Denver Basin Paleosol
Paint Mines Interpretive Park

In the area south and southeast of Denver, you may see a distinctive brilliant red to purple horizon about 15–30 feet thick in scattered outcrops and wells. This unit represents ancient soil called paleosol. It formed on a land surface during a pause in the uplift of the Rocky Mountains. Although the precise timing remains unclear, the soil formed near the end of the Paleocene or in the earliest Eocene. The red, clay-rich deposits are ideal for brick making, and many of the clay pits used by the brick industry occur in this zone. To see spectacular, vividly colored outcrops of paleosol, visit the newly formed Paint Mines Interpretive Park near Calhan.
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