Grand Canyon(Grand Canyon History): The world was not like that millions of years ago. Now where huge mountain peaks stand proudly on the earth, maybe there was a fast-flowing river. Or now, where billions of species of animals are swimming in the vast reservoir, there was a vast dry desert. Similarly, in the heart of Arizona, there is a 446-kilometer-wide canyon that surrounds the two banks of the Colorado River, formed by billions of years of broken debris. Although inhabited by Native Americans for hundreds of years, the canyon, known as the Grand Canyon, became one of the wonders of nature to European explorers in the 16th century.
This gorge, which satisfies the cravings of curious tourists who have been visiting the country and abroad for years, once took the researchers by storm. How exactly is this geographical pattern created by the flow of a river only 100 meters long? This question has made the best curious people in history think. But we do not have to go far to find the answer. The rocks on each level of the huge Grand Canyon are able to answer that question for us. This canyon, which holds millions of years of latent storytelling in its bosom, seems to have been waiting for those curious people for ages.
What Is The Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon, one of the world’s largest canyons, stands on either side of the Colorado River, bordering the state of Nevada in northwestern Arizona. It is about 446 km long and about 29 km wide. The average depth of this canyon is about one mile (1.8 km). According to geologists, the gorge was formed by the flow of the Colorado River for billions of years. Arizona is called the Grand Canyon State because of its canyon location.
Although the canyon is the fourth largest in the world in terms of size, the Grand Canyon is the most famous canyon in the world, which is visited by about 6.2 million tourists every year.
The Ravines Of The Gorge
The Grand Canyon Canyon has been turned into a national park. The climate in the canyon is a bit dry. The arid environment of the park is home to about 355 species of birds, 89 species of mammals, 47 species of reptiles, 9 species of amphibians, and 17 species of fish. Although there is some desert environment in the plains of the gorge, small to medium-sized forests can be seen in the highlands. About one and a half thousand species of plants have been found in this forest.
The Grand Canyon is divided into two regions – the North and the South Rim. The South Rim is open to visitors all year round. There is also an airport and a rail link to this gorge. About 90% of visitors come to South Rime, which is close to other cities in Arizona, Las Vegas, Nev, etc.
Although it is a bit inaccessible, the first choice of adventure lovers is North Rim. Because the most beautiful views of the gorge can be seen from here. The distance between the two rims is about 16 kilometers. Every year, trekking hikers explore the rugged terrain of the gorge.
River-Stone War (Grand Canyon Geology)
The idea of geologists is that where the Grand Canyon stands today, there was once no canyon. Exactly how much earlier this “one-time” event is still debated in the assembly of scientists. Many say 7 million years ago, for many the period is 3 million years. At that time when the earth was constantly changing its shape and gradually transforming into today’s green land, there was a vast flat land. The Colorado River flowed over it, just as it is today.
At some point, the surface begins to change its shape. The Kaibab Plateau is formed along the course of the river. The formation of this plateau obstructed the flow of the river. Colorado changed its course, following the laws of nature.
Grand Canyon Geography Facts
This time the Colorado route was split in two. One part flowed and merged into the Gulf of Mexico. Another part of the plateau inhabited the area. With the change of course of the river, lakes were born in several places. The most notable of these is the huge lake formed by the accumulation of water in the eastern part of the river about 12 million years ago, now called Bidahochi. The Colorado River continues to erode plateau rocks through its currents day after day.
The erosion is caused by various reactions in the rock with the river water and the chemicals present in it. Erosion that has been going on for millions of years has weakened the rocks below the plateau. This time the Colorado current is stronger than the resistance of that rock. As a result, the water of the river started flowing by breaking the rocks of the plateau. The Colorado River is able to reconnect with its tributaries.
The amount of water in the Colorado chest increases as the two branches merge. Even huge amounts of water from Bidahochi Lake flow into the heart of Colorado. The rocks of the relatively wide and deep Colorado Plateau continue to crumble, and from those ruins, a magnificent canyon is gradually formed over millions of years.
This is the short story of the creation of the Grand Canyon Canyon. In addition, various natural changes, weather, geographical events have played a direct and indirect role in the formation of this gorge for millions of years. The oldest rock at the foot of the gorge is called Vishnu Rock, formed about 1.7 billion years ago. On the other hand, the newest rocks are found at the top of the gorge, which is about 270 million years old.
The way people discovered the Grand Canyon
People came to this vast gorge born out of the Colorado-Caibo War 12,000 years ago today. Then the end of the ice age on Earth. In the inhospitable and dangerous environment of the gorge, those people started building houses. At that time an animal called Shasta Sloth used to roam in this region. They used to make a living by hunting those animals. They also started cultivating on a limited scale in the foothills. At certain times of the year, they harvested crops and began to supply them to caves discovered in the mountains.
Notable among the primitive communities that have settled in the Grand Canyon since the Ice Age are Pueblo, Paiute, Navaho, Juni, and Hopi. However, the people of the Havasupai community who now live there claim that the gorge is the ancestral home of their ancestors. They have been living here for about 800 years. Everyone knows the village of Havasupai as Supai village. The village of Supai is one of the most remote areas in the United States. There is no mobile network in the 21st-century information technology era. The locals still communicate on mules through postal delivery.
The canyon was discovered by the Spanish explorer Garcia Lopez de Cardenas as the first person outside the Native Americans. He was the first white man to discover the canyon in 1540. About 300 years after the discovery, in 1880, a group of miners settled in the area in search of copper. But in order not to destroy the rare natural features like this canyon, conservation of forest resources started here in 1893 under the supervision of the government.
The Grand Canyon became a tourist destination in 1901. In 1903, then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt annexed the canyon to the government after it became a tourist attraction around the world. In 1919, another president, Woodrow Wilson, turned it into a national park.
The Back And Forth Of The Coin
In addition to observing the enchanting landscapes of the gorge, there are 11 local villages, several local cultural sites, about 4,459 archeological sites, 8 historical sites, boat rides across the Colorado canyon, and a skywalk at the top of the gorge. The government is collecting billions of dollars in revenue from the tourism industry every year.
This money is playing an important role in keeping the wheel of the US economy moving. Thus the Grand Canyon is, directly and indirectly, making a significant contribution to the natural and economic landscape of the country. But the bright present has become dirty in fear of an uncertain future. And the reason for this fear is the pollution of the Colorado River.
The Colorado River is the main source of water for millions of people in Mexico, including about six states in the United States. Warm weather, reduced snowfall, and control of water through artificial dams have already reduced river flow by 16%. In addition, adequate water has to be provided for the millions of tourists staying in the park. Experts say that if the flow of water continues to decline in this way, the park authorities will fail to provide water for tourists in the near future. Due to these reasons, the gorge, which has developed in the history of millions of years of struggle, may re-emerge, but without water supply, the tourism industry will be shut down.
The age of our earth is around 500 crores. These long stories are hidden in the rocks of the world. With that in mind, the Grand Canyon’s long rocky outcrop meets Grandma’s bag. The rocks of the Grand Canyon have revealed many unknown facts about the long journey from the creation of the world to the modern age. With the natural beauty, the database of history, the habitat of the local people, this Grand Canyon has been the center of attraction for many generations. Research is still going on to unravel the underlying stories. Maybe in the near future, we will learn more exciting stories, which may change our perception of the creation of the world.
Q. Is it illegal to throw rocks in the Grand Canyon?
A. Throwing or rolling rocks or other items down hillsides or mountainsides, into valleys or canyons, or inside caves is prohibited.
Q. What makes the Grand Canyon unique?
A. Grand Canyon is considered one of the finest examples of arid-land erosion in the world.
Q. Do animals live in the Grand Canyon?
A. Over 90 species of mammals call Grand Canyon National Park home, giving this park higher mammalian species diversity than Yellowstone
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