Thursday, October 9, 2008

Entrenched Meanders at Dead Horse Point

Approximately 10 million years ago, the area now known as the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. It was uplifted by tectonic activity which lifted the area approximately 10 thousand feet in 10 million years. This is a significant amount of uplift in a short period of time. At that time (10 million years ago) the Colorado River was near its base level. Being near its base level, it began to meander. When the Colorado Plateau was uplifted, it caused the river to begin cutting through the underlying rock. As the river attempted to reach its base level, the land was continuously being uplifted. This caused the Colorado River to scour deep trenches into the underlying rock. As the river continued to cut down further into the rock, they became entrenched by the rock. As you can see in the picture, the Colorado River is meandering, and also notice the rock face on each side of the river hundreds of feet high. 

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