Morley Dike

A story about why geology can affect your community and industry:

image: Dikes near the abandoned town of Morley, Colorado

Dikes near the abandoned town of Morley, Colorado. Note the coal bed in contact with the dike in the upper left of the image. This is a coal in the Paleocene part of the Raton Formation, intersected by a 20-35 Ma age dike. The heat from the intrusion of the dike turned the adjacent coal into a natural form of coke.

Close-up of one of the Morley Dikes. Note coal bed contact in upper left.

Geology can affect the very existence of a community and determine the success or failure of its industry. This presentation is about a geologic feature – dikes. Research on geologic features often reveal information about communities associated with that geology. These dikes were near a thriving town that no longer exists; created by its local geology and later destroyed by it. This is the story of the mining industry in many towns in Colorado.

The town of Morley, Colorado has existed in two locations during its brief existence. When the name was moved, the original site was renamed Gallinas. With ready access to coal from its mines, the new site was developed to serve the needs of the railroad for coal, water, and workers.

Here is a link to the community of Morley as it was in days past: Morley, Colorado

Here is what is left after the coal proved too dangerous to mine and the railroad found resources with fewer geologic liabilities. Please enjoy exploring the Morley area with this embedded 3D viewer (works best when you click the link to enlarge):