The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada

Open-File Report 2018-1005
By: , and 

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Abstract

Understanding the evolution of the Colorado River system has direct implications for (1) the processes and timing of continental-scale river system integration, (2) the formation of iconic landscapes like those in and around Grand Canyon, and (3) the availability of groundwater resources. Spatial patterns in the position and type of Colorado River deposits, only discernible through geologic mapping, can be used to test models related to Colorado River evolution. This is particularly true downstream from Grand Canyon where ancestral Colorado River deposits are well-exposed. We are principally interested in (1) regional patterns in the minimum and maximum elevation of each depositional unit, which are affected by depositional mechanism and postdepositional deformation; and (2) the volume of each unit, which reflects regional changes in erosion, transport efficiency, and accommodation space. The volume of Colorado River deposits below Grand Canyon has implications for groundwater resources, as the primary regional aquifer there is composed of those deposits. To this end, we are presently mapping Colorado River deposits and compiling and updating older mapping. This preliminary data release shows the current status of our mapping and compilation efforts. We plan to update it at regular intervals in conjunction with ongoing mapping.

Suggested Citation

Crow, R.S., Block, D., Felger, T.J., House, P.K., Pearthree, P.A., Gootee, B.F., Youberg, A.M., Howard, K.A., and Beard, L.S., 2018, The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1005, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181005.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Background
  • Methods
  • References

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2018-1005
DOI 10.3133/ofr20181005
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description Report: iii, 6 p.; Geodatabase
Country United States
State Arizona, California, Nevada
Other Geospatial Colorado River
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y