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The Grand Canyon Tells the Story of North America

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Grand Canyon. 240. million years ago. Regional Uplift, Tilting, or folding) causes Erosion ... Grand Canyon. Sedimentation (e.g., immature sand) Shale (220) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Grand Canyon Tells the Story of North America


1
The Grand Canyon Tells the Story of North America
  • Knowing how and where rocks are formed allows us
    to read the story written in the rocks.
  • A mile thickness of rocks of the Great Plains are
    exposed by uplift and erosion by the Colorado
    River.

2
Rocks of the Grand Canyon
  • Separate the larger puzzle into a series of
    smaller puzzles (I.e., each group of rocks)
  • Metamorphic rocks (oldest)
  • Intrusive igneous rocks
  • Sedimentary rocks lying on an irregular
    metamorphic surface
  • Sedimentary layering
  • Erosion of the canyon

(Youngest event)
3
Rocks of the Grand Canyon
  • Each group of rocks is separated by a gap in the
    geologic record (formations and contacts)
  • Metamorphic rocks ? Metamorphism
  • Granite ? Intrusion of silicic magma
  • Eroded surface ? Uplift and erosion
  • Sedimentary rocks ? Shallow inland seas
  • Erosion of the Canyon ? Recent uplift

4
Metamorphic and Igneous Rocks
  • Metamorphism of sedimentary rocks
  • Igneous intrusion during later stages of
    metamorphism (during mountain building)
  • Uplift and erosion (during and after mountain
    building)

(nonconformity)
5
Sedimentary Rocks
  • Deposition of sediments on eroded metamorphic and
    igneous rocks.
  • Uplift and erosion exposing sedimentary layers
    and
  • Eventually expose Igneous and metamorphic rocks
    again

G Uplift and Renewed Erosion
6
Erosion and Exposure
  • Uplift and erosion exposing sedimentary layers
    and
  • Eventually Igneous and metamorphic rocks again

G Uplift and Renewed Erosion
G Uplift and Renewed Erosion
7
Formation of the Grand Canyon
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Limestone
450 Million Years Old
300 million years ago
8
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion

Erosion
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Limestone
450
280 million years ago
Regional Uplift Tilting (or folding)
9
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion

Erosion
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Limestone
450
270 million years ago
Regional Uplift
10
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion

Erosion
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Limestone
450
260 million years ago
Regional Uplift
11
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion

Erosion
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Limestone
450
250 million years ago
Regional Uplift
12
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting, or folding) causes
    Erosion
  • Erosion surface indicates gap in geologic record

Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
Limestone
450
Gabbro (790)
240 million years ago
13
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion
  • Erosion surface, gap in geologic record
  • Continuous Sedimentation

Sedimentation (e.g., clay)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
220 million years ago
14
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion
  • Erosion surface, gap in geologic record
  • Continuous Sedimentation

Sedimentation (e.g., lime mud)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
210 million years ago
15
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion
  • Erosion surface, gap in geologic record
  • Continuous Sedimentation

Sedimentation (e.g., quartz sand)
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
200 million years ago
16
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion
  • Erosion surface, gap in geologic record
  • Continuous Sedimentation

Quartz Sandstone (200)
Sedimentation (e.g., immature sand)
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
190 million years ago
17
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion
  • Erosion surface, gap in geologic record
  • Continuous Sedimentation

Quartz Sandstone (200)
Arkose (190)
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
180 million years ago
18
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Regional Uplift, Tilting (or folding), Erosion
  • Erosion surface, gap in geologic record
  • Continuous Sedimentation
  • Sedimentation ceases

Arkose (190)
Quartz Sandstone (200)
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
170 million years ago
19
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Erosion of horizontal beds

Arkose (190)
Quartz Sandstone (200)
Erosion
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
160 million years ago
20
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Erosion of horizontal beds
  • Loss of geologic record (i.e., Arkose)
  • Formation of a horizontal erosion surface

Arkose (190)
Quartz Sandstone (200)
Erosion
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
150 million years ago
21
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Erosion of horizontal beds
  • Loss of geologic record (i.e., Arkose)
  • Formation of a horizontal erosion surface
  • Renewed Sedimentation

Arkose (190)
Quartz Sandstone (200)
Sedimentation (e.g., reef)
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
140 million years ago
22
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Erosion of horizontal beds
  • Loss of geologic record (i.e., Arkose)
  • Formation of a horizontal erosion surface
  • Renewed Sedimentation

Arkose (190)
Quartz Sandstone (200)
Limestone (140)
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (280)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
130 million years ago
23
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Erosion of horizontal beds
  • Loss of geologic record (i.e., Arkose)
  • Formation of a horizontal erosion surface
  • Renewed Sedimentation

Arkose (190)
Quartz Sandstone (200)
Limestone (140)
Limestone (210)
Shale (220)
Sandstone
350
Shale
380
Gneiss (1,500)
Granite (290)
450
Limestone
Gabbro (790)
120 million years ago
24
Formation of the Grand Canyon
  • Deciphering Relative Ages
  • Principles give sequences of geologic events
  • Unconformities indicate gaps in the geologic
    record

Limestone
Quartz Sandstone
Disconformity
Angular Unconformity
Limestone
Shale
Sandstone
Shale
Gneiss
Granite
Limestone
Gabbro
Nonconformities
25
Uplift and Erosion
  • As the land is lifted up by tectonic forces
  • A stream will attempt to maintain its base level
    by
  • Cutting down into the rocks due to accelerated
    erosion

26
The Grand Staircase
27
Eastern Zion National Park
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