The Grand Canyon is the result of gradual erosion over the course of 17 million years. Wind, water and ice slowly eat away at the stone forming the signature caves and crevices that have become famous around the world. This relentless erosion has led to the creation of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World known as the Grand Canyon.
The most influential element responsible for carving out the Grand Canyon is the Colorado river. Although the exact date cannot be determined, most scientists agree that the Colorado River established a path through the Grand Canyon about 17 million years ago. That path has shaped the canyon into its present day form, a constant process that still continues to this day. At 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, with crevices over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon continues to grow and change even now. Geologists have dated the stone itself to be as old as 2 billion years, making it a prehistoric monument of sorts.
Although the Grand Canyon is not the largest or deepest canyon in the world, it is unique in the fact that it preserves and displays the prehistoric layers of stone, and does so in an amazing, visually appealing fashion. This is the result of tectonic uplifting, a geological process involving the collision of tectonic plates in the earth, resulting in the creation of mountains or plateaus. The increase in elevation raises earth and stone that was previously buried, thus the older stone becomes visible once more.
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