This project will help us understand the timing of the uplift
of the Front Range. When did those mountains grow anyway? How
did all these rocks accumulate in the Denver Basin and what types
of environments were here in the past? What was it like to have
mountains sprouting in the backyard?
The rocks to be drilled range in age from 50 million years at
the top to 70 million years at the bottom. Fossils from these
times contain information about the last dinosaurs, the extinction
of the dinosaurs, and the early part of the age of mammals when
the world's climate was really warm. The core will allow us to
date these events.
The sequence to be studied also contains the majority of the bedrock
aquifers that provide water for the rapidly growing population
in the central Denver Basin. The well is in an area where relatively
little ground data is available and will provide much needed information
on water quality and aquifer characteristics. The USGS Division
of Water Resources will coordinate the hydrological research on
the well core.
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