The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock. The canyon is the result of erosion which exposes one of the most complete geologic columns on the planet.
About Grand Canyon in brief
The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock. For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540. A recent study examining caves near Grand Canyon places their origins beginning about 17 million years ago. Previous estimates had placed the age of the canyon at 5–6 million years. There is a gap of about a billion years between the Kaibab Limestone on the Rim and the 2-billion-year-old Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Inner Gorge on the South Rim. The canyon is the result of erosion which exposes one of the most complete geologic columns on the planet. It is not the deepest canyon in the world, but it is known for its visually overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. The North Rim is over one thousand feet higher at the North Rim than at the South rim. Access to the North rim via the primary route leading to the canyon is limited during the winter season due to road closures.
The Grand Canyon has developed over the past 70 million years, in part based on apatite He thermochronometry showing that Grand Canyon reached a depth near to the modern depth by 20 Ma. The higher elevation has also resulted in greater precipitation in the Colorado river drainage area, but not enough to change the Grandanyon area from being semi-arid. The uplift of the Colorado Plateau is uneven, and the KaIBab Plateau that the Grand Grand Canyon bisects is over 1,000 feet high. Almost all runoff from the North. Rim flows toward the Grand. Canyon, while much of the runoff on the plateau behind the South. Rim flows away from the canyon. The result is deeper and longer tributary washes and canyons on the north side and shorter and steeper side canyon on the south side. A study published in the journal Science in 2008 suggested the new age of Grand Canyon could be as old as 70million years. However, this study has been criticized by those who support the younger age of around six million years as trying to push the interpretation of the geologic data to the limits of the whole range of geologic sets of data sets. The study, which was published in 2008, used uranium-lead dating to analyze calcite deposits found on the walls of nine caves throughout the canyon. The study was widely supported as it suggested the tests had been widely supported as widely supported.