I. Introduction-The Grand Canyon
The river has cut through the earth, which allows us to see the passing of eons before our eyes. The Grand Canyon is an impressive one mile deep canyon with red, grey, white, brown, and black rock formations, cliffs, and slopes. The Grand Canyon runs along the Colorado River from Marble Canyon, near the Utah-Arizona border, to Grand Wash Cliffs in Mojave County, Arizona. It is considered to be one of the seven wonders in the natural world. The Grand Canyon became a national park in 1919. It was the seventeenth national park in the United States and one of our planet’s most spectacular landscapes. American Indians have been living in or around the canyon for thousands of years. The rock layers that make up the canyon walls change colors from tan to gold and from brown to black. The Grand Canyon is a remarkable feature in Arizona, but why is it so different from most other canyons and valleys and how did it originate?
The Grand Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. It is so vast that various parts of the canyon formed during different time periods. What makes the Grand Canyon so spectacular is its length, width, and depth. Measured along the river, the canyon is 277 river miles or 443 kilometers. The Grand Canyon has a width of 600 feet to 18 miles at its widest point. Lastly, the depth of the Grand Canyon is one mile or 1.6 kilometers. It is carved into a series of elevated plateaus in northern Arizona and has been shaped by erosion and the Colorado River. The canyon is unique both in scenery and the variety of exposed geological features.
II. Formation of The Grand Canyon
Much of the majesty of the Grand Canyon is the result of erosion. Ongoing erosion produces water...
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... a “Paradise.” That was the verdict of John Strong Newberry, physician-naturalist. “To look into the Grand Canyon is to look into a rainbow of stone.” Each layer has its own distinct color resulting from the interaction of water and air with the rocks. Below runs the Colorado River as it carves through some of the oldest rocks in North America. As the river carves out the rocks, it can change its own channel, and curve off in new directions. As permanent as the rocks of the Grand Canyon seem, these monuments of stone are constantly eroding. The water and wind are gradually wearing them down and the Colorado River will carry the sediment away. The canyon is one of our planet’s most spectacular landscapes. It is a tapestry of history, geology, and beauty. Geologists are still studying the canyon’s birth and are intrigued by its history and vastness.