The Rockies, as the name implies, are high mountains and rugged, showing that mountain building occurs there. The Continental Divide parallels the Rockies. The
Continental Divide exists in continents such as North and South America because of extreme subduction along their west coasts, with plates in the Pacific forced
violently under the continental plates. Each such violent episode lifts the land plates higher, and creates additional rock strata beneath such land plates, thickening
them and increasing their elevation. All this is elemental geography. We have explained that in those areas where subduction has repeatedly occurred, the land
plates develop thickness so that active mountain building is less likely to occur, making these regions more stable than the Continental Divide.
At the Continental Divide, the process is varied, depending upon whether the pressure eastward involves rock strata that can slide over one another easily, and which rock strata is on top. This can involve the top rock strata sliding over a flat plains region to the east, as is occurring in Colorado and is occurring primarily in Nebraska and the Dakotas.In such cases, the top rock strata slides over the plains, rumpling and scraping what lies before it. If the rock strata to the east is not flat, then mountain building for those areas both to the east and west of the Continental Divide result, with much rumpling and tumbling. This is occurring in Montana and Wyoming.
We have stated that there is no such thing as a safe location, as all safety is relative. Hardened rock such as develops on the floor of former salt lakes, which can be found in Utah in the Salt Lake region or in some places throughout the west in Nevada and Idaho and California, offer greater refuge from mountain building than rock recently broken. If one is in the Mississippi Valley and subject to the immense flooding that will envelop states whole, such as those in Oklahoma will endure, one is relatively safer in the foothills of the Rockies to the east of the Continental Divide. There they will rumple and toss, but will not drown.
ZetaTalk November 5, 2011