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Grand Junction
 

Grand Junction, Colorado

 
Grand Junction is more than just the mid-way point between Denver and Salt Lake City. This small town on Colorado's western slope is a great place to explore the great outdoors. Home to Colorado National Monument (23,000 acres of windows, arches, and canyons) and Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area, part of the 122,300-acre McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, Grand Junction boasts miles of hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails of varying length and difficulty. But that's not all. Grand Valley, as the broader... Read More area is known, is situated on the banks of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers making it an ideal destination for fishing and rafting, both white water and float trips. And it is a primary stop on the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway. While it may be hard to imagine, this rocky, semi-arid environment on the Uncompahgre Plateau once looked more like the mouth of the Mississippi River with conifers, cycads and ferns. But what makes Grand Junction and the surrounding area a great place to hunt rocks and find bones? Thanks to mountain uplift and erosion the area's geological and paleontological history is today exposed. The Morrison formation, found here, is Late Jurassic sedimentary rock roughly 150 million years old!
Collared Lizard

Collared Lizard

Alfredo De Simone

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

National Park Service

Allosaurus

Allosaurus

Flavia Righetti

Dinosaur Dig

Dinosaur Dig

Alfredo De Simone

 
Sedimentary Rock

Sedimentary rocks are formed when deposits, such as sand, are cemented into stone in a process scientists call lithification. But lithification doesn't happen overnight. It takes lots of pressure and lots and lots of time for deposits to compact and harden into rock. Here's how lithification works. As deposits build up, earlier deposits are buried. The weight from the top layers presses and compacts the deposits below. But for deposits to become sedimentary rock they have to stick together and cement. When liquids, mainly water, pass through the deposits they precipitate leaving behind the minerals they are carrying. The minerals stick to the deposits and cement the pieces together forming sedimentary rock.

 

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