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The Rocks of Red Rocks, Colorado


The steeply angled, deeply colored strata of Red Rocks Park, near the town of Morrison west of Denver, are a prime geological display as well as the setting of a great concert venue. About.com's Denver Guide Nina Davidson can show you the amphitheater and other park features, but this gallery is about the red rocks themselves.

The red rocks of Red Rocks belong to the Fountain Formation, a set of coarse-grained conglomerate and sandstone beds that is also well exposed in the Garden of the Gods, the Boulder Flatirons and Red Rock Canyon elsewhere in Colorado. They formed as an early version of the Rocky Mountains rose, shedding their gravelly sediment in the oxygen-rich atmosphere of Pennsylvanian times, nearly 300 million years ago. Iron oxides and pink feldspar grains give the stone its color. The Fountain Formation lies directly upon the ancient granite and gneiss that gave rise to its sediment.

Images 1-6 of 6
A universal inclinationFront Range HogbacksLooking turbiditicShip RockStill distinctiveFountain Formation North of Red RocksA huge time gapRed Rocks Unconformity
Feldspar is keyFountain Formation Arkosic ConglomerateThe original stuffPrecambrian Gneiss
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