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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