Q:

How did the Grand Canyon form?

A:

Quick Answer

The Grand Canyon was formed primarily by erosion from the constant water flow of the Colorado River. This erosion occurred gradually over the past 5 to 6 million years.

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How did the Grand Canyon form?
Credit: Grand Canyon National Park Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Other forces have also contributed to the formation of the Grand Canyon. Rainfall, melting snow and small tributary streams have all changed the landscape over time. The Grand Canyon developed its shape because the different layers of rock and soil erode at different rates and in various ways. Some types of rock erode into cliffs, while others form more gentle slopes. Since the Colorado River is still flowing and the area continues to receive rainfall and other weather events, the Grand Canyon's appearance continues to erode and change.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How deep is the Grand Canyon?

    A:

    The Grand Canyon averages a depth of about 4,000 feet for its 277-mile length. At its deepest point, it is 6,000 feet deep. At its widest point, it is 18 miles across.

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  • Q:

    How big is the Grand Canyon?

    A:

    The Grand Canyon is 1,904 square miles, or 1,218,375.54 acres. Another common standard for canyons is "river miles," indicating the length of the river which snakes along the bottom of the canyon; in this case, it is the Colorado River. By this standard, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long.

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  • Q:

    Where is the Grand Canyon located?

    A:

    The Grand Canyon is situated within the state of Arizona. It is approximately 280 miles long, spans up to 18 miles in width and reaches a maximum depth over 6,000 feet. The canyon comprises a portion of the Colorado River basin, which has formed over the past 40 million years.

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  • Q:

    Which state is the Grand Canyon in?

    A:

    The Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic and distinguished natural features in the American landscape, is found in Arizona. The Grand Canyon gained recognition as a national landmark and therefore acquired permanent protection in 1919. The canyon covers over one million acres of land and draws millions of visitors every year.

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