A structural basin is a large-scale structural formation of rock strata formed by tectonic warping of previously flat-lying strata. Structural basins are geological depressions, and are the inverse of domes. Some elongated structural basins are also known as synclines. Structural basins may also be sedimentary basins, which are aggregations of sediment that filled up a depression or accumulated in an area; however, many structural basins were formed by tectonic events long after the sedimentary layers were deposited.
Basins may appear on a geologic map as roughly circular or elliptical, with concentric layers. Because the strata dip toward the center, the exposed strata in a basin are progressively younger from the outside in, with the youngest rocks in the center. Basins are often large in areal extent, often hundreds of kilometers across.
Structural basins are often important sources of coal, petroleum, and groundwater.
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The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range and the largest mountain system in North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch 3,000 mi (4,800 km) in straight-line distance from the northernmost part of western Canada, to New Mexico in southwestern United States. Depending on differing definitions between Canada and the United States, its northern terminus is located either in northern British Columbia's Terminal Range south of the Liard River and east of the Trench, or in the northeastern foothills of the Brooks Range/British Mountains that face the Beaufort Sea coasts between the Canning River and the Firth River across the Alaska-Yukon border. Its southernmost point is near the Albuquerque area adjacent to the Rio Grande Basin and north of the Sandia–Manzano Mountain Range. Being the easternmost portion of the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are distinct from the tectonically younger Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, which both lie farther to its west.
An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. The terms scarp and scarp face are often used interchangeably with escarpment.
Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water. They are characterized by steep slopes, minimal vegetation, lack of a substantial regolith, and high drainage density. Canyons, ravines, gullies, buttes, mesas, hoodoos and other such geologic forms are common in badlands. They are often difficult to navigate by foot. Badlands often have a spectacular color display that alternates, for example, from dark black/blue coal strata to bright clays to red scoria.
The Entrada Sandstone is a formation in the San Rafael Group found in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Colorado, northwest New Mexico, northeast Arizona, and southeast Utah. Part of the Colorado Plateau, this formation was deposited during the Jurassic period sometime between 180 and 140 million years ago in various environments, including tidal mudflats, beaches, and sand dunes. The Middle Jurassic San Rafael Group was dominantly deposited as ergs in a desert environment around the shallow Sundance Sea.
The Llano Uplift is a geologically ancient, low geologic dome that is about 90 miles (140 km) in diameter and located mostly in Llano, Mason, San Saba, Gillespie, and Blanco counties, Texas. It consists of an island-like exposure of Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks surrounded by outcrops of Paleozoic and Cretaceous sedimentary strata. At their widest, the exposed Precambrian rocks extend about 65 miles (105 km) westward from the valley of the Colorado River and beneath a broad, gentle topographic basin drained by the Llano River. The subdued topographic basin is underlain by Precambrian rocks and bordered by a discontinuous rim of flat-topped hills. These hills are the dissected edge of the Edwards Plateau, which consist of overlying Cretaceous sedimentary strata. Within this basin and along its margin are down-faulted blocks and erosional remnants of Paleozoic strata which form prominent hills.
A salt dome is a type of structural dome formed when a thick bed of evaporite minerals found at depth intrudes vertically into surrounding rock strata, forming a diapir. It is important in petroleum geology because salt structures are impermeable and can lead to the formation of a stratigraphic trap.
A laccolith is a sheet-like intrusion that has been injected within or between layers of sedimentary rock. The pressure of the magma is high enough that the overlying strata are forced upward and folded, giving the laccolith a dome or mushroom-like form with a generally planar base. Over time, erosion can form small hills and even mountains around a central peak since the magma rock is likely more resistant to weathering than the host rock. The growth of laccoliths can take as little as a few months when associated with a single magma injection event, or up to hundreds or thousands of years by multiple magmatic pulses stacking sills on top of each other and deforming the host rock incrementally.
The Morrison Formation is a distinctive sequence of Upper Jurassic sedimentary rock found in the western United States which has been the most fertile source of dinosaur fossils in North America. It is composed of mudstone, sandstone, siltstone, and limestone and is light gray, greenish gray, or red. Most of the fossils occur in the green siltstone beds and lower sandstones, relics of the rivers and floodplains of the Jurassic period.
The Sevier orogeny was a mountain-building event that affected western North America from northern Canada to the north to Mexico to the south.
The Kaibab Limestone is a resistant cliff-forming, Permian geologic formation that crops out across the U.S. states of northern Arizona, southern Utah, east central Nevada and southeast California. It is also known as the Kaibab Formation in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The Kaibab Limestone forms the rim of the Grand Canyon. In the Big Maria Mountains, California, the Kaibab Limestone is highly metamorphosed and known as the Kaibab Marble.
The Paradox Basin is an asymmetric foreland basin located mostly in southeast Utah and southwest Colorado, but extending into northeast Arizona and northwest New Mexico. The basin is a large elongate northwest to southeast oriented depression formed during the late Paleozoic Era. The basin is bordered on the east by the tectonically uplifted Uncompahgre Plateau, on the northwest by the San Rafael Swell and on the west by the Circle Cliffs Uplift.
Elimia tenera, formerly known as Goniobasis tenera, is an extinct species of freshwater snail with an operculum, in the aquatic gastropod mollusk family Pleuroceridae. This species flourished during the Eocene and is now known only from the fossil record.
Regional geology is the geological study of large-scale regions. Usually, it encompasses multiple geological disciplines to piece together the history of an area. It is the geologic equivalent of regional geography. The size and the borders of each region are defined by geologically significant boundaries and by the occurrence of geologic processes. Examples of geologically significant boundaries are the interfingering facies change in sedimentary deposits when discussing a sedimentary basin system, or the leading or boundary thrust of an orogen.
Living Legends, originally the Lamanite Generation, is a song and dance performing group at Brigham Young University made up of performers of Native American, Polynesian and Hispanic or Latino origin. They perform dances that originate in these cultures as well. Living Legends was formed in 1971 by Janie Thompson.
The Wasatch Formation (Tw) is an extensive highly fossiliferous geologic formation stretching across several basins in Idaho, Montana Wyoming, Utah and western Colorado. It preserves fossils dating back to the Early Eocene period. The formation defines the Wasatchian or Lostcabinian, a period of time used within the NALMA classification, but the formation ranges in age from the Clarkforkian to Bridgerian.
The geology of Colorado was assembled from island arcs accreted onto the edge of the ancient Wyoming Craton. The Sonoma orogeny uplifted the ancestral Rocky Mountains in parallel with the diversification of multicellular life. Shallow seas covered the regions, followed by the uplift current Rocky Mountains and intense volcanic activity. Colorado has thick sedimentary sequences with oil, gas and coal deposits, as well as base metals and other minerals.
Junggar Basin is one of the largest sedimentary basins in Northwest China. It is located in Xinjiang, and enclosed by the Tarbagatai Mountains of Kazakhstan in the northwest, the Altai Mountains of Mongolia in the northeast, and the Heavenly Mountains in the south. The geology of Junggar Basin mainly consists of sedimentary rocks underlain by igneous and metamorphic basement rocks. The basement of the basin was largely formed during the development of the Pangea supercontinent during complex tectonic events from Precambrian to late Paleozoic time. The basin developed as a series of foreland basins – in other words, basins developing immediately in front of growing mountain ranges – from Permian time to the Quaternary period. The basin's preserved sedimentary records show that the climate during the Mesozoic era was marked by a transition from humid to arid conditions as monsoonal climatic effects waned. The Junggar basin is rich in geological resources due to effects of volcanism and sedimentary deposition.
The Santa Fe Group is a group of geologic formations in New Mexico and Colorado. It contains fossils characteristic of the Oligocene through Pleistocene epochs.