Discover the Geological Grand Canyon. As one of the most recognized natural landmarks on this planet, the Grand Canyon has continued to inspire each person who comes to take in its majesty. However, the colorful layers of ancient rock are not just beautiful to look at; they also are well-known for their geological significance, ultimately providing a perfect window into the past.
When it comes to the Grand Canyon’s history, it is a rather young landmark, only around 5 to 6 million years old. Yet, compared with the billions of years that it took to shape other areas of the Earth, the dramatic landscape created in such a short time is rather impressive.
The Grand Canyon as we see it today had its foundation laid long before its erosion started. Millions of years ago, oceans covered Arizona and the surrounding land. The waters brought in heavy sediment from all over the world which remained after the waters receded, weighted down against the current. As tectonic plates shifted the land was compacted together, creating high plateaus in the region. These plateaus created a perfect barrier for when more tectonic plate shifting re-routed the Colorado River to run through the area that is now the Grand Canyon.
Thanks to the towering plateaus, rock formations, and the erosion by the Colorado River that created the canyon, geologists can now perfectly view eleven layers of the Earth’s crust. Composed of layers of sedimentary rock that have been compressed over the years give the Grand Canyon its brilliant painted look, it also allows geologists to examine a wealth of information.
Most visitors to the area never think much of the millions of years it took to create the Grand Canyon, but it truly is one of nature’s most impressive achievements. Contact us today to learn about our tours that venture all throughout the Grand Canyon area that showcase not only its natural history, but its cultural history as well.