Colorado River Origin and Evolution by Richard A. Young

By Richard A. Young

This choice of papers at the geology of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River is an outgrowth of casual conversations between Colorado Plateau geologists over a interval of a number of years.

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And Physa sp. are present in the Claron, suggesting a Paleocene to Eocene age. Palynomorph samples from the Pine Valley Mountains indicate a late AQUARIUS­ . TABLE CLIFF PLATEAU Paleocene age for the basal Claron Formation (Goldstrand, 1991, 1994). Because the upper part of the underlying Pine Hollow Formation is tentatively dated as middle Eocene, based on limited fis­ sion-track analyses, the basal Claron may be no older than middle Eocene on the Table Cliff Plateau. Preliminary mammalian fossil ages from the overlying Brian Head Formation, northwest of the Table Cliff Plateau, indicate that the upper Claron is no younger than latest middle Eocene (Eaton and others, 1999a).

A significant age Figure 2. Apatite fission-track ages collected along a vertical traverse down the Kaibab Trail from Grand Canyon Village to the junction of Bright Angel and Phantom Creeks and part way up the Bright Angel Trail on the north side of the river Error bars are + 2c. discontinuity occurs between the junction of the Little Colorado River and the Colorado River and the Palisades Fault, the eastern boundary moncline, and a series of progressively younger ages obtained down­ fault of the East Kaibab monochne.

And Physa sp. are present in the Claron, suggesting a Paleocene to Eocene age. Palynomorph samples from the Pine Valley Mountains indicate a late AQUARIUS­ . TABLE CLIFF PLATEAU Paleocene age for the basal Claron Formation (Goldstrand, 1991, 1994). Because the upper part of the underlying Pine Hollow Formation is tentatively dated as middle Eocene, based on limited fis­ sion-track analyses, the basal Claron may be no older than middle Eocene on the Table Cliff Plateau. Preliminary mammalian fossil ages from the overlying Brian Head Formation, northwest of the Table Cliff Plateau, indicate that the upper Claron is no younger than latest middle Eocene (Eaton and others, 1999a).

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