Essay On The Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon is a notable topographic feature in Northern America. It has nearly 2, 000 meters of rock layers exposed on the surface with twelve major rock units and occupies a region of broad continental crust. Despite its vastness, how it exactly became as it is now remains a question to scientists who study the area. The Grand Canyon is located specifically at the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona. It begins at Lee’s Ferry and ends at the Grand Wash Cliffs. It reaches up to 18 miles wide. The Colorado River system runs across the canyon, from Lee’s Ferry with an elevation of 3,086 feet to Lake Mead which is 235 miles from Lee’s Ferry where the elevation is about 1157 feet. This gives an average gradient of 8.3 ft/mi.…show more content…
It proposed that no late Cenozoic uplift was necessary to explain the incision of the Grand Canyon. Instead, the rapid incision was only due to overflowing basins in three separate localities which are in the central Rocky Mountains, in the Hualapi basin, and in the Bouse Formation basins. Another study supports the lake overflow model which is about the formation and failure of “lava dams” in the western Grand Canyon. Isolated outcrops of horizontal, basaltic lava flows exist within the inner gorge of the western Grand Canyon and these indicate that several “lava dams” were formed during the Pleistocene that blocked the flow of the Colorado River. Because of this, several lakes were formed within the canyon. Noticeable widening within the inner gorges supports this idea. These dams eroded catastrophically soon after formation, as evidenced by the presence of relatively small isolated depositionally-intact aggraded delta deposits within the tributary drainages of the eastern and central Grand Canyon. Also, it was found out that due to the presence of lava-dam remnants near the present level of the Colorado River that the canyon has undergone negligible deepening since the formation of the dams. Hence, no appreciable erosion has occurred in the canyon within a 1.8 million year

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