Landscapes are thought to be youthful, particularly those of active orogenic belts. Unaweep Canyon in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, a large gorge drained by two opposite-flowing creeks, is an exception. Its origin has long been enigmatic, but new data indicate that it is an exhumed late Paleozoic landform. Its survival within a region of profound late Paleozoic orogenesis demands a reassessment of tectonic models for the Ancestral Rocky Mountains, and its form and genesis have significant implications for understanding late Paleozoic equatorial climate. This discovery highlights the utility of paleogeomorphology as a tectonic and climatic indicator. ?? 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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An exhumed Late Paleozoic canyon in the rocky mountains