The Grand Canyon is a wonderful place to gain a sense of how old the earth really is because of the ability to date the layers of rock in the canyon. The Rocks exposed in Grand Canyon are truly ancient, ranging from 1840 million years old or 1.84 billion years old (to 270 million years of age. (Beus, and Morales, 2003). While the Grand Canyon is not old in comparison to much of the earth, it is considered young earth because it was slivered by an ie in the last six million years. This gives the rocks in the Canyon Ice age fossils and new deposits, in the grand scheme of things. Some of the younger deposits in the Canyon are only a thousand years old and are the result of lava that began to come into the geographic. It is the walls of the Canyon that hold strong fossil recording. Originally these rocks formed in environments that were different from the one that is in Arizona now. There are three era of rocks in the Canyon and each is different. This paper will explore the three ages of rock, and look at “old earth” and the “young earth” as it is recorded in the Canyon, while also seeing how this is determined.
The first layer of rock that this paper will examine is known as the Vishnu Basement Rocks and is Precambrian. They are recrystallized as a result of heat and pressure, and igneous. This means they were exposed to fire. (Dehler, et al, 1999) These stones are found along the Granite Gorge. They were formed by colliding as a result of volcanic action and the heat from that formed the igneous rock. Mountains were formed along the top of the rock. These are like basement rocks to the mountains on top of them. They are the oldest rocks in the Canyon. The rocks are located in what is called the “Inner Gorge” and there are at least another twenty-five types of rock that are in the same class. (Dehler, et al, 1999). There are many different forms of these rocks in the gorge and their age is determined by radiometric.
The oldest recorded rock in the Grand Canyon is Elves Chasm Gneiss. It is speculated to have formed in 1840 m.y. and is older than any other rock found in the Grand Canyon. The specific origin of the Elves Chasm formation is unclear, but researchers believe that it may have formed from fragments of continental crust (Dehler, et al, 1999). It is said that most of the rocks in the canyon formed between 1750 and 1680 Ma. It is most likely that the area of the Grand Canyon was volcanic and the rest of the canyons deep crevasses were created by erosion from water. This also shows that the canyon area was at a peak with metamorphism and igneous interference.
Vishnu Schist is common in the Grand Canyon along with three other kinds of Schist. The estimated time that this schist formed was between 1700 and 1600 Ma. Each of the schist are formed from different rock types. The most well-known, Vishnu Schist was formed from metamorphosed sedimentary rock. The other schist Brahma and Rama Schist’s are formed from metamorphosed volcanic...