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Colorado Geology

This guide will help you begin your research in Colorado Geology through the library's collections and beyond.

Colorado Geology

Fountain Formation; Colorado geology; Fountain Valley TrailColorado's rock formations range from Precambrian granites exposed in the Rocky Mountains to Quaternary deposits from the latest episodes of erosion and glaciation. The State can be generally divided into (east to west):

  • High Plains
  • Piedmont
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Plateaus of the Western Slope
  • Volcanic deposits of the San Juan and Elk mountains and White River Plateau

(Fountain Valley Trail; 2011; Greg Willis, photographer.)

Top Picks

Geology is usually specific to a site, so make use of geographic keywords (county, quadrangle) or the names of formations in your search. Geology Top Picks lists our top geology databases. In addition, for Colorado try:

Colorado Geological Survey

Colorado Scientific Society -- for local field guides

Field Trip Guidebook, Geological Society of America Centennial Meeting, Denver, Colorado (1988). Holden, Gregory S.

Geology of Colorado and Western Ore Deposits (1893). Lakes, Arthur.

On Golden and Jefferson County

I-70 roadcut, with North and South Table Mountins in background; Jefferson County

Guide to the geology of the Golden area (1938). Van Tuyl, F. M.; Johnson, J. Harlan; Waldschmidt, W. A.; Boyd, James; Parker, Ben H. Quarterly of the Colorado School of Mines 33(3) p. 5-32.

Introduction to the geology of the Golden area, Colorado (1934). Johnson, J. Harlan. Quarterly of the Colorado School of Mines 29(4) p. 7-36.

Table Mountain lavas and associated igneous rocks near Golden, Colorado (1939). Waldschmidt, W. A. Quarterly of the Colorado School of Mines 34(3) p. 3-62.

Evaluating Sources for Credibility