Stages and Processes Introduction Pikes Peak has evolved into the modern day peak by many earth processes Pikes Peak was created in about four major stages: batholiths, sea floor spreading, erosion and weathering, and glaciations.
Vocabulary Batholiths Glaciations An immense dome of hot molten A glacial period (or alternatively rock, called magma pushed up from glacial or glaciations) is an interval of the earth’s core to form what time (thousands of years) within an geologists call a batholiths ice age that is marked by colder temperatures and glacier advances. Sea Floor Spreading Seafloor spreading is a process that Weathering occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where Weathering is the breaking down of new oceanic crust is formed through rocks, soils and minerals as well as volcanic activity and then gradually artificial materials through contact moves away from the ridge. with the Earths atmosphere, and waters. Erosion Erosion is the process by which soil and rock are removed from the Earths surface by natural processes such as wind or water flow, and then transported and deposited in other locations.
First Stage Batholiths About one billion years ago, the magma cooled about 20 miles under the Earth’s surface creating the pink granite that forms Pikes Peak. Andrew Alden 2009
Second Stage Sea Floor Spreading The second stage is what created the ancestral Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountains were under a warm shallow sea. Historical Pikes Peak explains the process of uplifting, “The Earth’s crust went through some rather intensive sea floor spreading at the mid- Atlantic ridge. Unable to absorb the crust as fast as it was being created” www.geology.ohio-state.edu/~vonfrese/gs100/lect26/ (Pikes Peak 2009).
Third Stage Glaciations After the modern day Pikes Peak raised, the Pleistocene Ice Age 3 million years ago began to shape the mountain. City of Colorado Springs describes the effect of the ice age, “Acting like a giant cookie cutter, the powerful bodies of ice gouged out the rock and left deep, straight-walled basins […]. The u-shaped canyons that lead down Pikes Peak were carved by the flowing ‘rivers of ice’” (City of Colorado Springs 2009). www.Waternrocks.blogspot.com/2009/06/pikes- peak-or-im-going-to-die-volume-1.html
Fourth Stage Weathering and Erosion “The weathered fragments of rocks break apart from the exposed rock from freeze-thaw action and collect as angular blocks of talus material” (Bruce Molnia 2005)
Conclusion The formation of Pikes Peak has been through many stages for just over one billion years. The Earth’s processes and weathering has created the Rocky Mountains and the pink dome shaped Pikes Peak. All the stages are important because Pikes Peak would not exist without these processes, erosion and weathering. In the Rocky Mountains there are 91 peaks that are over 14,000 feet. Colorado has 54 of those peaks including Pikes Peak.
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