The Grand Canyon

Located in Arizona, The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River. the canyon is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide and about 6000 feet deep. Even though it is not the deepest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon can be visually overwhelming. In carving the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River has exposed almost two billion years of geological history. The canyon is colourful and known for its visually overwhelming size. It is geologically unique because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are well preserved and exposed in the canyon’s walls. The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The grand canyon became a national park in 1919. The first exhibition down the Grand Canyon was led by John Wesley Powell who also gave it the name Grand canyon. It had previously been known as ‘Big’ or ‘Great’ Canyon. Millions of tourists visit each year to sightsee, hike or raft or to cam overnight.

The Grand Canyon is a visible example of the Great Unconformity, a worldwide geological phenomenon, in which 250million year old start lies back to back with 1.2 billion year old rocks. The events of the hundreds of millions of years in between remain a mystery.

The area around the Grand Canyon has some of the cleanest air in the United States. The air quality can be lowered at times by events such as forest fires and dust storms in the Southwest. The Grand Canyon is also home to a large variety of plant species, with over a dozen plants that can only be found in the area.

The Grand canyon area was originally inhabited by many Native American tribes. They have been living in and around the canyon for thousands of years. There is currently a town in the base of the Grand Canyon. Super Village is inaccessible by road and has a population of 208 people. It is the most remote community in the lower 48 states. The mail is delivered by pack mule.

The Grand Canyon’s age is not known. It was first believed that the river began carving out the canyon between 5 and 6 million years ago. A study in 2012 has shown where the carving process may have started as far back as 70 million years ago where many small canyons began which eventually merged into one gigantic canyon.

The weather in the Grand Canyon is unique, as the sudden changes in elevation have a great impact on temperature and precipitation. This causes the weather within the canyon to vary drastically. The canyon’s coldest, wettest, weather station is Bright Angel ranger Station located on the North Rim, while the hottest and one of the driest is 8 miles away at Phantom Ranch.

Even though the area surrounding the Grand Canyon is home to many species, the Colorado river and canyon itself are a difficult natural habitat for fish to live in. This is because of the river’s heavy silt, frequent floods and drastic changes in temperature. There are only eight species of fish native to the grand canyon, six of which have never been found elsewhere.

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