South Platte River
The South Platte River is one of the two principal tributaries of the Platte River. Flowing through the U. S. states of Colorado and Nebraska, it is itself a major river of the American Midwest and the American Southwest/Mountain West. Its drainage basin includes much of the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, it joins the North Platte River in western Nebraska to form the Platte, which flows across Nebraska to the Missouri. The river serves as the principal source of water for eastern Colorado. In its valley along the foothills in Colorado, it has permitted agriculture in an area of the Colorado Piedmont and Great Plains, otherwise arid; the river is formed in Park County, southwest of Denver in the South Park grassland basin by the confluence of the South Fork and Middle Fork 15 miles southeast of Fairplay. Both forks rise along the eastern flank of the Mosquito Range, on the western side of South Park, drained by the tributaries at the headwaters of the river. From South Park, it passes through 50 miles of the Platte Canyon and its lower section, Waterton Canyon.
Here, it is joined by the North Fork before emerging from the foothills southwest of the Denver suburb of Littleton. At Littleton, the river is impounded to form Chatfield Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for the Denver Metropolitan Area; the river flows north through central Denver, founded along its banks at its confluence with Cherry Creek. The valley through Denver is industrialized, serving as the route for both the railroad lines, as well as Interstate 25. On the north side of Denver it is joined somewhat inconspicuously by Clear Creek, which descends from the mountains to the west in a canyon, the cradle of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. North of Denver it flows through the agricultural heartland of the Piedmont, it flows directly past the communities of Brighton and Fort Lupton, is joined in succession by Saint Vrain Creek, the Little Thompson River, the Big Thompson River, the Cache la Poudre River, which it receives just east of Greeley. East of Greeley it turns eastward, flowing across the Colorado Eastern Plains, past Fort Morgan and Brush, where it turns northeastward.
It continues past Sterling, runs into Nebraska between Julesburg and Big Springs, Nebraska. In Nebraska, it passes south of Ogallala and joins the North Platte River near the city of North Platte; the South Platte River through Denver is on the U. S. EPA's list of impaired waterbodies for pathogen impairment, with E. coli as the representative pathogen species. Other water issues involve the appearance of the Zebra Mussel; the South Platte was called Niinéniiniicíihéhe by the native Arapaho people who lived on its banks. The early Spanish explorers called it the Rio Chato. In 1702, it was named the Rio Jesus Maria by Captain Jose Lopez, the Tewa Irish scout and Captain of War of the New Mexico Indian Auxiliaries, ordered by the Viceroy of New Spain to search the Tierra Incognita for a French incursion into New Mexico; the South Platte River served as a vital water source in Colorado. Long before the city of Denver was created many travelers came to the South Platte River to escape the arid Great Plains.
These people could survive the heat but not without the vital water source that the South Platte River gave them. Buckets and wells sufficed as a water system for a while but the Denver Water System was created. In an arid region of the United States, the South Platte is marked with several dams; the first notable water impoundment on the South Platte is Antero Reservoir. "Antero" is derived from the Spanish word "first," as it was the first dam on the South Platte River near the river's origin. The next dam is Spinney Mountain Reservoir. At capacity Spinney Mountain covers 2,500 acres. A bottom release dam, Spinney releases to the east of the inlet. Two miles below Spinney Mountain Reservoir, the river enters Eleven Mile Reservoir, with a capacity of 97,000 acre feet; the Eleven Mile Reservoir Dam drains into Eleven Mile Canyon, which runs through Forest Service land. Under the reservoir are three former Colorado towns, Howbert and Freshwater Station, which were submerged to meet the water needs of Denver.
From Eleven Mile Canyon, the South Platte runs northeast to Cheesman Reservoir, named for Denver water pioneer Walter S. Cheesman. At its completion in 1905, the dam was the world's tallest, at 221 feet above the streambed; the reservoir and related facilities were purchased in November 1918 by the Denver Water Board. Cheesman was the first reservoir of Denver's mountain storage facilities and has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Cheesman Reservoir feeds Cheesman Canyon. Six miles below Cheesman Reservoir is the town of Deckers. In the late 1980s, a proposal was put forth for the Two Forks Dam, which would have created a reservoir flooding the entire section from the North Fork confluence to the town of Deckers. In 1990 the Environmental Protection Agency vetoed the permit, calling the project an "environmental catastrophe." From the confluence, the river enters Strontia Springs Reservoir. Below Strontia Springs the South Platte runs through Waterton Canyon before entering Chatfield Reservoir.
Chatfield marks the seventh and fin
Glenwood Canyon is a rugged scenic 12.5 mi canyon on the Colorado River in western Colorado in the United States. Its walls climb as high as 1,300 feet above the Colorado River, it is the largest such canyon on the Upper Colorado. The canyon, which has provided the routes of railroads and highways through western Colorado furnishes the routes of Interstate 70 and the Central Corridor between Denver and Grand Junction; the canyon stretches from near Dotsero, where the Colorado receives the Eagle River, downstream in a west-southwest direction to just east of Glenwood Springs, on the mouth of the Roaring Fork. Most of the canyon is with the upper portion near Dotsero lying in Eagle County. In 1906, the canyon provided the route of the Taylor State Road, a gravel road, the first route for automobiles through the Colorado Rockies; the canyon provided the route for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in the late 19th century. Through acquisitions, the line is part of the Union Pacific system.
As Glenwood Canyon was one of the iconic scenic views along the California Zephyr passenger train, a monument to the dome car design was installed in the canyon. In the 1990s, the monument was relocated to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden to make way for the construction on Interstate 70; the canyon is considered one of the most scenic natural features on the Interstate Highway System of the United States. Foot access to the canyon is available at four rest areas along Interstate 70 in the canyon; the Hanging Lake Rest Area provides access to the canyon along a stretch where I-70 is concealed in the Hanging Lake Tunnel. The freeway is prone to rockslides in the canyon, such as the one that closed it in February 2016; the canyon was formed recently in Pleistocene time by the rapid cutting of the Colorado down through layers of sedimentary rock. The upper layers of the canyon are sandstone from Mississippian. Sections of the lower canyon walls are made of Cambrian rock; the Mississippian layer, prominent throughout much of the upper rim sections of the canyon is part of the Leadville Formation.
Gore Canyon Roadside Geology of Colorado by Halka Chronic. Glenwood Canyon I70 motorway project 12 years later
Gulf of California
The Gulf of California is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is bordered by the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur and Sinaloa with a coastline of 4,000 km. Rivers which flow into the Gulf of California include the Colorado, Mayo, Sinaloa and the Yaqui; the gulf's surface area is about 160,000 km2. Depths range from fording at the estuary near Yuma, Arizona, to in excess of 3,000 meters in the deepest parts; the Gulf is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet, is home to more than 5,000 species of micro-invertebrates. Home to over a million people, Baja California is the second-longest peninsula in the world, after the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Parts of the Gulf of California are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. AreaThe International Hydrographic Organization defines the southern limit of the Gulf of California as: "A line joining Piastla Point in Mexico, the southern extreme of Lower California".
The Gulf of California is 1,126 km long and 48–241 km wide, with an area of 177,000 km2, a mean depth of 818.08 m, a volume of 145,000 km3. The Gulf of California includes three faunal regions: the Northern Gulf of California the Central Gulf of California the Southern Gulf of CaliforniaOne recognized transition zone is termed the Southwestern Baja California Peninsula. Transition zones exist between faunal regions, they vary for each individual species. Geology Geologic evidence is interpreted by geologists as indicating the Gulf of California came into being around 5.3 million years ago as tectonic forces rifted the Baja California Peninsula off the North American Plate. As part of this process, the East Pacific Rise propagated up the middle of the Gulf along the seabed; this extension of the East Pacific Rise is referred to as the Gulf of California Rift Zone. The Gulf would extend as far as Indio, except for the tremendous delta created by the Colorado River; this delta blocks the sea from flooding the Imperial Valleys.
Volcanism dominates the East Pacific Rise. The island of Isla Tortuga is one example of this ongoing volcanic activity. Furthermore, hydrothermal vents due to extension tectonic regime, related to the opening of the Gulf of California, are found in the Bahía de Concepción, Baja California Sur. Islands The Gulf of California contains 37 major islands – the two largest being Isla Ángel de la Guarda and Tiburón Island. Most of the islands are found on the peninsular side of the gulf. In fact, many of the islands of the Sea of Cortez are the result of volcanic explosions that occurred during the early history of Baja California; the islands of Islas Marías, Islas San Francisco, Isla Partida are thought to be the result of such explosions. The formations of the islands, are not dependent on each other, they were each formed as a result of an individual structural occurrence. Several islands, including Isla Coronados, are home to volcanoes; the gulf has islands which together total about 420 hectares.
All of them as a whole were enacted as "Area Reserve and Migratory Bird Refuge and Wildlife" on August 2, 1978. In June 2000, the islands were given a new category "Protection Area Wildlife". In addition to this effort by the Mexican government, for its importance and recognition worldwide, all islands in the Gulf of California are part of the international program "Man and Biosphere" and are part of the World Reserve Network UNESCO Biosphere as Special Biosphere Reserve. Due to the vast expanse covered by this federal protected area conservation and management is carried out through a system of four regional directorates by way of co-direction. There is a regional directorate in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur and Sinaloa. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the work of direct and indirect conservation is done in the islands is governed by a single Management Program, published in 2000, complemented by local and specific management programs archipelagos; the Directorate of Protection Area Wildlife California Gulf Islands in Baja California is responsible for 56 islands located off the coast of the state.
These are grouped into four archipelagos: San Luis Gonzaga or Enchanted, Guardian Angel, Bahia de los Angeles and San Lorenzo. Shores and tidesThe three general types of shores found in the Gulf of California include rocky shore, sandy beach, tidal flat; some of the rich biodiversity and high endemism that characterize the Gulf of California and make it such a hotspot for fishing can be attributed to insignificant factors, such as the types of rocks that make up a shore. Beaches with softer, more porous rocks have a higher species richness than those with harder, smoother rocks. Porous rocks will have more cracks and crevices in them, making them ideal living spaces for many animals; the rocks themselves, however need to be stable on the shore for a habitat to be stable. Additionally, the color of the rocks can affect the organisms living on a shore. For example, darker rocks will be warmer than lighter ones, can deter animals that do not have a high tolerance for heat. The
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U. S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census. The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains; the Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, on August 1, 1876, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, plateaus and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, is one of the Mountain States. Denver is most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is used. Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. After 158 years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines. Colorado and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined by straight boundary lines with no natural features; the southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.
This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America. Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet elevation; this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than half of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from 3,350 to 7,500 feet; the Colorado plains are prairies but include deciduous forests and canyons. Precipitation averages 15 to 25 inches annually. Eastern Colorado is presently farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns.
Corn, hay and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, a few other streams. Subterranean water is accessed through artesian wells. Heavy use of wells for irrigation caused underground water reserves to decline. Eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as hog farms. 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado; the "Front Range" includes Denver, Fort Collins, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose.
The Continental Divide of the Americas extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California. Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado; the North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, drained by the Colorado River; the South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River. In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located; the valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, consists of large desert lands that run into the mountains.
The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the S
Glen Canyon is a natural canyon in southeastern and south-central Utah. A small part of the lower end of Glen Canyon extends into the northern part of Arizona and terminates at the Vermilion Cliffs area in the United States. Like the Grand Canyon to the south, Glen Canyon is part of the immense system of canyons carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. In 1963, a reservoir, Lake Powell, was created by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, in the Arizona portion of Glen Canyon; this dam backed water into Utah. Lake Powell was not the result of negotiations over the controversial damming of the Green River within Dinosaur National Monument at Echo Park; the Echo Park Dam proposal was abandoned due to country wide citizen pressure on Congress to do so. Glen Canyon dam remains a central issue for modern environmentalist movements. Beginning in the late 1990s, the Sierra Club and other organizations renewed the call to dismantle the dam and drain Lake Powell in Lower Glen Canyon. Today, Glen Canyon and Lake Powell are managed by the U.
S. Department of the Interior within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Around 1956, archaeologists and biologists from the University of Utah and the Museum of Northern Arizona, using National Park research grants, planned an emergency excavation of Lower Glen Canyon, soon to be flooded by the new Glen Canyon Dam. Between 1958 and 1960, four investigative phases, combined with other surveys prior to 1957, discovered 250 archaeological sites within the canyon; the Lower Glen Canyon survey was completed in 1958. Excavations began during the summer of 1958 on 16 sites. A thesis emerged that prehistoric people living permanently on the highlands south of Glen Canyon, on the Cummings Mesa, farmed the Lower Glen Canyon on a seasonal basis, gathered raw materials. To prove this thesis of seasonal habitation, criteria such as architectural units, locations of trail systems, occurrence of ceremonial structures, prevalence of burials, position of natural and cultural strata. Four types of sites are described in the survey classified as either open sites situated on rock terraces.
Open sites are the majority on both sides of the river. The majority of sites Navajo camps, feature lithic garbage or ceramics, or both. Talus sites are recorded. Most of the cultural remains found are chipped stone tools, including projectile points, drills, knives and ground stone tools and manos; the collection of sherds are Tusayan Gray Ware and Tusayan White Ware. Petroglyph panels are found throughout Glen Canyon. "Pecked and incised figures depict mountain sheep, human figures, human handprints and animal tracks. Geometric figures range from circles and spirals to complex rectilinear patterns; the human figures have triangular bodies. Painted figures have been reported for both sides of the river.... Petroglyph panels of such quality are lacking from the highland regions adjacent to Glen Canyon". Studies indicate a chronology for the Lower Glen Canyon prehistory, "from pre-A. D. 1 to the 15th century and recorded history from 1776 to the present". A Late Basketmaker II Era is represented by several sites.
Radiocarbon dates from charcoal material are from A. D. 250 to 440. Basketmaker III is not found in the Lower Glen Canyon, but is documented in Navajo Canyon, a large left bank tributary of the Colorado River, within the geographical area of the Lower Glen Canyon. Basketmaker III introduces fired pottery Lino Black-on-gray and Lino Gray, some small amounts of Lino Fugitive Red and Obelisk Gray; the Basketmaker culture is believed to have lasted than Pueblo I. Pueblo I Era remains are found at Rock Creek in Lower Glen Canyon, in Navajo Canyon; the pottery types are Kana-a Black-on-white, Deadmans Black-on-red, Kana-a Gray, made from deposits found in Lizard Alcove. Pueblo I is the best documented period of Navajo Canyon, beginning in 800 A. D, lasting 200 years. "Pueblo II in Navajo Canyon is represented by the absence of Kana-a Black-on-white and the dominance of Black Mesa Black-on-white". Pueblo II and early Pueblo III is the best documented cultural area in Lower Glen Canyon corresponding with habitation on Cummings Mesa.
Pottery includes Tusayan varieties, Black-on-white, Black-on-red, Red Wear Polychromes. Hopi people from the Jeddito area came into the canyons in the 14th century, represented by Yellow Wares Jeddito Black-on-yellow, Jeddito plain. Most of the ceramic material found in the main canyon was made in the highlands, although it is possible some pottery was manufactured in Lower Glen Canyon. Clay deposits are found along the river, some crude pottery specimens, that may have been made there. Only four burials were found in Lower Glen Canyon at three sites. Trash dumps are not common at most sites; this is more evidence to suggest the seasonal occupation of farmers. Cultural similarities are based on the absence, of certain types of ceramic wares. Group types of pottery including Kayenta, with Fremont, Mesa Verde or Anasazi types of White and Desert Gray Ware were found on the right bank of the Colorado. Basketmaker II is characterized by a lack of pottery, as well as above ground and underground cists lined with slabs.
There is little evidence of permanent occupation except at Talus Ruin, a small pueblo with a kiva, a