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  • Red Mountain Open Space is a great place to see Front Range geology up close. On the Bent Rock Trail, You’ll be treated to spectacular scenes like this. Have a look around. The crumbly grayish blue rock layers are made of the mineral gypsum- well known for its use as a fertilizer, plasterboard, and wallboard. Nearby the gypsum is lighter in color and is pure enough to be mined as alabaster. These gypsum layers form the lower part the Permian-aged (about 270 million years old) Lykins Formation and are the ancient deposits of salt-rich shallow seas. The distinct red color is due to hematite-rich (iron-oxide) minerals of the siltstone and sandstone layers surrounding the gypsum deposits. Can you spot the more distant gypsum-rich layers along the side of Table Mountain?

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