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Given enough time, cold surface rock will yield to flowing water and buried rock will bend or even flow rather than break.

The planet's had ample time for all of this, even if it's out of our ken.

Over 50 Ma, an entire mountain range like the Ancestral Rockies can rise up and vanish.

The pink feldspar bands in the severely deformed metamorphic rock at right (a mylonite from the Homestake Shear Zone in the northern Sawatch Range) show the kind of internal folding you'd expect from warm taffy, but this rock didn't actually melt.

This geologic overview focuses primarily on the Colorado Rockies and the Colorado Plateau, but adjoining portions of Wyoming, Utah and the High Plains as far east as the Black Hills of South Dakota also have important and related stories to tell.

From the Middle Proterozoic on, much of Colorado's story also applies, with some notable exceptions, throughout the Southern Rockies* and the Colorado Plateau.With over 50 million modern human lifetimes elapsed since the planet formed around 4.5 Ga, geologic or deep time is, to say the least, difficult to grasp.But the effort pays, for with a feel for deep time comes a sense of its great power: Given enough time, almost anything energetically possible can happeneven at very large scales.If you need more help with geologic time or terminology, check out these resources.Colorado's geologic history is as complex as it is fascinating.

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