The Geology of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (CANM) is situated on the edge of the Colorado Plateau; a block of (mostly) stable continental crust surrounded by complex structural systems. The ~240,000 square mile area, characterized by wind and water, preserves the 1.9 billion year old geologic history of the wider four corners region. Although only the upper Jurassic and Cretaceous portion of this geologic history forms the canyon walls of CANM, the full Colorado Plateau story applies. This unassuming story provides insight into the formation of the region and geologic principles, and the geologic layers preserved therein furnishes materials for more modern uses.