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Topographic Map Analysis of Laramie Range Bedrock-Walled Canyon Complex and the Goshen Hole Escarpment-Surrounded Basin, Albany and Platte Counties, Southeast Wyoming, USA

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Document pages: 23 pages

Abstract: The Laramie River after flowing in a north direction through southeast Wyoming’s Laramie Basin abruptly turns in an east direction to flow across the north-to-south oriented Laramie Range in a bedrock-walled canyon and eventually reaches the lower elevation Great Plains and southeast-oriented North Platte River. The North Laramie River, Bluegrass Creek, and North Sybille Sybille Creek also flow from the Laramie Basin in separate bedrock-walled valleys into the Laramie Range before eventually joining the Laramie River. Bedrock-walled through valleys link the various Laramie Range stream and river crossing valleys and detailed topographic maps were used to determine how this anastomosing bedrock-walled canyon complex and the large escarpment-surrounded Goshen Hole basin (located just to the east of the anastomosing canyon complex) originated. Map evidence shows multiple streams of water must have diverged in the Laramie Basin from the north-oriented Laramie River to enter the Laramie Range before converging in or east of the Laramie Range and also shows how present day through valleys enabled diverging and converging streams of water to cross the Laramie Range. The anastomosing bedrock-walled valley complex studied here extends from north of the North Laramie River valley to south of the North Sybille Sybille Creek valley. Large volumes of water flowing from the Laramie Basin to the Great Plains are interpreted to have eroded the anastomosing canyon complex and the “downstream” Goshen Hole escarpment-surrounded basin. Headward erosion of the north-oriented Sybille and Chugwater Creek valleys across large sheets of east-oriented water are interpreted to have left the Goshen Hole escarpment-surrounded basin as a large abandoned headcut. A water source was not determined, although a continental ice sheet that deeply eroded and warped the North American continent is considered to be a possible source.

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