Grand Canyon formation is just one interesting thing to learn about on a Grand Canyon tour. You can add an interesting insight into rock formations when you take a Grand Canyon tour from Las Vegas. This day trip is often booked by vacationers as a way to escape Las Vegas for a while. On tour, you will see amazing scenery and learn more about Grand Canyon formation.

Reviewing the Layers To Make Sense Of Rock Development

To learn more about Grand Canyon formation, students of Grand Canyon geology review a diagram, called a stratigraphic column. This image presents the canyon’s rock layers, with the oldest one featured on the bottom. Therefore, the youngest rocks lay at the top. In the study of geology, this type of layering is known as superposition, and explains the formation of rocks. The top rocks are always younger than the rocks beneath them.

Original Horizontality

Rock formation is based on the principle of original horizontality as well. This means that each rock layer forms horizontally. If a rock tilts to one side, a geologic event has led to the anomaly. When you view a stratigraphic column, you can better understand rock layering and the principle of horizontality. Grand Canyon formation deals greatly with original horizontality.

Diagramming the Layers of Rocks

Kaibab limestone represents the youngest and uppermost rock layer at the Grand Canyon. However, the rock layer was formed at the bottom of the sea. Nevertheless, you can find this layer at elevations as high as 9,000 feet today. To explain this positioning, scientists state that uplift of the Colorado Plateau resulted in the placement. More specifically, plate tectonics lifted the rock, forming a plateau that the Colorado River could erode. Why the uplift happened is still under investigation.

The Formation of Kaibab Limestone

When Kaibab limestone was formed, it occurred about 270 million years ago. At that time, North America made up the western section of a super-continent, named Pangaea. The region of the Grand Canyon was covered by a warm, shallow, and clearly lit sea with a muddy and sandy floor. Both sponges and brachiopods dominated the waters. Other marine life included fish, sharks, and corals.

Grand Canyon Formation

To define a canyon, you need first to define a valley. A valley is a type of land mass characterized by low-lying land surrounded by higher areas, such as mountains. Valleys come in various sizes and configurations. They display erosional features from ice or water, or show structural features caused by rifts. Rifts take place when two plates of the Earth’s crust pull away from each other.

You can find out more about Grand Canyon formation up-close when you take a day trip to the South Rim of the canyon. Walk along the rim and review the Trail of Time. Visit the geology museum as well.

Learn More Details Online

Learn more details by contacting a premier Las Vegas tour operator, such as Grand Canyon Destinations. Booking a Grand Canyon tour will make any Vegas trip all the more interesting and exciting. Don’t miss out on this short trip from Vegas. Book a tour today.

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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.