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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 can be generally divided into (east to west):

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

The age of the rock formations ranges from Precambrian granites exposed in the Rockies to Quaternary deposits from the last episode of glaciation and stream erosion.


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

Top Picks

Geology is usually specific to a site, so try including geographic keywords (county, quadrangle) or the names of formations in your search. Geology Top Picks lists general 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