Think of a cake. You have a layer of cake and a layer of frosting, another layer of cake and a final layer of frosting. When you cut into it, you can see each of the different layers. The earth is made up in a similar way. There are many different layers that make up our earth. What makes up those layers? Rocks. Rocks are everywhere! Did you know you are currently standing (or sitting) on many layers of rock that protect us from the earths magma filled core? And that magma, it’s liquid rock!
A geologist is a person who studies rocks. Their field is called geology, which is the study of rocks. Geologists divide rocks into three large groups: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Lava or magma form igneous rock. Changes in pressure or heat create metamorphic rock. Water and wind create sedimentary rock.
In western Colorado, you can see many of these layers in our Mountains and Mesas. Its one of the best places to see nature’s amazing ability to shape our world. We have the Colorado National Monument, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, McInnis Canyon and the Dominguez and Escalante National Conservation Areas, Gateway Canyon, the Grand Mesa, the Rocky Mountains and many other wondrous geologic marvels right at our doorstep!
What made all of these land forms? Water, wind, earthquakes, heat and cold all helped form our land. Our rocks are always changing. Something as simple as a water dripping on rock will change the face of the land. Rocks show us millions and even billions of years of earth’s history and helps us understand how the earth came to look like it does today.