Millions of people visit the Grand Canyon annually. As you prepare for your trip, familiarize yourself with some geological terms that will improve your understanding of this awe-inspiring landscape. Learn about several geological terms before visiting the Grand Canyon here.
Learn About Erosion
Erosion is the process by which natural forces, such as water, wind, and ice, wear away rocks and soil over time. This process played a crucial role in sculpting the landscape of the Grand Canyon. The primary erosional agent was the Colorado River, which cut through the rock layers over millions of years, carving out the canyon we see today.
Another geological term to learn before visiting the Grand Canyon is deposition. This occurs when wind or water deposits sediment and other material in new locations. As the Colorado River passes through the Grand Canyon, it carries sediment that eroded upstream.
During your visit with Comedy on Deck Tours, notice the sedimentary rock layers in the canyon walls. These formed through deposition as the environment deposited sediments over millions of years.
Uplift is the process by which the earth’s crust rises due to tectonic activity. In the case of the Grand Canyon, uplift played a significant role in its formation.
Approximately 50 to 70 million years ago, the rise of the Colorado Plateau began due to tectonic forces. As you explore the Grand Canyon, consider the tremendous geological forces that lifted the plateau, setting the stage for the canyon’s dramatic formation.
Find Out About Downcutting
Downcutting refers to the process of a river cutting through rock layers to form a canyon. The Colorado River has been downcutting for millions of years in the Grand Canyon, carving out the dramatic landscape we see today. While visiting the canyon, observe the vertical cliffs and imagine the power of the Colorado River eroding layer upon layer of rock as it continues to deepen the canyon.
Now that you know these terms and how they relate to the Grand Canyon, you can further appreciate one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. If you and your family want to see it in person, contact Comedy on Deck Tours about our Grand Canyon bus tours from Las Vegas. We also include a tour of the Hoover Dam and a lunch at the Canyon Rim that you will never forget.