United States Department of the Interior
The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U. S. About 75% of federal land is managed by the department. The Department is administered by the United States Secretary of the Interior, the current Secretary is Ryan Zinke. The Inspector General position is vacant, with Mary Kendall serving as acting Inspector General. Despite its name, the Department of the Interior has a different role from that of the ministries of other nations. In the United States, national security and immigration functions are performed by the Department of Homeland Security primarily, the Department of the Interior has often been humorously called The Department of Everything Else because of its broad range of responsibilities. A department for domestic concern was first considered by the 1st United States Congress in 1789, the idea of a separate domestic department continued to percolate for a half-century and was supported by Presidents from James Madison to James Polk.
The 1846–48 Mexican–American War gave the new steam as the responsibilities of federal government grew. Polks Secretary of the Treasury, Robert J. Walker, became a champion of creating the new department. In 1849, Walker stated in his report that several federal offices were placed in departments with which they had little to do. Walker argued that these and other bureaus should be together in a new Department of the Interior. A bill authorizing its creation of the Department passed the House of Representatives on February 15,1849, the Department was established on March 3,1849, the eve of President Zachary Taylors inauguration, when the Senate voted 31 to 25 to create the Department. Its passage was delayed by Democrats in Congress who were reluctant to create more patronage posts for the incoming Whig administration to fill, the first Secretary of the Interior was Thomas Ewing. Many of the concerns the Department originally dealt with were gradually transferred to other Departments. Other agencies became separate Departments, such as the Bureau of Agriculture, however and natural resource management, American Indian affairs, wildlife conservation, and territorial affairs remain the responsibilities of the Department of the Interior.
As of mid-2004, the Department managed 507 million acres of surface land, energy projects on federally managed lands and offshore areas supply about 28% of the nations energy production. Within the Interior Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs handles some federal relations with Native Americans, the current acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs is Lawrence S. Roberts, an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin. Several cases have sought accounting of such funds from the departments of Interior, in addition, some Native American nations have sued the government over water-rights issues and their treaties with the US
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is part of the Western United States and the Mountain West states and it is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix, Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. It has borders with New Mexico, Nevada and Mexico, Arizonas border with Mexico is 389 miles long, on the northern border of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the states to be admitted to the Union. Historically part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, after being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848. The southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase, Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff, Alpine, in addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, and national monuments.
To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like Arissona, the area is still known as alĭ ṣonak in the Oodham language. Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona, as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area, There is a misconception that the states name originated from the Spanish term Árida Zona. See lists of counties, rivers, state parks, national parks, Arizona is in the Southwestern United States as one of the Four Corners states. Arizona is the sixth largest state by area, ranked after New Mexico, of the states 113,998 square miles, approximately 15% is privately owned. The remaining area is public forest and park land, state trust land, Arizona is well known for its desert Basin and Range region in the states southern portions, which is rich in a landscape of xerophyte plants such as the cactus. This regions topography was shaped by volcanism, followed by the cooling-off. Its climate has hot summers and mild winters. The state is well known for its pine-covered north-central portion of the high country of the Colorado Plateau.
Like other states of the Southwest United States, Arizona has an abundance of mountains, despite the states aridity, 27% of Arizona is forest, a percentage comparable to modern-day France or Germany. The worlds largest stand of pine trees is in Arizona
The Piceance Basin is a geologic structural basin in northwestern Colorado, in the United States. It includes geologic formations from Cambrian to Holocene in age, the basin contains reserves of coal, natural gas, and oil shale. The basin has come to increasing attention in recent years because of widespread drilling to extract natural gas. The primary target of gas development has been the Williams Fork Formation of the Mesaverde Group, the Williams Fork is a several-thousand-foot thick section of shale and coal deposited in a coastal plain environment. The formation has long known to contain natural gas. The sandstone reservoirs have low permeability and limited extent, however. Project Rulison, as it was called, was a failure, advances in hydraulic fracturing within the past decade, along with higher gas prices, have made gas wells broadly economic in the area. In 2007 the basin contained five of the top 50 US gas fields in proved reserves, increased gas drilling in recent years has been criticized by some.
There is strong criticism of drilling for gas in previously undeveloped areas such as the Roan Plateau, increasing demand for energy resources has spurred interest in energy alternatives such as oil shale. The Piceance Basin contains one of the thickest and richest oil shale deposits in the world and is the focus of most on-going oil shale research, the Piceance Basin has an estimated 1.525 trillion barrels of in-place oil shale resources. This studyalso found an estimated 43.3 billion tons of in-place nahcolite resources in the Piceance Basin and this mineral is embedded with oil shale in many areas. On 2 April 2009 The U. S. Geological Survey updated its assessment of in-place oil shale resources in the Piceance Basin in western Colorado and this new assessment is about 50 percent larger than the 1989 assessment of about one trillion barrels. Almost all of this increase is due to assessments of new areas and subsurface zones that had too little data for previous research. For the first time in 20 years, we have an assessment of in-place oil shale in the Piceance Basin of Colorado.
The USGS scientific report shows significant quantities of oil locked up in the rocks of the Piceance Basin. I believe it demonstrates the need for our research and development efforts. Oil is obtained when oil shale rock is heated to 530° to 930 °F and these temperatures are required because oil shale does not contain crude oil but instead contains kerogen, which is an organic precursor to oil that must be heated for oil production. The United States Geological Survey has researched the geology of oil shale, especially the extensive Green River deposits of Colorado and Wyoming
Arkose is a detrital sedimentary rock, specifically a type of sandstone containing at least 25% feldspar. Arkosic sand is sand that is rich in feldspar. Quartz is commonly the dominant mineral component, and some mica is often present, apart from the mineral content, rock fragments may be a significant component. Arkose usually contains small amounts of cement, which causes it to fizz slightly in dilute hydrochloric acid. Arkose is typically grey to reddish in colour, the sand grains making up an arkose may range from fine to very coarse, but tend toward the coarser end of the scale. Fossils are rare in arkose, due to the processes that form it. Arkose is generally formed from the weathering of feldspar-rich igneous or metamorphic, most commonly granitic rocks, arkose is often associated with conglomerate deposits sourced from granitic terrain and is often found above unconformities in the immediate vicinity of granite terrains. The central Australian monolith Uluru is composed of late Neoproterozoic/Cambrian arkose, deposited in the Amadeus Basin
San Juan Basin
The San Juan Basin is a geologic structural basin located near the Four Corners region of the Southwestern United States. The basin covers 7,500 square miles and resides in northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, the basin occupies space in the San Juan, Rio Arriba, and McKinley counties in New Mexico, and La Plata and Archuleta counties in Colorado. The basin extends roughly 100 miles N-S and 90 miles E-W, the San Juan Basin is an asymmetric structural depression in the Colorado Plateau province, with varying elevation and nearly 3,000 in topographic relief. Its most striking features include Chaco Canyon and Chacra Mesa, the basin lies west of the Continental Divide, and its main drainage is the southwest- to west-flowing San Juan River, which eventually joins the Colorado River in Utah. Climate of the basin is arid to semiarid, with a precipitation of 15 inches. The San Juan Basin has been a producer of oil and natural gas since the early 20th century, with currently more than 300 oil fields.
As of 2009, cumulative production reached 42.6 trillion cubic feet of gas and 381 million barrels of oil, the area is especially known for gas reservoirs from its coal-bed methane formations. The San Juan Basin contains the largest coal-bed methane field in the world, during the mid-Paleozoic, the San Juan Basin was part of the ancient landmass called Laurentia, this was a supercontinent that contained much of current-day North America. The ancient landmass called Gondwana contained most of the southern continents, during the late-Mississippian, the landmasses of Laurentia and Gondwana collided to form the giant landmass of Pangea. This continental collision resulted in several pivotal orogenic episodes, the collision of supercontinents Gondwana and Laurentia resulted in the Alleghanian and Ouachita orogenies. The Alleghanian Orogeny was the collision of Africa with the current-day southeastern United States, the Ancestral Rockies gave way to the Uncompahgre Mountain Range, which bound the San Juan Basin on the northeast.
During the late Jurassic, continental collision of the Farallon and North American plates resulted in low-angle subduction beneath the western margin of the United States. Pressure on the underlying lithosphere resulting in a depression of the interior. During late-Cretaceous to early-Tertiary, compressional forces continued to act and caused the uplift of the modern Rocky Mountains via the Laramide Orogeny, early-Tertiary tilting towards the northwest resulted in over 2,000 of erosion in the southeast. As compression shifted to extension and the formation of the Rio Grande Rift began, Uplift in the northwest and continued deposition brought the basin to its current-day configuration. The San Juan Basin is a syncline with three components, the Central Basin Platform, the Four Corners Platform, and the Chaco Slope. The basin is bound on the northwest by the Hogback Monocline, on the northeast by the Archuleta Anticlinorium, on the east by the Nacimiento Uplift, the Permian continued to be a time of terrestrial deposits, including late-Permian eolian deposits.
The Cretaceous was a time of three major transgressive-regressive cycles, as changes in sea-level caused fluctuations on the Western Interior Seaways shoreline
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is a U. S. National Park located in southeastern Utah near the town of Moab. It preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, legislation creating the park was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 12,1964. The park is divided into four districts, the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, while these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character. Author Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor, described the Canyonlands as the most weird, Canyonlands is a popular recreational destination. Since 2007, more than 400,000 people have visited the park each year with a record of 776,218 visitors in 2016, the geography of the park is well suited to a number of different recreational uses. Hikers, mountain bikers and four-wheelers all enjoy traveling the rugged, the White Rim Road traverses the White Rim Sandstone level of the park between the rivers and the Island in the Sky.
Since 2015, day-use permits must be obtained before travelling on the White Rim Road due to the popularity of driving and bicycling along it. The park services intent is to provide a wilderness experience for all visitors while minimizing impacts on the natural surroundings. Rafters and kayakers float the calm stretches of the Green River, below the Confluence, Cataract Canyon contains powerful whitewater rapids, similar to those found in the Grand Canyon. However, since there is no large impoundment on the Colorado River above Canyonlands National Park, river flow through the Confluence is determined by snowmelt, not management. As a result, and in combination with Cataract Canyons unique graben geology, as of 2016, the Island in the Sky district, with its proximity to the Moab, Utah area, attracts 76.7 percent of total park visitors. The Needles district is the second most visited, drawing 20.7 percent of visitors, the remote Maze district accounts for only about 1.5 percent of visitors, while river rafters and other river users account for the remaining 1.1 percent of total park visitation.
Political compromise at the time of the parks creation limited the area to an arbitrary portion of the Canyonlands basin. Conservationists hope to complete the park by bringing the boundaries up to the high sandstone rims that form the border of the Canyonlands landscape. The Colorado River and Green River combine within the park dividing it into three districts called the Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze, the Colorado River flows through Cataract Canyon below its confluence with the Green River. The area was home of the Ancestral Puebloans, of which many traces can be found. Although the items and tools used have been largely taken away by looters, some of their stone. The Ancestral Puebloans left traces in the form of petroglyphs, the Maze district is located west of the Colorado and Green rivers, and is the least accessible section of the park, and one of the most remote and inaccessible areas of the United States
The province covers an area of 337,000 km2 within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona. About 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries, the Green, San Juan. Most of the remainder of the plateau is drained by the Rio Grande, the Colorado Plateau is largely made up of high desert, with scattered areas of forests. In the southwest corner of the Colorado Plateau lies the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, much of the Plateaus landscape is related, in both appearance and geologic history, to the Grand Canyon. The nickname Red Rock Country suggests the brightly colored rock left bare to the view by dryness, hoodoos, reefs, river narrows, natural bridges, and slot canyons are only some of the additional features typical of the Plateau. The Colorado Plateau has the greatest concentration of U. S. National Park Service units in the country outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Among its ten National Parks are Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Mesa Verde, and Petrified Forest.
The province is bounded by the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and by the Uinta Mountains and Wasatch Mountains branches of the Rockies in northern and it is bounded by the Rio Grande Rift, Mogollon Rim and the Basin and Range Province. Isolated ranges of the Southern Rocky Mountains such as the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, north-south trending normal faults that include the Hurricane, Grand Wash, and Paunsaugunt separate the sections component plateaus. This fault pattern is caused by the forces pulling apart the adjacent Basin and Range province to the west. Occupying the southeast corner of the Colorado Plateau is the Datil Section, thick sequences of mid-Tertiary to late-Cenozoic-aged lava covers this section. Development of the province has in part been influenced by structural features in its oldest rocks. Part of the Wasatch Line and its various faults form the edge of the province. Faults that run parallel to the Wasatch Fault that lies along the Wasatch Range form the boundaries between the plateaus in the High Plateaus Section, the Uinta Basin, Uncompahgre Uplift, and the Paradox Basin were created by movement along structural weaknesses in the regions oldest rock.
Some sources include the Tushar Mountain Plateau as part of the Colorado Plateau, the mostly flat-lying sedimentary rock units that make up these plateaus are found in component plateaus that are between 1500 m to over 3350 m above sea level. A supersequence of these rocks is exposed in the various cliffs, within these rocks are abundant mineral resources that include uranium, coal and natural gas. Study of the unusually clear geologic history has greatly advanced that science. A rain shadow from the Sierra Nevada far to the west, higher areas receive more precipitation and are covered in forests of pine and spruce
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is a United States National Park, in south-central Utah. The park is approximately 60 miles long on its north–south axis, the park was established in 1971 to preserve 241,904 acres of desert landscape and is open all year with May through September being the highest visitation months. Located partially in Wayne County, the area was originally named Wayne Wonderland in the 1920s by local boosters Ephraim P. Pectol, easy road access only came in 1962 with the construction of State Route 24 through the Fremont River Canyon. The majority of the nearly 100 mi long up-thrust formation called the Waterpocket Fold—a rocky spine extending from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell—is preserved within the park, Capitol Reef is the name of an especially rugged and spectacular segment of the Waterpocket Fold by the Fremont River. The local word reef refers to any rocky barrier to land travel, Capitol Reef encompasses the Waterpocket Fold, a warp in the earths crust that is 65 million years old.
It is the largest exposed monocline in North America, in this fold and older layers of earth folded over each other in an S-shape. This warp, probably caused by the same colliding continental plates that created the Rocky Mountains, has weathered and eroded over millennia to expose layers of rock, the park is filled with brilliantly colored sandstone cliffs, gleaming white domes, and contrasting layers of stone and earth. The fold forms a barrier that even today has barely been breached by roads. Early settlers referred to parallel, impassable ridges as reefs, from which the park gets the half of its name. The first paved road was constructed through the area in 1962, State Route 24 cuts through the park traveling east and west between Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, but few other paved roads invade the rugged landscape. The park is filled with canyons, towers, the Fremont River has cut canyons through parts of the Waterpocket Fold, but most of the park is arid desert country. A scenic drive shows park visitors some of the highlights, hundreds of miles of trails and unpaved roads lead the more adventurous into the equally scenic backcountry.
Fremont culture Native Americans lived near the perennial Fremont River in the part of the Capitol Reef Waterpocket Fold around the year 1000. They irrigated crops of lentils and squash and stored their grain in stone granaries, in the 13th century, all of the Native American cultures in this area underwent sudden change, likely due to a long drought. The Fremont settlements and fields were abandoned, many years after the Fremont left, Paiutes moved into the area. These Numic speaking people named the Fremont granaries moki huts and thought they were the homes of a race of people or moki. In 1872 Alan H. Thompson, an attached to United States Army Major John Wesley Powells expedition. Geologist Clarence Dutton spent several summers studying the areas geology, none of these expeditions explored the Waterpocket Fold to any great extent, however
Kayenta, Arizona is a settlement in the Navajo reservation. This rock formation is prominent in southeastern Utah, where it is seen in the main attractions of a number of national parks. These include Zion National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, the San Rafael Swell, the Kayenta Formation frequently appears as a thinner dark broken layer below Navajo Sandstone and above Wingate Sandstone. Together, these three formations can result in immense vertical cliffs of 2,000 feet or more, Kayenta layers are typically red to brown in color, forming broken ledges. In most sections that include all three formations of the Glen Canyon group the Kayenta is easily recognized. Even at a distance it appears as a dark-red and its position is generally marked by a topographic break. Its weak beds form a bench or platform developed by stripping the Navajo sandstone back from the face of the Wingate cliffs, the Kayenta is made up of beds of sandstone and limestone, all lenticular, uneven at their tops, and discontinuous within short distances.
They suggest deposits made by shifting streams of fluctuating volume, the sandstone beds, from less than 1-inch to more than 10 feet thick, are composed of relatively coarse, well-rounded quartz grains cemented by lime and iron. The thicker beds are indefinitely cross bedded, the shales are essentially fine-grained, very thin sandstones that include lime concretions and balls of consolidated mud. The limestone appears as solid gray-blue beds, a few inches to a few feet thick, most of the limestone lenses are less than 25 feet long, but two were traced for nearly 500 feet and one for 1,650 feet. Viewed as a whole, the Kayenta is readily distinguished from the formations above. It is unlike them in composition, manner of bedding, but in many sections the contact between the two formations is unconformable, the basal Kayenta consists of conglomerate and lenticular sandstone that fills depressions eroded in the underlying beds. In Moqui Canyon near Red Cone Spring nearly 10 feet of Kayenta limestone conglomerate rests in a long meandering valley cut in Wingate.
The red and mauve Kayenta siltstones and sandstones that form the slopes at base of the Navajo Sandstone cliffs record the record of low to moderate energy streams, poole has shown that the streams still flowed toward the east depositing from 150 to 210 m of sediment here. The sedimentary structures showing the channel and flood deposits of streams are well exposed on switchbacks below the tunnel in Pine Creek Canyon. In the southeastern part of Zion National Park a stratum of cross bedded sandstone is roughly halfway between the top and bottom of the Kayenta Formation. It is a tongue of sandstone that merges with the Navajo formation east of Kanab and this tongue is the ledge that shades the lower portion of the Emerald Pool Trail, and it is properly called Navajo, not Kayenta. Fossil mudcracks attest to seasonal climate, and thin limestones and fossilized trails of aquatic snails or worms mark the existence of ponds
The Phanerozoic Eon is the current geologic eon in the geologic time scale, and the one during which abundant animal and plant life has existed. It covers 541 million years to the present, and began with the Cambrian Period when diverse hard-shelled animals first appeared. Its name was derived from the Ancient Greek words φανερός and ζωή, meaning life, since it was once believed that life began in the Cambrian. The time before the Phanerozoic, called the Precambrian supereon, is now divided into the Hadean, land plant life appeared in the early Phanerozoic eon. During this time span, tectonic forces caused the continents to move and eventually collect into a landmass known as Pangaea. The Proterozoic-Phanerozoic boundary is at 541 million years ago, the three different dividing points are within a few million years of each other. The Phanerozoic is divided into three eras, the Paleozoic and Cenozoic, which are subdivided into 12 periods. The Paleozoic features the rise of fish and reptiles, the Mesozoic is ruled by the reptiles, and features the evolution of mammals and more famously, dinosaurs.
The Cenozoic is the time of the mammals, and more recently, the Paleozoic is a time in Earths history when complex life forms evolved, took their first breath of oxygen on dry land, and when the forerunners of all life on Earth began to diversify. There are six periods in the Paleozoic era, Ordovician, Devonian, the Cambrian is the first period of the Paleozoic Era and starts from 541 to 485 million years ago. The Cambrian sparked a rapid expansion in evolution in an event known as the Cambrian Explosion during which the greatest number of creatures evolved in a period in the history of Earth. Plants like algae evolved, and the fauna was dominated by armored arthropods, almost all marine phyla evolved in this period. During this time, the super-continent Pannotia began to break up, the Ordovician spans from 485 million years to 440 million years. The Ordovician was a time in Earths history in many species still prevalent today evolved, such as primitive fish, cephalopods. The most common forms of life, were trilobites, more importantly, the first arthropods crept ashore to colonize Gondwana, a continent empty of animal life.
By the end of the Ordovican, Gondwana had moved from the equator to the South Pole, the glaciation of Gondwana resulted in a major drop in sea level, killing off all life that had established along its coast. Glaciation caused a snowball Earth, leading to the Ordovician-Silurian extinction, during which 60% of marine invertebrates and this is considered the first mass extinction and the second deadliest in the history of Earth. The Silurian spans from 440 million years to 415 million years, fully terrestrial life evolved, which included early arachnids and centipedes
Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains. Most sandstone is composed of quartz or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earths crust, like sand, sandstone may be any color, but the most common colors are tan, yellow, grey, pink and black. Since sandstone beds often form highly visible cliffs and other topographic features, quartz-bearing sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure, usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. They are formed from cemented grains that may either be fragments of a rock or be mono-minerallic crystals. The cements binding these grains together are typically calcite, grain sizes in sands are defined within the range of 0.0625 mm to 2 mm. The formation of sandstone involves two principal stages, first, a layer or layers of sand accumulates as the result of sedimentation, either from water or from air. Typically, sedimentation occurs by the settling out from suspension.
The most common cementing materials are silica and calcium carbonate, which are derived either from dissolution or from alteration of the sand after it was buried. Colours will usually be tan or yellow, a predominant additional colourant in the southwestern United States is iron oxide, which imparts reddish tints ranging from pink to dark red, with additional manganese imparting a purplish hue. Red sandstones are seen in the Southwest and West of Britain, as well as central Europe. The regularity of the latter favours use as a source for masonry, either as a building material or as a facing stone. These physical properties allow the grains to survive multiple recycling events. Quartz grains evolve from rock, which are felsic in origin. Feldspathic framework grains are commonly the second most abundant mineral in sandstones, Feldspar can be divided into two smaller subdivisions, alkali feldspars and plagioclase feldspars. The different types of feldspar can be distinguished under a petrographic microscope, below is a description of the different types of feldspar.
Alkali feldspar is a group of minerals in which the composition of the mineral can range from KAlSi3O8 to NaAlSi3O8. Plagioclase feldspar is a group of solid solution minerals that range in composition from NaAlSi3O8 to CaAl2Si2O8. Lithic framework grains are pieces of ancient source rock that have yet to weather away to individual mineral grains, accessory minerals are all other mineral grains in a sandstone, commonly these minerals make up just a small percentage of the grains in a sandstone