Grand Canyon: A Geologic Puzzle Extraordinaire, with Lon Abbott

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Date(s) - 05/07/2018
Time: - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Natural History Institute

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Want to hear a straightforward scientific lecture about Grand Canyon and go home with that satisfied feeling that you know when and how it was carved? Then you’d best not come to this talk! That’s because, despite 150 years of intensive study, geologists still can’t agree on when and how the Grand Canyon was carved. A key reason the Grand Canyon’s history remains so uncertain is that geologists don’t really understand when and why the Colorado Plateau was raised. Grand Canyon couldn’t have been carved until the plateau was elevated – so when did it achieve its current 6000-foot average elevation?

Join us for an unfolding scientific detective story whose final chapter has yet to be written a full 150 years after John Wesley Powell and other pioneering geologists penned the first.


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Lon Abbott taught geology at Prescott College for ten years before moving to the University of Colorado’s Geological Sciences Department, where he’s been a Senior Instructor for the last 11 years. Lon strives to contribute to public understanding of and appreciation for geologic processes, Earth’s deep history, and the significance of geology in our everyday lives.

Lon has published three geology books, including “Hiking the Grand Canyon’s Geology” and over 40 articles for a general audience. His current research efforts include trying to decipher when the Southern Rocky Mountains rose, when and why the Grand Canyon was carved, and how eastern Australia’s Great Escarpment formed.

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