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From grains of volcanic glass to continental rifting: New Geosphere articles now online
Date:2/11/2013

n of Arizona, USA, is both a geologic wonder and enigma. Since its first geologic description over one hundred years ago, it has been the source of vigorous debate regarding the timing and processes of its formation. Ironically, the enormous magnitude of erosion that characterizes Grand Canyon is what obscures a description of its geologic history due to the almost complete removal of the Tertiary rock record. However, new analytical techniques have revived the century-old debate. In this study, J.P. Lee and colleagues present new data that allow insight into the thermal evolution of the rocks collected from the area of Grand Canyon. These thermal histories allow them to infer patterns of erosion through time, and therefore constrain the age of Grand Canyon. Results indicate that the region of Grand Canyon has undergone a spatially variable erosion history with segments of Grand Canyon forming at 28-20 million years ago while the easternmost segments of Marble Canyon formed no earlier than 10 million years ago. These observations indicate that the coherent landscape feature that we know today as Grand Canyon was actually assembled in a segmented fashion from inherited landscape features. The results here bring the geologic community one step further in constructing a unified theory that describes the complicated origin of Grand Canyon while honoring many previously described lines of geologic evidence. This paper is part of the "Crevolution 2: Origin and Evolution of the Colorado River System II" series.


Paleochannels, stream incision, erosion, topographic evolution, and alternative explanations of paleoaltimetry, Sierra Nevada, California
John Wakabayashi, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, California State University, Fresno, California 93740, USA. Posted online 5 Feb. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/GES00814.1.

This paper by John Wakabayashi presents
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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