Before the Mississippi, minerals show ancient rivers flowed west

Before the Mississippi, minerals show ancient rivers flowed west

Michigan zircons uncover path of ancient river system across North America

By Sid Perkins, 17:20 PM June 4, 2010

Like vacationers taking a pit stop on a long road trip, zircon mineral grains from the northern Appalachians may have stopped off in Michigan before ending up on the Colorado Plateau, a new study suggests. The finding, reported in the June Geology, is a major boost to the notion that a continent-spanning, Amazon-like river system once carried sediments west across North America.

A large proportion of the zircons found in Jurassic-era sandstones throughout a Texas-sized portion of the Colora...

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