Presentation on theme: "GEOLOGY OF DEVILS TOWER NATIONAL MONUMENT Sedimentation Pat Frolander John Aloisio Marlon Poole Lee McDowell."— Presentation transcript:
GEOLOGY OF DEVILS TOWER NATIONAL MONUMENT Sedimentation Pat Frolander John Aloisio Marlon Poole Lee McDowell
Devils Tower used to be under water in a shallow sea about 145 to 65 million years ago This was North America during the late Cretaceous time. thelivingmoon.com
Devils Tower This was the United States USGS pubs.usgs.gov
The bottoms of the ocean were covered in deep sand or mud called sediments. The Mississippi pouring sediment into the Atlantic Ocean. (ESEA esa.int)
There are 3 categories of sedimentary rocks: Clastic Organic Chemical
Clastic:Big rocks break up into small rocks And become sand, mud or silt that settle to the bottom of an ocean Which become rock again
Organic : LIMESTONE Sedimentary rock made from the shells of billions and billions of microscopic ocean organisms called plankton (foraminifera) over millions of years. Limestone can also be chemical, when the calcium from the shells becomes rock.
This is what it looks like today
Coal is an Organic rock made from ancient forests From this To this. Organic Sedimentary rock
Sediments can be Chemical As an ocean dried up, different sediments called salts were left behind. Chemical rocks include Table salt Gypsum Some Limestone
The Gypsum Springs Formation today. Gypsum is found in many places including here at Devils Tower. The White Sands in New Mexico is an example of a large deposit of gypsum. Some of our school walls are made of gypsum, it is used to make sheet rock.
Let’s review: What are the three categories of sedimentary rock? 1.Clastic, made from the smallest pieces of broken or weathered rock Includes sandstone, siltstone and shale. 2. Oganic, from ancient living things, includes coal and limestone. 3. Chemical, from when oceans dried up, includes gypsum and table salt and limestone.
Older rocks Younger rocks
When layers form, the older rocks are on the bottom, and the younger rocks are found on top. This is called the Law of Superposition. Older rocks Younger rocks
These are the sedimentary rocks you see today at Devils Tower Which rocks are the oldest? The Spearfish formation
The sea disappeared as the Rocky Mountains, with the Black Hills, began to form, about 66 – 45 Million Years Ago. (MYA) The land covering Devils Tower was no longer under water. This mountain building was called the Laramide Orogeny Devils Tower Rocky Mountains
magma Future Little Missouri Buttes Future Devils Tower
Molten rock that cools and becomes hardened is called Igneous Rock.
Igneous rock that cools quickly above ground is called Extrusive. Igneous rock that cools slowly underground is called Intrusive.
This magma caused bulges to form, making dome mountains such as Bear Butte near Sturgis, S.D.
Today we see layers 18, 19 and 20. Where are layers 1 – 17?? The Sedimentary layers 1-17 on top of Devils Tower eroded away, leaving the harder, igneous rock standing. Layers 18, 19 and 20 Are now being eroded.
At the end of the last Ice Age (10,000 years ago) the outwash from the melting glaciers increased the flow of rivers throughout the North American continent. This is when geologists assume the majority of the sedimentary rocks in this area were eroded away.
Erosion Today, the Belle Fourche River does not seem large enough to wash away the vast amount of sedimentary rock eroded from above and around the Tower Have WE changed the amount of erosion at Devils Tower? Yes. Humans have dammed the Belle Fourche River, creating Keyhole Reservoir, and preventing the floods that cause the greatest amount of erosion.
It is important to note the upper portion of the tower appears more weathered with numerous vertical and horizontal cracks. Why do you think this is? Erosion (cont.) Some Geologists think that when the vertical cracks formed, the horizontal cracks also formed. Maybe the top was exposed to weathering longer than the bottom was.