Laramide to Holocene structural development of the northern Colorado Front Range

By: , and 
Edited by: David R. Lageson and Alan Lester Trudgill, Bruce



The Rocky Mountain province of the United States is a classic basement-involved foreland orogen. Deformation during the Late Cretaceous to Eocene Laramide orogeny created an anastomosing system of basement-cored arches that bound the northern and eastern margins of the Colorado Plateau and the elliptical sedimentary basins of the Rockies. The tectonic mechanism for Laramide deformation remains controversial, with proposed mechanisms ranging from subcrustal shear during low-angle subduction (Bird, 1988, 1998; Hamilton, 1988) to detachment of the upper crust during plate collision to the west (Oldow and others, 1990; Erslev, 1993). The Rocky Mountains south of Wyoming have the additional complication of a period of mid-Tertiary igneous activity and sedimentation that coincides with Neogene extension along the Rio Grande rift.

This field trip (Fig. 1) will explore the Laramide to Holocene structural development of the southern Rocky Mountains by examining the geologic record exposed in the northern Front Range of Colorado. The Front Range starts north of Canon City, Colorado, and trends north-northwest to Golden, Colorado. North of Golden, the range takes a more northerly trend toward the Wyoming border where it bifurcates into the north-trending Laramie Range (Brewer and others, 1982) and the north-northwest-trending Medicine Bow Range.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Laramide to Holocene structural development of the northern Colorado Front Range
DOI 10.1130/0-8137-0001-9.21
Volume 1
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Publisher location Boulder, CO
Contributing office(s) Denver Federal Center
Description 20 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Colorado and adjacent areas
First page 21
Last page 40
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial Front Range