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Ecology and Geology of Canyonlands Area
Slide 1 –
Anna - The exposed geology of the Canyonlands area is complex and
diverse
Kyra - 12 formations are exposed in Canyonlands National Park that range
in age from the Pennsylvanian to Cretaceous periods.
Jennifer -- The uplift of the Rocky Mountains starting in late Cretaceous
greatly affected the Canyonlands region.
Makaela -- A vast sea covered the region in early the Pennsylvanian time.
Anna - The Glen Canyon Group is most prominently exposed in the western
and northern sections of the park.
Kyra -- Starting 70 million years ago, a mountain-building event called the
Laramide orogeny uplifted the Rocky Mountains and with it the
Canyonlands region.
Jennifer – other important rock groups and formations in Canyonlands
include, the Hermosa Group, The cutler formation, the Moenkopi and Chinle
formations and the San Rafael Group.
Slide 2? Arches
Makaela – there are over 2000 natural Sandstone arches in Arches National
Park.
Slide___ Climate and Temp
Anna -- Southeast Utah is part of the Colorado Plateau, a "high desert"
region that experiences wide temperature fluctuations, sometimes over 40
degrees in a single day.
Kyra -- The temperate (and most popular) seasons are spring and fall, when
daytime highs average 60 to 80 F and lows average 30 to 50 F.
Jennifer – Summer temperatures often exceed 100 F, Late summer monsoon
season brings violent storm cells which often cause flash floods.
Makaela -- Winters are cold, with highs averaging 30 to 50 F, and lows
averaging 0 to 20 F. Large Snowfalls are uncommon.
Slide 3 – Animals
Anna – Many animals live in Canyonlands. Birds, lizards and some rodents
are seen most frequently.
Kyra -- seasons and weather play a large role in determining what animals
are active.
Jennifer -- Desert animals have a variety of adaptations for dealing with the
temperature and moisture stresses present in Canyonlands.
Makaela -- Most desert animals are nocturnal, being most active at night
because it is so hot during the day.
Slide 5? Plants –
Anna - Many adaptations in leaves and roots enable plants to survive the
extremes of temperature and aridity found in Canyonlands
Kyra -- these adaptations are grouped in three categories: drought escapers,
drought resistors and drought evaders.
Jennifer -- Drought escapers are plants that make use of favorable growing
conditions when they exist.
Makaela - Drought resistors are typically perennials like. Cacti yuccas and
moss. Are examples of drought resistors.
Anna -- Drought evaders, the final group, survive in riparian areas where
water is plentiful.
Kyra – One cool flower found in the desert area is the Datura. It produces a
complete inability to differentiate reality from fantasy, and can be very toxic.