Free The Grand Canyon Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Grand, Grand Canyon, World, Science, Students, Earth, Plate, United States

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/09/12

The Grand Canyon is one of the most stunning natural wonders of the world. It is a collection of mighty rock formations carved roughly by the Colorado River millions of years ago. Geologists estimate that the majestic Grand Canyon is nearly 450 kilometers long (280 miles) and almost 2 kilometers deep, equivalent to one mile (Grolier’s Student Encyclopedia, 2004, p. 44). Its peaks and gorges vary in width (Wenk, 2010, p. 19-20). As the Colorado River cut deeply, it created huge dents called ‘gorges’ on the surface of the rocks, which eventually exposed the buried fossils of ancient animals that died long time ago. Hendrix and Thompson (2011, p. 475) argue that the Grand Canyon walls consist of three different rocks from different geological periods. The bottom part of the Grand Canyon was the Precambrian schist, identified to be 1.7 billion years old which lies beneath the Tapeats Sandstone, approximately 525 million years old; whilst the Redwall limestone forms the skyline of the gorge, a rich deposit of red rocks formed about 340 million years ago. Prior to the research made by the scientists, the Grand Canyon is a mighty edifice of nature formed from sedimentary rocks deposited on the top of the older metamorphic and igneous rocks (Hendrix and Thompson, 2011). Scientists suggest that originally, the Grand Canyon was an oceanic basin lying between the incipient North American Plate of the northwest and a volcanic island of Yavapai of the southeast. About 1.7 billion years ago, the oceanic crust of the North American Plate collided with the Yavapai plate. At some point, the resulting sediments created by these collisions went to extreme changes in temperature and eventually morphed to create the Grand Canyon Metamorphic Suite (Wenk, 2010, p. 18). Scientists use the rock formations found in the Grand Canyon in a process known as ‘carbon dating’, to determine the age of the rocks found in the area (Timmons and Karlstrom, 2012, p. 3). The history of the Grand Canyon tells the humanity the formation of the Earth and the events that occurred long before the land was inhabited by humans.


Hendrix, M., & Thompson, G. (2011). Earth: Student Edition (2nd ed., p. 475). Stanford: Cengage Learning.
Grolier’s Student Encyclopedia (2004). Danbury, Connecticut: Old Sherman Turnpike.
Timmons, M., & Karlstrom, K. (2012). Grand Canyon Geology: Two Billion Years of Earth's History. Colorado: The Geological Society of America.
Wenk, E. (2010). One Best Hike. Berkeley: Wilderness Press.

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Free The Grand Canyon Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Sep 12, 2020. Accessed November 29, 2022.

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