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Grand Canyon Essay

1714 words - 7 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

There is still erosion going on today!
Another major factor for the formation of the Grand Canyon was wind. Wind applies friction to the surfaces they come into contact with. Over time, this can cause erosion as well. Also, wind takes soil and rocks and moves them from place to place. This varies where plants grow. It varies because soil and rocks get moved to any place causing the plants to grow wherever the soil and rocks are. This changes the look of the land and the origin of the landscape.
The Colorado River had a tremendous amount of impact on the formation of the Grand Canyon. It has wound its way through the Grand Canyon for millions of years. Also, it has been forming the canyon the whole time. The Colorado River is 277 miles or 443 kilometers. It also carved the canyon into four plateaus of a province. The province is called the Basin and Range province. The four plateaus in the province are the Aquarius Plateau, the Coconino Plateau, the Kaibab Plateau, and the Paunsaugunt Plateau. They lifted 5,000 feet to 13,000 feet above sea level. The Basin and Range province is mostly sedimentary rock. According to geologist, Peter Anderson, “The river is both a freight train, howling away the eroded debris that once belonged to the canyon walls, and a saw, whose blade is made of sandstone.” On an average day, the river carries at least 80,000 pounds of sediment through the canyon.
The Colorado River is responsible for the canyon’s existence, and the role it played in carving the canyon has to do with the erosive power of running water. Theory holds that the opening of the Gulf of California allowed the Colorado River to begin. The canyon’s great width is the result of tributaries to the Colorado River forcing the rim on either side to become wider. This happened six million years ago. There were thirteen lava dams that blocked the Colorado River. When it was blocked, it formed lakes like Lake Hopi or (Lake Bidahoci) and Lake Mead. The lakes that formed were up to 2,000 feet deep. These dams and lakes greatly affected the sediment and ecology along the beaches within the Grand Canyon.
III. The Geology of The Grand Canyon
The science of geology is one of history and process: the history of our planet. Geology is a mystery, a puzzle. What’s in the rocks and the ground of the Grand Canyon? For one, there is 13,000 feet of sedimentary rock. There is also a more variety of stones and rocks. Some other rocks that are found in the Grand Canyon are quartz, calcite, clay, gypsum, and more. Also, there are some minerals in the stones and rocks. The minerals have been mined, by people, in the park various times. Some examples of minerals that have been found by people mining are copper, silver, and uranium. The rocks and minerals are all part of history, records of what happened in this part of the world long before the canyon formed.
There are three distinct types of rock: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. All are...

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