Grand Canyon National Park Resources

Grand Canyon’s formation is a part of its history. Of all the landscapes in the world, the Grand Canyon highlights many interesting geological formations. Rangers lead talks in Grand Canyon National Park to convey the importance of the park’s resources. They also stress the importance of maintaining the park’s natural beauty. The Grand Canyon’s formation can help us learn more about the region where the canyon sits and the history of the landscape.

While the subject of geology is broad by definition, you can divide the science into a number of subspecialties. Most of these subspecialties relate to the formation of rocks in Grand Canyon National Park.

Geology Shows The Grand Canyon’s Formation

One of these specialty topics is plate tectonics. This focuses on the movement of oceanic and continental plates. The shifting of plates led to the development of the canyon’s large geological formations. This branch of geology explains why layers of canyon rocks that formed at sea level, are now seen at 7,000 feet.

Stratigraphy is another subspecialty that is useful in studying the geology of the Grand Canyon. This study concerns the review of rock layers called strata. The subject holds a vast amount of data about how the area’s past contributed to the formation of rock layers.

Another topic, structural geology, entails the study of the re-forming of the earth’s crust. This subject explains why some canyon rocks tilt while others appear flat. Hydrology is another geological subspecialty that explains how the movement of water developed tributaries.

Geomorphology shows how erosion shapes the earth. It demonstrates how erosion carves and creates the canyon into its current form.

The Trail of Time

Many geologists enjoy visiting the Trail of Time at the South Rim in the Grand Canyon National Park. This informational display is along a well-traveled trail that is reachable by shuttle bus. You can walk backward in time if you start at the Yavapai Geology Museum and walk west.

Doing this, you can experience the entire history of the Grand Canyon by going back in time. Begin by walking the Million Year Trail. Each meter represents one million years of canyon geological history. The one-hour walk takes you to panoramic views of the Grand Canyon while you contemplate its amazing development. Walking guides are featured on either end of the path.

Learn About The Grand Canyon’s Formation

All rocks that were carved in the canyon were deposited before the Grand Canyon’s formation 6 million years ago. You will find that each rock tells a story about the canyon geological history. For example, most of the rocks in the canyon are described as sedimentary. Sedimentary rock is made up of smaller rocks, such as salt, or organisms.

The Grand Canyon’s formation produced many rock types. The three main rocks are sandstone, limestone, and shale. You can get a deeper understanding when you visit the canyon’s South Rim.

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram to see current Grand Canyon tour information!

About the Author

Kyle Gooverton

Kyle Gooverton

A Grand Canyon enthusiast! A local Las Vegas resident that loves the flora and the fauna of all things Southwest.