Foreland basement-cored uplifts are a relatively common but poorly understood family of structures that includes the Sierras Pampeanas of Argentina, the Spanish Iberian Ranges, the Boothia Uplift of northern Canada and the Laramide uplifts of the western United States. Unlike fold and thrust belts, with which these structures are often associated, little is known about their geometry at depth, their progressive development, or how individual uplifts relate to each other as a system. I propose a integrated structural and geodynamic study of five Colorado Plateau (CP) uplifts (the Circle Cliffs, Miners Mountain, Uncompahgre and Monument Uplifts and the San Rafael Swell) to address these issues. Given their relatively low structural relief, these uplifts may represent the early stages of foreland basement-cored uplift development, providing a useful but so far little-studied counterpart to the Wyoming uplifts. Unlike many of the Wyoming uplifts, cover sediments are preserved across the CP uplifts which allows the integration of detailed strain analysis from several different lithologies and the construction of balanced cross-sections. These results will form the basis for a 3-D computer model of the CP that illustrates the progressive development of the uplifts and the structural relationships between them. Detailed analysis of the CP uplifts and its integration with the published literature on Wyoming offers the opportunity to clarify our picture of the progressive development of these structures, opening the door to investigation of the systematic development of the province as a whole and ultimately the processes of deformation within continental interiors.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90925©1999 AAPG Foundation Grants-in-Aid