Khash Dasht-e Leili Dasht-e Loot Dasht-e Margo Dasht-e Naomid Gurbantünggüt Gobi Hami Indus Valley Judaean Karakum Katpana Kharan Kumtag Kyzylkum Lop Maranjab Muyunkum Nefud Negev Polond Ordos Qaidam Ramlat al-Sab'atayn Rub' al Khali Russian Arctic Registan Saryesik-Atyrau Syrian Taklamakan Tengger Thal Thar Ustyurt Plateau Wahiba Sands

Australia

Gibson Great Sandy Great Victoria Little Sandy Nullarbor Plain Painted Pedirka Simpson Strzelecki Sturt's Stony Tanami Tirari

Europe

Accona Bardenas Reales Błędów Cabo de Gata Deliblatska Peščara Hálendi Monegros Oleshky Oltenian Sahara Ryn Stranja Tabernas

North America

Alvord Amargosa Baja California Black Rock Carcross Carson Channeled scablands Chihuahuan Colorado Escalante Forty Mile Gran Desierto de Altar Great Basin Great Salt Lake Great Sandy Jornada del Muerto Kaʻū Lechuguilla Mojave North American Arctic Owyhee Painted Desert Red Desert Sevier Smoke Creek Sonoran Tonopah Desert Tule (Arizona) Tule (Nevada) Yp Yuha Yuma

South America

Atacama La Guajira Los Médanos de Coro Monte Patagonian Sechura Tatacoa

Zealandia

Rangipo Desert

Polar Regions

Antarctica Arctic Greenland North American Arctic Russian Arctic

Project Category Commons

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 State of Colorado

Denver
Denver
(capital)

Topics

Index Coloradans Elections Federal lands Geography Government Highways History

Timeline

Images Law Military Mountains Museums Public Defender Paleontology Rivers Symbols Transportation Tourist attractions

Seal of Colorado

Society

Crime Culture Demographics Economy Education Politics Sports

Regions

Central Colorado Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area Eastern Plains Front Range Grand Valley High Plains High Rockies Mineral
Mineral
Belt Northern Colorado Northwestern Colorado Piedmont Plateau Roan Plateau Roaring Fork Valley San Luis Valley Sangre de Cristo Mountains South-Central Colorado Southwest Colorado Uinta Mountains Uintah Basin Western Slope

Municipalities

Akron Alamosa Arvada Aspen Aurora Boulder Breckenridge Brighton Broomfield Cañon City Castle Rock Centennial Colorado
Colorado
Springs Commerce City Cortez Craig Delta Denver Durango Englewood Erie Evans Fairplay Federal Heights Fort Collins Fort Morgan Fountain Golden Glenwood Springs Grand Junction Greeley Greenwood Village Gunnison La Junta Lafayette Lakewood Lamar Leadville Littleton Longmont Louisville Loveland Montrose Northglenn Parker Platteville Pueblo Salida Steamboat Springs Sterling Superior Thornton Trinidad Vail Westminster Wheat Ridge Windsor

Counties

Adams Alamosa Arapahoe Archuleta Baca Bent Boulder Broomfield Chaffee Cheyenne Clear Creek Conejos Costilla Crowley Custer Delta Denver Dolores Douglas Eagle El Paso Elbert Fremont Garfield Gilpin Grand Gunnison Hinsdale Huerfano Jackson Jefferson Kiowa Kit Carson La Plata Lake Larimer Las Animas Lincoln Logan Mesa Mineral Moffat Montezuma Montrose Morgan Otero Ouray Park Phillips Pitkin Prowers Pueblo Rio Blanco Rio Grande Routt Saguache San Juan San Miguel Sedgwick Summit Teller Washington Weld Yuma

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 State of Utah

Salt Lake
Lake
City (capital)

Topics

Cities Congressional districts Counties Flag Geography Government Governors Healthcare History People Portal State fair Symbols Tourist attractions

Society

Culture Crime Demographics Economy Education Politics

Regions

Cache Valley Colorado
Colorado
Plateau Dixie Great Basin Great Salt Lake Great Salt Lake
Lake
Desert Mojave Desert Monument Valley San Rafael Swell Uinta Basin Uinta Mountains Wasatch Back Wasatch Front Wasatch Range

Largest cities

American Fork Bountiful Cedar City Clearfield Cottonwood Heights Draper Holladay Kaysville Layton Lehi Logan Midvale Millcreek Murray Ogden Orem Pleasant Grove Provo Riverton Roy St. George Salt Lake
Lake
City Sandy South Jordan South Salt Lake Spanish Fork Springville Taylorsville Tooele West Jordan West Valley City

Counties

Beaver Box Elder Cache Carbon Daggett Davis Duchesne Emery Garfield Grand Iron Juab Kane Millard Morgan Piute Rich Salt Lake San Juan Sanpete Sevier Summit Tooele Uintah Utah Wasatch Washington Wayne Weber

Attractions

Festivals

America's Freedom Festival Sundance Film Festival Utah
Utah
Shakespeare Festival

National Monuments

Bears Ears National Monument Cedar Breaks National Monument Dinosaur National Monument Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Hovenweep National Monument Natural Bridges National Monument Rainbow Bridge National Monument Timpanogos Cave National Monument

National parks

Arches National Park Bryce Canyon
Canyon
National Park Canyonlands National Park Capitol Reef
Reef
National Park Zion National Park

National Recreation Areas

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Glen Canyon
Canyon
National Recreation Area

Ski resorts

Alta Ski Area Beaver Mountain Brian Head Ski Resort Brighton Ski Resort Cherry Peak Resort Deer Valley Park City Mountain
Mountain
Resort Powder Mountain Snowbasin Snowbird Ski Resort Solitude Mountain
Mountain
Resort Sundance Resort Wolf Mountain

Other

Bonneville Salt Flats Golden Spike National Historic Site Great Salt Lake Lagoon (amusement park) Temple Square

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 State of Arizona

Phoenix (capital)

Topics

Index Climate Delegations Geography Government

Constitution Governor Legislature

History

World
World
War II

Museums Music People Transportation Tourist attractions

Society

Culture Crime Demographics Economy Education Politics

Regions

Arizona
Arizona
Strip Arizona
Arizona
Sun Corridor Coconino Plateau Colorado
Colorado
Plateau Grand Canyon Kaibab Plateau Mogollon Plateau Mogollon Rim Mojave Desert Monument Valley North Central Arizona Northeast Arizona Northern Arizona Oak Creek Canyon Phoenix Metropolitan Area Safford area San Francisco Volcanic Field Sonoran Desert Southern Arizona
Arizona
(Traditional Arizona) Transition zone Verde Valley White Mountains

Counties

Apache Cochise Coconino Gila Graham Greenlee La Paz Maricopa Mohave Navajo Pima Pinal Santa Cruz Yavapai Yuma

Cities

Buckeye Casa Grande Chandler Flagstaff Gilbert Glendale Kingman Lake
Lake
Havasu City Mesa Peoria Phoenix Prescott Scottsdale Sierra Vista Tempe Tucson Yuma

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 State of New Mexico

Santa Fe (capital)

Topics

Index Delegations Geography Government History

World
World
War II

Landmarks Military Nuevomexicanos New Mexicans Paleontology Municipalities Census-designated places Symbols Transportation Tribes Tourist attractions New Mexican cuisine

Seal of New Mexico

Society

Crime Culture Demographics Economy Education Politics

Regions

Central New Mexico Colorado
Colorado
Plateau Eastern New Mexico Llano Estacado Northern New Mexico Permian
Permian
Basin San Luis Valley Sangre de Cristo Mountains Southwestern New Mexico

Cities

Alamogordo Albuquerque Artesia Carlsbad Clovis Corrales Deming Española Farmington Gallup Grants Hobbs Las Cruces Las Vegas Los Alamos Los Lunas Lovington Portales Raton Rio Rancho Roswell Ruidoso Santa Fe Silver City Socorro Sunland Park Taos Tucumcari

Counties

See: List of counties in New Mexico

Bernalillo Catron Chaves Cibola Colfax Curry De Baca Doña Ana Eddy Grant Guadalupe Harding Hidalgo Lea Lincoln Los Alamos Luna McKinley Mora Otero Quay Rio Arriba Roosevelt San Juan San Miguel Sandoval Santa Fe Sierra Socorro Taos Torrance Union Valencia

Coordinates: 37°N 110°W / 37°N 110°W / 37; -110

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 233666076 LCCN: sh85028

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