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Grand Canyon Geology Essay

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Updated: Dec 6th, 2019

This is a great feature in the world. It is in the list of the most scenery worldwide.

The formation of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon formation occurred an exceedingly long time ago. However, no one is pretty sure of how its formation took place. Nevertheless, geologists come up with some guesses about this. Some say that there was a combination of some forces that led to its formation.

One strong suggestion is that there was erosion who’s the main cause was water and wind. Other forces that also contributed to the formation of the Grand Canyon are; volcanism, continental drift, some vibrations in the orbit of the earth and many others.

Water had an immense impact on Grand Canyon since it occupies the largest percentage of the world’s space. This becomes a complicated issue especially because the Grand Canyon is found in the desert. The soil that is in the canyon is extremely hard and does not absorb water whenever it rains. This is what makes it truly evident that water caused that erosion.

Another cause is water in the form of ice. When it is hot, the rocks in canyon crack. After this, during the cold season, the water freezes inside the rocks. This causes expansion of rocks. As a result, the rocks may fall, which in most cases leads to the formation of a landscape in the canyon.

The origin of the Grand Canyon rocks

Geologists come up with a conclusion that the rocks formation was from the combination of forces like continental drift, and volcanism. The earth is not fixed in one place rather it floats on molten rocks (Beus, and Morales, 1990). The earth consists of layers “plate” of rocks. The North American rock is the one that contains the Grand Canyon.

During those old days, the canyon was located on further south side. The location changed gradually with change in climate. The earth’s continents are separate, although they move a bit on the molten rocks.

This is what enabled the North American rock move towards the west and collided with the Pacific plate. As this conflict took place, there arose a mountain at the point of contact. Mountains and ranges were formed like the mountains of California. These Rocky Mountains form the base of Grand Canyon.

As our planet’s climate warms, its median sea level rises and falls. This is caused by melting and freezing of the polar caps. The land that is close to the coast sometimes submerges when altitude is low. This is what caused the layers of rocks that exist in Grand Canyon. In conclusion, the Grand Canyon consists of sedimentary rocks, which were formed in the shallow coastal plains.

The Grand Canyon is formed at the bottom of the ocean since that is where sedimentary rock are present. The current top layer of the canyon is Kaibab limestone. The Kaibab limestone contains sandy limestone.

Grand Canyon’s fossil

It contains fossils creatures that were aquatic like fish teeth, mollusks, worms, sea lilies, and many others. These make it less complicated when it comes to the fact that the Grand Canyon formation took place in the ocean. The shape of the Grand Canyon is due to many mountains that existed many years ago even before it was there. Its base is due to erosion of the mountains until a plane was formed.


Beus, S. S., & Morales, M. (1990). Grand Canyon geology. New York: Oxford University Press;

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Grand Canyon Geology." December 6, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/grand-canyon-geology/.


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