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The Grand Canyon and Lake Powell, USA – March 19th, 2010

36.1N 113.2W

March 19th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

USA - March 5th, 2010

USA - March 5th, 2010

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the United States in Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the first national parks in the USA. The canyon is visible in the lower portion of this image, while Lake Powell is visible in the upper right quadrant.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet). Nearly two billion years of the Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.

While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has continued to erode and form the canyon to the point we see it as today.

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