Great Divide Basin


Great Divide Basin

The Great Divide Basin is a 3,860 square mile (10,000 km²) endorheic drainage basin in south central Wyoming, located between the Atlantic and Pacific drainage basins. North and south of it, the water divide is defined by the Continental Divide. The water divide bifurcates to the eastern and western perimeters of the Great Divide Basin. The Basin is formed by a geologic anticline.

Though not without some grasses, the occasional shrub, and even small trees in some ravines, the land is dominated by numerous sand dunes, bluffs and alkali flats due to a combination of low precipitation and a high evaporation rate. The average elevation is over 6,000 feet (1,800 m). The basin is a part of the larger Red Desert region which is under the supervision of the United States' Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior which manages rangeland and other multiple-use lands that have not been designated as national parks or a national monuments.

Many birds are found in the basin, such as the sage grouse and pheasant. Mammals include pronghorn antelope, mule deer, wild or feral horses, and the occasional elk. No major towns or cities are located in the basin, which has a human population of less than 500. Wamsutter is the only incorporated settlement.

The basin is considered one of the more promising locations for the mining of uranium and many oil and natural gas wells are found in the basin with more expected to be drilled. There is an ongoing debate between those that wish to utilize the resources within the basin and those that wish to see the basin become either a National Monument or a designated U.S. Wilderness Area.
Interstate 80 bisects the basin east to west and U.S. Highway 287 heading north from Rawlins, Wyoming traverses the eastern regions of the area.

ee also

*Red Desert (Wyoming)

External links

* [http://wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/programs/reddesert/greatdivide.php Programs - Red Desert - Great Divide] , Wyoming Outdoor Council
* [http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=14040200 U. S. Environmental Protection Agency] , Great Divide Closed Basin
* [http://www.wilderness.org/WhereWeWork/Wyoming/WR135-GreatDividBasin.cfm Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council Passes Resolution Supporting Protection of Southern Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin] , The Wilderness Society's Official Website
* [http://press.arrivenet.com/industry/article.php/596601.html Energy Metals Corporation Adds 5 Uranium Deposits And 39.5 Million Pounds In The Great Divide Basin, Wyoming]
* [http://www.mines.edu/academic/geology/LewisShaleProject/project17.html Stratigraphic Framework of the Fox Hills Sandstone and Lewis Shale, Great Divide Basin, Wyoming]


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