Cosmogenic-nuclide burial ages for Pleistocene sedimentary fill in Unaweep Canyon, Colorado, USA

Greg Balco, Gerilyn S. Soreghan, Dustin E. Sweet, Kristen R. Marra, Paul R. Bierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We applied both single-sample and isochron methods of cosmogenic-nuclide burial dating to determine the age of the sedimentary fill in Unaweep Canyon, western Colorado, USA. This stratigraphic sequence is of interest because it documents capture and diversion of the ancestral Gunnison River by the Colorado River during late Cenozoic incision of the Colorado Plateau. Seven 26Al-10Be burial ages from sedimentary infill penetrated by a borehole in central Unaweep Canyon, as well as a 26Al-10Be burial isochron age formed by multiple clasts and grain-size separates in a sample from the stratigraphically lower Gateway gravels, indicate that canyon blockage, initiation of lacustrine sediment accumulation, and presumed river capture, took place 1.41±0.19Ma. Lacustrine sedimentation ceased 1.34±0.13Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Aluminum-26
  • Beryllium-10
  • Burial dating
  • Burial isochron dating
  • Cenozoic
  • Colorado Plateau
  • Gunnison River
  • Pleistocene
  • River capture
  • River incision
  • Unaweep Canyon


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