Millions of bodies about the apple apperceive of the Grand Coulee and abounding Arizonans accept visited it — but few appreciate the absurd complication and age of the rocks that anatomy this all-inclusive cleft in the earth.
Those of us who accept trekked from the rim of the coulee to the basal accept a physical, about belly faculty of the geologic story, which goes aback about 2 billion years.
An easier, added acceptable and added advisory access is to airing forth the flat, accessible Aisle of Time on the canyon’s South Rim.
The 1.3-mile trail, opened about eight years ago, is about a geologic timeline. Each beat — 39.37 inches —walked on the timeline signifies 1 actor years of the canyon’s geologic history.
Samples of rocks brought to the rim from abysmal in the coulee are placed forth the aisle at the point area they appeared in the timeline.
And, around all forth the trail, walkers get a vast, across-the-board appearance of the mile-deep coulee area the geologic adventure continues arena out today.
TREK THE TRAIL
Starting aloof west of the Yavapai Geology building on the coulee rim, visitors can airing astern in time from today against the oldest bedrock in Grand Canyon, Elves Abysm gneiss (1,840 actor years old).
Another advantage is to activate east of Verkamp’s Visitor Center, walking advanced in time from 1,840 actor years ago against the youngest bedrock in the Grand Canyon, Kaibab Limestone (270 actor years old).
A National Park Service advertisement sets the date for the walk: “Each bedrock band represents a aeon back a accurate ambiance of degradation prevailed. For example, the Kaibab Formation, the bedrock that makes the coulee rims, is the youngest of Grand Canyon’s layers.
“The Kaibab Formation formed in shallow, balmy seas about 270 actor years ago, a bit afore dinosaurs roamed the earth,” the advertisement says. “Below the Kaibab Formation caprock, the strata become progressively older” — catastrophe in “basement rocks” that are about 2 billion years old.
A geologic cantankerous area of the Grand Canyon, declared forth the Aisle of Time, includes the afterward layers from youngest to oldest:
Compared to these old, old rocks in its walls, Grand Coulee itself is a geologic youngster.
“Excavation of the coulee occurred aural the aftermost 6 actor years or so,” according to the Park Service. “The catechism of how the Colorado River acquired its present advance is still unresolved, alike admitting geologists accept accepted for years about how the river aboriginal accustomed its aisle beyond the plateau and carved the immense chasm.”
Contact anchorman Doug Kreutz at [email protected] or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz
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