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The geology is in turn inextricably entwined with Colorado's human history.That's true everywhere, of course, but it goes double here.My piano tuner's job security rests on the fact that properly tuned piano wire flows (stretches) at a similar rate and falls out of tune in a matter of months.Over a few Ma, fingernail speed is plenty fast enough to fold great thicknesses of sedimentary rock over the east edge of the relatively brittle Front Range basement block, as in the photo at right.The wavy fabric indicates solid flow at mid-crustal temperatures of 400-500C.
Conversely, 1 Ga takes 4 hours, 20 minutes out of the day; 1 Ma, 19.2 seconds; and 1 Ka, 19.2 millisecondsliterally the blink of an eye.
After an introductory section, Colorado's geologic history will unfold in chronological order below.
As we come up on major divisions along the geologic timeline, a brief "About Time" header will summarize what event or fossil record breakpoint ushered in the upcoming division and show how it's subdivided.
The table below collects the links to these headers.
Notice how even deep time can fly in proper perspective: The Precambrian was admittedly a slow start, taking until mid-evening to unfold on our day of creation, but then life as we know it appeared only in the last 3 hours.