Learn Geology In Grand Canyon Tour Packages
You can learn a lot about the Earth’s history by taking one of the Grand Canyon tour packages featured by premier Las Vegas tour companies, such as Grand Canyon Destinations. These kinds of tour packages—leading to the South Rim and West Rim of the canyon—give visitors a great insight about the rock strata, and how rocks take form over time.
South Rim Geology
For example, if you choose one of the South Rim tour packages, you can view the Trail of Time exhibit along the canyon’s rim. This outdoor display explains rock development during major periods. When you visit the rock display along the Rim Trail, you will find out that rocks come in a large variety of shapes and sizes.
Three Types of Rock Families
Geologists classify rocks according to their formation. The three rock families include igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic type rocks. Natural earth forces create rocks, altering them over millions of years.
Igneous rocks come from molten or liquid magma, found below the surface of the Earth, and lava, which flows over the surface. When it cools, the heated liquid rock turns into various types of igneous rocks. Two examples of this rock form include basalt and granite.
Sedimentary rocks live up to their name, as they originate from small pieces of mud or sand that accumulate in layers. As the pressure on these layers increases over time, mineralization occurs, cementing the pieces into a solid rock. The three main kinds of sedimentary rock found in the Grand Canyon include mudstone or shale, sandstone, and limestone. Usually, you can remember that a rock is sedimentary, as its name ends with the word “stone.”
Metamorphic rocks metamorphose or change under great amounts of pressure and heat. Therefore, these rocks may begin as metamorphic, sedimentary, or igneous rock forms. The original rock takes on a new rock shape, just like a caterpillar that changes into a butterfly.
The basement rocks, found in the Grand Canyon’s inner gorge, make up the oldest rocks in the canyon. These rocks developed about 1.8 billion years ago. This event occurred when the North American continent clashed with a volcanic island chain. The intense pressure and heat form this contact formed a metamorphic rock, referred to as Vishnu Schist.
Deep inside the surface of the Earth, magma flowed between fissures in the Vishnu Schist. When the magma cooled, it hardened into the igneous rock form, known as Zoroaster granite. Fossils are not found in this type of rock because intense heat and pressure prevent fossilization.
Grand Canyon Tour Packages
You will find geology is one interesting subject when you book one of the Grand Canyon tour packages to the Grand Canyon. Take a look today at the day trips offered by Grand Canyon Destinations. Whether you have a young person in your family who is interested in geology or you would like to know about the subject, you will find that there is an endless amount to learn on Grand Canyon tour packages.