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Grand Canyon Geological Cross Section

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The Grand Canyon’s Geological Cross Section of the south rim consists of the south rim geology and the formation of the Colorado River. This Geological attraction will be examined to see if the old rock layers that have been showing up for thousands of years are beneficial to the arrangement of the Grand Canyon. The reason is to find out the importance of the Grand Canyon to our country and if the split of the cross-section matters in our course of the subject. The discussion will involve a historic representation of the canyon, and will, therefore, include all different rock layers and their significance, environment outcome among fossils and rock layers, and lastly, how the Colorado River went down a certain path to form this canyon. The cross-section is a vital part and main feature of the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a world-renowned location in geology. Evolution through the geological time may be interpreted through the changes between different rock layers. This paper will examine how our environment affects rock formation and how the Colorado River began carving the canyon. Next, the Grand Canyon consists of many different rock layers. Rock layers such as igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, etc. Rocks are continuously evolving and therefore this discussion will be about the type of rock and formation of the rock. With different sources such as wind and water, rocks get pushed away and change. Magma follows a similar process. When the surface of the earth is heating up it can destroy rocks, therefore, resulting in a split. Rocks come in all different forms, shapes, and sizes. The rocks can be classified into three different categories.

These three categories of rocks can be found today at the Grand Canyon. Igneous rocks are formed from melted rocks on the ground. They are about one hundred million years old and are formed in volcanic environments. When rocks are deep under the earth’s surface, the magma below it melts the rock due to its high heat and therefore forms the magma chamber. As we look at figure one below, we can see how the rocks are changing due to the magma on the surface. Once the magma starts to cool off and the heat disperses, crystals will soon then form ultimately turning into granite. Once magma cools onto the earth’s surface, soon after, the magma immediately cools down.

Therefore, there is not enough time for the rock to fully crystalize causing a formation of a small grained type of rock called basalt. This rock can be harmful because it is volcanic with alarmingly high temperatures. Sedimentary rocks are visible on the earth’s surface either on water or land. They are a few million years old and are formed in areas of water such as rivers or lakes. This type of rock comes from the material that we use today such as minerals, or animal/plant materials. Sedimentary rocks are formed when we see layers of rocks covering old layers underneath them. They come together compacted as one and form this type of rock. Soon after, the sedimentary rocks that were compacted and pushed together, are combined with different chemicals and minerals. The sedimentary rocks contain so much since they are compacted together as one. These rocks can be formed to be huge in size. The sand that we see on the beach can be formed as a sedimentary rock. This is why this type of rock is so commonly visible. Metamorphic rocks are only formed when the other two rocks are not present, and therefore a new rock may be formed.

This is why the metamorphic rock is less common. Although, they are about 1.8 billion years old and are formed in hot, high-temperature environments. When the other two cannot take in the source of heat and such a high temperature, this is when the metamorphic rock will take action. The outcome that the rock will produce is the transformation and change we will see in the rock due to the crystals that form it. This change is due to the new minerals that are created, and the water that is moving into these rocks. In figure two we see through the narrow openings of the rocks, water is pouring through like a river. They play a big factor in changing the structure of the whole rock. We can see that little subjects make a huge difference in the rocks formed at the canyon.

Lastly, metamorphic rocks can even be changed into other metamorphic rocks with a different temperature or pressure that may be exerted on to it. Finally, young rocks are always piled over older rocks. The study of the sequence of these rock layers is our main source of knowledge about earth’s history. This includes the evolution of life and changes that appear in our climate. We see that with moisture in the air and humidity in the air, the climate is affected. As for the geological cross-section that defines these rock layers, it can be said that it appears from faults and folds that the canyon goes through all the time. This defines that rocks are always being changed due to the pressure that parts of the canyon are experiencing. For example, an earthquake that takes place is an effect that ties in with the cross-section. This goes hand in hand to affect our rock layers in the Grand Canyon as well.

Secondly, rock layers that are formed in the Grand Canyon have an effect that connects with fossils. The canyon contains rock formations that we discussed above with the effect on them which is hidden. Those are the fossil fuels that are hundreds of million years old. Fossils are the old remains of animals body parts from millions of years ago. This can include a leg or even teeth. The rocks connect with the fossils because the rocks contain footprints from the past which a new layer is put on top of the old layer to track these steps. These fossil fuels appeared because of these rock layers and are classified as a giant attraction to people today. There are three types of fossils that will be discussed, such as Marine Fossils, Terrestrial Fossils, and Recent Fossils. Marine fossils are fossils viewed because of the layers of sedimentary rocks that have been in the canyon the past millions of years.

Stromatolites are classified as a type of marine fossil which is the oldest in the Grand Canyon. In figure four, we see a stromatolite which looks like a piece of wood, although, the reason they appear like this is that the fossils are formed by bacteria piling on top of more bacteria. As more bacteria is added on, the sun affects the bacteria that is forming. This creates layers upon layers of bacteria in waters, which are dominant. Although, once predators such as animals come into the picture, the formation of the stromatolite may be affected in a way.

For this reason, salt is now put into the water to keep predators away. This has solved the issue of keeping the stromatolites in a good place. Terrestrial fossils are formed from mudstones and siltstones which then formed river systems which were connected. This occurred at an average climate temperature. The sand that has appeared from these sandstones, were caused by significant amounts of wind pressure in the dunes. The layers were all divided up and each layer referred back to a fossil. As we can see, there is a huge connection between the two. Terrestrial fossils are all over the Grand Canyon today, such as Coconino sandstone, hermit shale, and the Supai formation. In these areas, we see these types of fossils appear due to the rocks that are in between.

Recent fossils are fossils that were newly discovered or not too old. With the temperature the Grand Canyon is at today, we see a climate with cool and hot. This allows us to view these recent fossils. With the remains that we have today, for example, the sloth’s skull from a cave, scientists are able to study it and tell us the effects that climate change brought upon to them and how they can advance in the right direction. In figure three, we see the skull of the sloth, and we can determine that with this figure, scientists will be able to discover new things with all sorts of different fossils that they may encounter with. As we can see, rock layers upon old layers are the product that is hidden underneath these rocks and tie in with fossils that are found along the walls of the Grand Canyon.

Finally, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a significant landmark that is recognized today by many people across the world. The landmark was formed because of the rocks that would appear and how they would form on the earth’s surface. This is why today at the canyon, we see so many different cool features. We see the rocks come in different ways such as going up and down, side to side, unraveled, etc. The Colorado River is split into multiple plateaus of the province. It comes along with four different parts to it. The province is classified within sedimentary rocks. Due to these rocks, the province has formed and can do so much more. Many erosions formed due to the rock building of making this canyon miles long. During the Proterozoic era, crystals started to appear. This was a huge positive outcome for the canyon because the magma and heat that arose in these rocks, allowed the crystals to form in the shape they are today. The magma that was contained in these rocks rose deeper in, and then soon formed granite. This is due to the crystalline structure that appeared. Many years ago, the mountains that formed the canyon due to the rocks, and splits, tilted the shape and form of these rocks. Erosion then appeared and took away these cracked rocks. In the eastern canyon, a small number of tiny particles was present. The rock layers that formed in the time of the Paleozoic era stood out the most in the walls that consisted the canyon. Layers of limestone and sandstones totaled to make the canyon so deep and thick in structure.

The Grand Canyon is a geological area today. In figure five, we see a picture of the Grand Canyon, and we can tell that with the formation of rocks upon others, different levels rise and different levels sink. This all has to do with how the rock was manipulated and what path it went through. It has been supplying water for thousands of years. These rivers that are produced due to the water that is supplied, are for agricultural use by many groups along the rim of the canyon. We see so many ups and downs with the canyon that occur all the time. For example, we see erosion at times, but then we can see violent and heavy storms that pour in. The moisture from the air and water the canyon receives at times creates the area of the rock. Still today, geologists are discovering how rocks are the main source of covering the canyon, and if these rocks can perform new carvings to the canyon. The canyon allows people today to view these interesting landmarks and to see the different types of rock formations and how they appear. Furthermore, we can see that one effect will cause another and it will continue to happen. We may see major differences in the future to come as we discover new things in the canyon all the time

As discussed above, geological roles play an essential part in our earth today. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a world-renowned place in geology. Evolution through the geological time may be interpreted through the changes between different rock layers. The Grand Canyon examination on how our environment affects rock formation and how the Colorado River began carving the canyon was the ultimate goal of our research. Overall, the Grand Canyon is an exceptional feature in today’s geography, and therefore the discovery of old and new will continue to appear in our world today. The conditions of the site today will always determine the outcome of what will happen next within the Grand Canyon, and this will all depend on the three factors discussed in this paper; rock layers, environment affect between fossils and rock layers, and the Colorado River path and the formation of the canyon.

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Grand Canyon Geological Cross Section. (2018, November 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from
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