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4.8 Ma Age for Inception of the Modern Colorado River

Article Author(s): 

Jon Spencer

References Cited

Castor, S.B., and Faulds, J.E., 2001, Post-6 Ma limestone along the southeastern part of the Las Vegas Valley shear zone, southern Nevada, in Young, R.A., and Spamer, E.E., eds., The Colorado River: Origin and evolution: Grand Canyon, Arizona, Grand Canyon Association Monograph 12, p. 77-79.

Dickinson, W.R., and Gehrels, G.E., 2010, Insights into North American paleogeography and paleotectonics from U–Pb ages of detrital zircons in Mesozoic strata of the Colorado Plateau, USA: International Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 99, p. 1247–1265; DOI 10.1007/s00531-009-0462-0

Dorsey, R.J., Housen, B.A., Janecke, S.U., Fanning, C.M., and Spears, A.L.F., 2011, Stratigraphic record of basin development within the San Andreas fault system: Late Cenozoic Fish Creek–Vallecito basin, southern California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 123, p. 771-793; doi:10.1130/B30168.1

Duebendorfer, E.M., 2003, Geologic map of the Government Wash Quadrangle, Clark County, Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Map 140, scale 1:24,000, with text, 7 p.

House, P.K., Pearthree, P.A., and Perkins, M.E., 2008, Stratigraphic evidence for the role of lake spillover in the inception of the lower Colorado River in southern Nevada and western Arizona, in Reheis, M.C., Hershler, R., and Miller, D.M., eds., Late Cenozoic drainage history of the southwestern Great Basin and lower Colorado River region: geologic and biotic perspectives: Geological Society of America Special Paper 439, p. 335-353; doi: 10.1130/2008.2439(15).

Kimbrough, D.L., Grove, M., Gehrels, G.E., Mahoney, J.B., Dorsey, R.J., Howard, K.A., House, P.K., Pearthree, P.A., and Flessa, K., 2011, Detrital Zircon Record of Colorado River Integration into the Salton Trough, in Beard, L.S., Karlstrom, K.E., Young, R.A., and Billingsley, G.H., eds., CRevolution 2—Origin and evolution of the Colorado River system, workshop abstracts: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1210, 300 p., available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1210/.

Lopez Pearce, J.C., 2010, Syntectonic deposition and paleohydrology of the spring-fed Hualapai Limestone and implications for 5-6 Ma integration of the Colorado River system through Grand Canyon—evidence from sedimentology, chemostratigraphy and detrital zircon analysis: Albuquerque, New Mexico, University of New Mexico, M.S. thesis, 205 p.

Miller, D.M., 2008, , in Reynolds, R.E., ed., Trough to trough: The Colorado River and the Salton Sea (The 2008 Desert Symposium Field Guide and Proceedings): California State University (Fullerton) Desert Studies Consortium and LSA Associates, Inc., p..

Reynolds, R.E., Miller, D.M., and Bright, J., 2008, Possible Bouse Formation in the Bristol Lake basin, California, in Reynolds, R.E., ed., Trough to trough: The Colorado River and the Salton Sea: Proceedings of the 2008 Desert Symposium, California State University, Desert Studies Consortium and LSA Associates, Inc., p. 62-67.

Roskowski, J.A., Patchett, P.J., Spencer, J.E., Pearthree, P.A., Dettman, D.L., Faulds, J.E., and Reynolds, A.C., 2010, A late Miocene-early Pliocene chain of lakes fed by the Colorado River: Evidence from Sr, C, and O isotopes of the Bouse Formation and related units between Grand Canyon and the Gulf of California: Geological Society of America, v. 122, n. 9/10, p. 1625-1636; doi: 10.1130/B30186.1.

Sarna-Wojcicki, A.M., Deino, A.L., Fleck, R.J., McLaughlin, R.J., Wagner, D., Wan, E., Wahl, D., Hillhouse, J.W., and Perkins, M., 2011, Age, composition, and areal distribution of the Pliocene Lawlor Tuff, and three younger Pliocene tuffs, California and Nevada: Geosphere, v. 7; n. 3, p. 599–628; doi:10.1130/GES00609.1

Smith, P.B., 1970, New evidence for a Pliocene marine embayment along the lower Colorado River area, California and Arizona: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 81, p. 1411-1420.

Spencer, J.E., and Patchett, P.J., 1997, Sr isotope evidence for a lacustrine origin for the upper Miocene to Pliocene Bouse Formation, lower Colorado River trough, and implications for timing of Colorado Plateau uplift: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 109, p. 767-778.

Spencer, J.E., Pearthree, P.A., and House, P.K., 2008a, An evaluation of the evolution of the latest Miocene to earliest Pliocene Bouse lake system in the lower Colorado River valley, southwestern USA, in Reheis, M.C., Hershler, R., and Miller, D.M., eds., Late Cenozoic drainage history of the southwestern Great Basin and lower Colorado River region: geologic and biotic perspectives: Geological Society of America Special Paper 439, p. 375–390; doi: 10.1130/2008.2439(17).

Spencer, J.E., Sarna-Wojcicki, A.M., Patchett, P.J., Roskowski, J.A., Pearthree, P.A., House, P.K., and Faulds, J.E., 2011, Circa 4.8 Ma age for inception of the modern Colorado River: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, GSA National Meeting, Paper No. 189-42.

Spencer, J.E., Smith, G.R., and Dowling, T.E., 2008b, Middle to late Cenozoic geology, hydrography, and fish evolution in the American Southwest, in Reheis, M.C., Hershler, R., and Miller, D.M., eds., Late Cenozoic drainage history of the southwestern Great Basin and lower Colorado River region: geologic and biotic perspectives: Geological Society of America Special Paper 439, p. 279-299; doi: 10.1130/2008.2439(12).

Todd, T.N., 1976, Pliocene occurrence of the recent atherinid fish colpichthys regis in Arizona: Journal of Paleontology, v. 50, p. 462-466.

Senior Geologist
Arizona Geological Survey

 

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