Mesa Verde National Park

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Within the state of Colorado lies a well know national park, which is known for its breathtaking geologic features and history of ancient civilizations. This site of interest is known as Mesa Verde National Park. In the Spanish language, Mesa Verde means green table. This park serves a medium for the protection of the thousands of well-known archeological sites that lie within it. Many of these preserved sites served as a home for its inhabitants, the Ancestral Pueblo people, over a thousand years ago. It is estimated that this was most likely around AD 600 to about 1300. A valuable and vital resource to the people was water. The Cliff House Sandstone found in Mesa Verde served not only as a home for the Ancestral Puebloans, but also …show more content…

The geological arrangement was largely influenced by the Western Interior Seaway, which swept through the continent millions of years ago. It was during this time when frequent alterations in climate caused the waters to surface and withdraw. The Dakota Sandstone deposited within the sedimentary profile of Mesa Verde is in large part due to these events. Soon after the sea reached longer distance westward and the sandy tidal deposits were converted to deep water deposits. Mancos Shale is the name given to represent these deposits, which are comprised of organic material and small particulates. Another interesting fact to note is that this type of sediment consists of fossils. These remains can include prehistoric shell fish, shark teeth, and many other types of organisms. The hills seen at the foundation of the mesa in the Montezuma Valley are comprised of gray …show more content…

Later after the sea finally retreated occurred volcanic activity. Mountains rose through laccoliths, which also resemble volcanoes. These laccoliths differ in that they do not erupt. They shifted layers of rock upward in the shape of a dome. This specific piece of geologic morphology occurred at the end of the Cretaceous time. This marked the beginning of the Laramide Orogeny, which was a well-known period of mountain formation in western North America. The geology, its history, and the presence of past civilizations contribute to much of the significance of Mesa Verde National Park. The interconnectedness of these aspects should also be noted. If not for the weathering processes and changes in sea level this formation would not exist. Without it, the ancient people would not have been able to reside within Mesa Verde. This National Park now serves as a tool to help conserve the remains of these past civilizations as well as to help educate today’s society on the significance behind this astonishing geologic

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