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Geology

Colorado has some of the most varied, spectacular, and ultimately visible geology in the nation, spanning 2.7 billion years of the Earth’s history. From the eastern High Plains, to the central Rockies soaring more than 14,000 ft (4,200 m) above sea level, and to the western red-rock canyons, Colorado has incredibly diverse rocks, minerals, and fossils, along with many active geological processes and hazards.

The CGS is a leading scientific organization studying the geology and the complex geological processes around the state, producing detailed geologic, groundwater, and geologic hazard maps, along with mineral and energy resource information. The staff at the CGS combine expert field-work with laboratory and bibliographic research to describe and map Colorado geology. Funding sources include the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (STATEMAP) as well as other local, state, and federal agencies. CGS data, maps, and publications, most of them free for download, are found through our GIS/Data index and the CGS Bookstore.

Geology

Pikes Peak granite near Colorado Springs, 2018. Photo credit: Mike O'Keeffe for the CGS.

Colorado Geology

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Wildcat Mound, Colorado, August 2017. Photo credit: Martin Palkovic for the CGS.

Prospecting

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Plate of quartz crystals from the Ground Hog mine, Gilman mining district, Eagle County, Colorado. Photo credit: Ed Raines for the CSM Geology Museum.

For Rockhounds

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Aerial mapping tools, Paonia Quadrangle, Colorado, August, 2013. Photo credit: Dave Noe for the CGS.

Mapping

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Mancos Field Trip, Colorado, June 2009. Photo credit: David Noe for the CGS.

Field Trips / POGIs

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OF-18-05 Geologic Map of the Antero Reservoir NE Quadrangle, Park County, Colorado (detail)

Statemap

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More Geology

Stegosaurus (foreground) and Allosaurus in the Prehistoric Journey Exhibit, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado. Photo credit: Richard M. Wicker for the DMNS.

Fossils

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Igneous Rocks

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Folding in Precambrian metamorphics at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado. Photo Credit: Vince Matthews.

Metamorphic Rocks

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Sedimentary Rocks

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Diamonds in the rough, note the regular octahedral forms and trigons (of positive and negative relief) formed by natural chemical etching. Photo credit: Wikimedia.

Gemstones

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A prior trench on the Cheraw fault, near Haswell, Colorado, in 2016. Photo credit: Matthew Morgan for the CGS.

Faults & Structures

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More Maps ::

Recent STATEMAP Quads