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Geology of Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Image of Lake Mead

Lake Mead Virtual Trip

Geologic History

Geology Basics

Plate Tectonics
Rocks and Minerals
Geologic Time
Geologic Maps
Geologic Glossary

The forces that have shaped this region include collisions between continents, extension that stretched and fractured the Earth's crust, volcanic eruptions, inundation by tropical seas, growth and decline of great deserts and lakes, and finally, sculpting of the land by water and wind. Evidence of these processes is dramatically displayed in Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Spectacular multi-colored rock formations dominate Lake Mead National Recreation Area's desert landscape. Hidden within these multi-colored rocks lies the story of over two billion years of geologic time; nearly half of the Earth's 4.5 billion-year history.

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