An Ancient Geologic Past
United States Air Force Academy
Along the western boundary of the Academy, the Rampart Range consists primarily of Pikes Peak granite that was formed more than one billion years ago. These ancient rocks did not become prominent until the early Cenozoic Era (about 50 million years ago) when uplifting and faulting occurred on a large scale throughout the region during the Laramide Revolution. Bed rock underlying the Academy is mostly 60 million year old feldspar-rich sandstones of the Dawson-Arkose Formation, which, when weathered, have produced many pedestal rock formations-the most spectacular being Cathedral Rock. Other limestones, shales, and sandstones formed during the Paleozoic Era (185 to 525 million years ago), when the entire area was covered by a shallow sea, add to the complexity of the local geology.
Convergence of Landscapes
Due to its geographic location and varied topography-ranging from 6,300 feet to nearly 8,200 feet in elevation-the Academy landscape exhibits dramatic transitions from subalpine forests to shortgrass prairie, providing exceptionally diverse environments that support a rich flora and fauna. Uniquely located along the Rocky
Erected by United States Air Force Academy.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Paleontology.
Location. 39° 0.407′ N, 104° 53.592′ W. Marker is in United States Air Force Academy, Colorado, in El Paso County. Marker is along the walking path from the Visitor Center to the Chapel. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: USAF Academy CO 80840, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Before the Academy (here, next to this marker); Fuel Hazard Mitigation (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Forest Management (within shouting distance of this marker); Landscape Fire Ecology (within shouting distance of this marker); Scrub (Gambel's) Oak (within shouting distance of this marker); Abert's Squirrel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Memorial Pavilion Roll Call Record Locator Room (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in United States Air Force Academy.
More about this marker. Visitors must have an unexpired official photo ID to present to security to access the USAF Academy grounds.
Also see . . .
1. Geologic Map of the Cascade Quadrangle, El Paso County CO. (Submitted on October 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Geology of the Montane Zone of Central Colorado (USFS, 1973). (Submitted on October 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Prairie Peak and Plateau: A Guide to the Geology of Colorado (Chronic, 2019). (Submitted on October 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.