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Syndic Literary Journal

Grand Canyon ~ World Heritage Site

By Northern California Photographer Mel Solomon


The Grand Canyon is located in Northern Arizona. This World’s Heritage Site encompasses 277 miles (446km) of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands and is one of the most spectacular examples  of erosion any where in the world. If the Grand Canyon is a geological book, it is one still being written. Hard as it is to imagine, one never experiences the same canyon twice. The natural forces that created the masterpiece are still at work every day, making it a little deeper and a little grander. Over a year’s time, the Colorado River deepens Grand Canyon by a minuscule amount – approximately the thickness of a piece of paper. Scientists continue to ask the question “How long has this process been going on”?

Until recently, two theories have been debated:

(1) Grand Canyon is “old”, having been carved about 70 million years ago during the first stage of uplift of the Colorado Plateau or;

(2) Grand Canyon is “new” in Geologic time, sculpted by a fierce turbulent Colorado River over the past six million years.

(3) However, in the past decade, new data collection techniques unveiled an “intermediate canyon” theory. Evidence suggests an East Kaibab paleocanyon, perhaps a thousand feet deep, was carved 15-25 million years ago.

In geologic time, some of the canyon’s rocks are nearly two billion years old.

Group 1


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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