Essay about Mountain Ranges of North America: The Rocky Mountains

Essay about Mountain Ranges of North America: The Rocky Mountains

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The Rocky Mountains are an incredible mountain range located in North America in the Western Hemisphere. The mountain range stretches from northern Colorado and into southwestern Canada. It is home to a diverse ecosystem, both geographically and biologically and is revered as a monumental landform worldwide.
The geologic history of the Rocky Mountains has come about as an aggregation of millions of years. Briefly speaking, the formation of the Rockies transpired from hundreds and millions of years of uplift by tectonic plates and millions of years of erosion and ice have helped sculpt the mountains to be what we see today. The majority of the rocks that make up the Rocky Mountains began as simple shale, siltstone, and sandstone accompanied by smaller amounts of volcanic rock which formally built up for approximately 1.8 to 2 billion years in the ancient sea. By 1.7 to 1.6 billion years, these sedimentary rocks got caught in the zone of collision between parts of the earth’s crust and its tectonic plates. The incredible heat at the core of the mountain range then recrystallized the rock into metamorphic rock by the heat and pressure of the collision forces. Eventually, the shale would be transformed into both schist and gneiss. It is believed that granite found in the Rocky Mountain parks came from pre-existing metamorphic rock created shortly after the formation of the earth. Ultimately, the high mountains of the period were slowly eroded away to a flat surface exposing metamorphic rocks and granite. This process occurred around the period of 1,300 to 500 million years ago. This flat surface would become covered with shallow seas and rocks from the Paleozoic period and would be deposited and eventually cover the surface. There is...


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...sted of tents and then tents became ranches and farms. Forts and train stations eventually grew into towns and some towns were then able to grow into cities.



Works Cited

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/physical-characteristics-colorado-rocky-mountains-56639.html
http://cires.colorado.edu/news/press/2011/rockies-origin.html
http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/parks/romo/
http://www.mountainnature.com/Ecology/
http://www.mountainnature.com/Wildlife/WildlifeEcology.htm
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/rocky-mountain-national-park/787037
This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document: T.J. Stohlgren. "Rocky Mountains".
"Events in the West (1528-1536)". 2001. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
"Events in the West (1528-1536)". 2001. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
"Yellowstone National Park". 4 April 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.

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