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Use of Detailed Topographic Map Evidence of the Southeast Wyoming Gangplank Area to Compare Two Fundamentally Different Geomorphology Paradigms, USA

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Document pages: 19 pages

Abstract: Drainage divides along a southern Laramie Range crest area and in the nearby southeast Wyoming Gangplank area (as observed on detailed topographic maps) suggest present-day drainage routes in the Cheyenne Tablelands region originated as headward erosion of south-oriented valleys (now the downstream Lodgepole, Crow, and Lone Tree Creek valleys) from an actively eroding northeast-oriented South Platte River valley captured flood flow in the south half of a large east-oriented anastomosing channel complex while headward erosion of a north-oriented valley (now the downstream Horse Creek valley) from the southeast-oriented North Platte River valley captured the north half of the same large anastomosing channel complex. The Gangplank, which today serves as a low gradient ramp of Tertiary Ogallala Formation sediments leading from the Great Plains to the Laramie Range erosion surface, is located along the Crow Creek-Lone Tree Creek drainage divide and low points along that divide (referred to here as divide crossings) suggest, prior to headward erosion of what is now its south-oriented downstream Lone Tree Creek valley, upstream east-oriented Lone Tree Creek drainage routes were intertwined with east-oriented Crow Creek drainage routes, which today flow much further in an east direction (than east-oriented upstream Lone Tree Creek drainage routes) before also turning in a south direction to reach the South Platte River. The ability of the commonly accepted regional geomorphology paradigm to explain this topographic map evidence is then compared with a fundamentally different and new regional geomorphology paradigm’s ability to explain the same evidence. While both paradigms offer possible explanations the new paradigm, which requires headward erosion of the valleys to have occurred as massive continental ice sheet melt water floods crossed the region, explains much more of the drainage system evidence and also permits much more detailed explanations.

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