The Earth in Layers at the Grand Canyon

We spent a few days at the Grand Canyon last year and got to experience its magnificent beauty from many angles at different times of day. The picture below was taken while the sun was rising near Mather Point.

The next few pictures, which include views of the Colorado River were taken during the noon hour.

At this point the Colorado is flowing through Granite Gorge,  and is at ‘rock bottom,’  Vishnu Basement Rocks formed 1,750 to 1,660 million years ago, the very foundation of the continent.

I wish I would have paid more attention in my Geology class.  But here’s the story according to the Park Service brochure I kept from that trip.

‘Grand Canyon reveals a beautiful sequence of rock layers that serve as windows of time. The carving of the canyon is only the most recent chapter, a geologic blink of an eye, in a long story. The long story includes rock nearly two billion years old in the bottom of the canyon, land masses colliding and drifting apart, mountains forming and eroding away, sea levels rising and falling, and relentless forces of moving water. Several factors make Grand Canyon’s geology remarkable.  Many canyons form as rivers cascade among mountain peaks, but Grand Canyon sits incised into an elevated plateau. The desert landscape exposes the geology to view. The strata revealed preserve a lengthy, although incomplete, record of Earth’s history.

Finally,  here’s one more picture of the Canyon just before sunset.

For this week’s prompt from Travel With Intent, Earth.

~ Susanne

10 Comments on “The Earth in Layers at the Grand Canyon

  1. It doesn’t matter how many times I see pictures of it, I remain convinced that The Grand Canyon has to be seen to be really experienced. Amazing nature, at its finest.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Went there when my very energetic daughter was 10 and raced down into the canyon ahead of me. Fortunately I stopped her in time for us to have the stamina to walk back UP!

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