Paradox Valley, Colorado
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Field Location: Paradox Valley, Colorado (click on link to see photos).
Geologic Feature: Collapsed salt anticline.
Necessary Background Information: Pennsylvanian/Permian global
tectonics, salt tectonics, and climate.
Geologic Problem: What is paradoxical about the Paradox Valley and how
did the valley form?
Rock Units Exposed: Permian Cutler Formation to Jurassic Navajo
Skills: Use of sketches to document and present information. Ability
to trace units and features laterally using subjective characteristics.
Ability to formulate hypotheses based on observations.
Other Questions to Consider: (1) What is the relationship between the
course of the Dolores River and the trend of the Paradox Valley? (2) Which is
older, the river or the valley? (3) Create a sketch of the area that shows
the large-scale features of the rock layers exposed in the sides of the
valley. (4) Create a hypothetical sequence of events that would result in
generation of the dipping layers on each side of the valley, and formation of
the valley itself.
Anticipated Outcomes: Identification and correlation of a series of
stratigraphic units. Recognition of large-scale structural features. Ability
to synthesize interpretations from data.