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Weathering Processes Forming the Grand Canyon Essay

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Updated: Jan 5th, 2021

Sedimentary rock as a land feature sculpted by weathering processes

Sedimentary rock mainly formed at shallow coastal plains or ocean bottom makes up the Canyon; Grand Canyon was due to erosion, mainly by ice/water and by wind (Bobspixels.com, 2009). Other energies also played a part in the formation of the Canyon, such as continental drift, volcanism, the route of River Colorado, and small deviation in the orbit of the Earth (Bobspixels.com, 2009).

Physical weather process

Weathering is the disparaging process in which minerals and rocks are broken down through exposure by atmospheric agents such as wind, rain, and temperatures; more accurately physical weather process involves the disintegration of big rocks into lesser portions by mechanical courses as abrasion (Jacobson, 2005).

Chemical weathering process

The chemical weather process breaks down minerals and rocks through reactions between minerals and atmospheric constituents, such as oxygen, which combines with other components to erode the rock; hydrolysis is one such example of a chemical weathering process (Jacobson, 2005).

Weathering processes that changed the Grand Canyon over time

Three main weathering agents have changed the Grand Canyon over time. These are ice, water, and wind. This has been possible because Grand Canyon is situated in the desert of Arizona that makes the soil extremely hard and dry, which makes absorption of water in the ground poor (Jacobson, 2005). In theory, what happened is that the weathering agents such as wind and water eroded the loose layer of the land while leaving behind the hard layer comprised of rock that is hard to erode, and thus Grand Canyon was formed (Jacobson, 2005).

The current rock formations, sediment, and climate of the region of the Grand Canyon

The Canyon walls show a composed cross-section crust of the Earth that extends some billions of years back with more than 40 well-defined layers of rocks (Bobspixels.com, 2009). Crystalline rocks are exposed by three “Granite Gorges” created in Proterozoic Era; these were formally deposited in the form of lava flows and sediments, which were then powerfully metamorphosed approximately 1.75 billion years in the past (Bobspixels.com, 2009). Thus, rocks created in Paleozoic Era make up the current Grand Canyons, like shale, limestone, and sandstone deposited at the coastal surroundings created the rock (Bobspixels.com, 2009).

The Area around the Canyon experiences varied weather conditions such as “cold winters and mild pleasant summers, moderate humidity, and considerable diurnal temperature changes of high elevations”; this is the main factor contributing to the formation of the Grand Canyon (Nps.gov, 2011).

Reference

Bobspixels.com. (2009). . Web.

Jacobson, M. Z. (2005). Fundamentals of Atmospheric Modeling (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Nps.gov. (2011). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Weathering Processes Forming the Grand Canyon." January 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/weathering-processes-forming-the-grand-canyon/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Weathering Processes Forming the Grand Canyon'. 5 January.

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