Utilizing Geospatial Technologies to unravel the enigmatic geology of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains

Authors: Daniel Foley*, Northern Arizona University
Topics: Applied Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Earth Science
Keywords: Ancestral Rocky Mountains
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The geologic origin of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains (ARM) of Colorado and adjacent areas has been largely eroded away and remain highly enigmatic with several wide-ranging hypotheses. The main objective of this project is utilize remote sensing and geospatial science to help develop better field work strategies that may better constrain the regional provenance and uplift history across ARM basins as well as provide insight into a structural explanation. This study is designed to integrate new detrital zircon analysis with emerging geospatial technologies that have not been applied regionally in this field area. As a significant portion of the ARM sedimentary stratigraphy has been reactivated and thermally altered by more recent geologic events, this has made utilizing radioisotopic dating difficult to determine an ARM signature. To develop an efficient approach to sampling only certain types and ages of rocks out of all rocks exposed on the surface across five states, significant data analysis utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was performed. This involved geospatial processing and database management of geologic maps from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming to narrow down the best rocks to analyze. This study merges remote sensing GIS analysis with radioisotopic thermochronology and geochronology applications to better understand ancient tectonic problems from the sedimentary record.

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