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Cretaceous pollen in Pliocene rocks: implications for Pliocene climate in the southwestern United States

Geology

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Abstract

Pliocene rocks of the Imperial and Palm Spring Formations in southern California contain reworked Cretaceous pollen that helps determine the timing of erosion of Cretaceous rocks on the Colorado Plateau. The stratigraphic distribution of the pollen suggests that erosion of Cretaceous rocks in the southern part of the Colorado Plateau began by 4.5 Ma, and in the northern part of the plateau at 3.9 Ma. This erosional history indicates that rapid and extensive erosion of the Colorado Plateau occurred during the Pliocene and supports the hypothesis that much of the Grand Canyon was cut during the Pliocene, rather than earlier in the Tertiary. Rapid erosion and transport from the Colorado Plateau require the climate in that region during the Pliocene to have been significantly wetter than it is today. -from Author

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Cretaceous pollen in Pliocene rocks: implications for Pliocene climate in the southwestern United States
Series title:
Geology
Volume
22
Issue:
9
Year Published:
1994
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
787
Last page:
790
Number of Pages:
4