Geography and Environment

from 2002
Geological Context
Steeply incised canyons cut through various sandstone and limestone formations.
 Clays and shales erode from the hill-sides
 Elevation varies from approximately 1750-2250 m with higher elevations in the south.
Rainfall averages 8-10 inches a year.
 Mostly as winter snows and summer monsoon rains.
Sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and various grasses dominate the alluvial floodplain.
Mixed Juniper and Pinyon forest comprises the forest overstory on the hillslopes and mesa tops.
Ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir grow in high elevation areas and more mesic environments, such as north-facing alcoves.
Dinetah is part of the Colorado Plateau pinyon-juniper woodland – local trees include:
Juniper (Juniperus spp.)
Pinyon (Pinus edulis)
Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)
Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) (1)
Cottonwood (Populus spp.)
Geology of the area includes sandstone and limestone deposits that slope northward towards the San Juan River.
It is a landscape of wide valley bottoms, steep-sided canyons and flat mesa tops.
Climate of Dinetah area includes cold, snowy winters and hot dry summers
Precipitation falls as winter snow and summer monsoon rains
The average precipitation is approximately 10-12 inches per year.

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