16 March, 2011

Grand Canyon...

The Nature’s Masterpiece
A very beautiful part of Grand Canyon with colourful stripy rocks

A canyon is a deep steep-walled valley cut through rock by a river. The word ‘canyon’ comes from the Spanish word canon, which means ‘tube’. Such valleys are found where river currents are strong and swift. A smaller valley cut out in the same way is called a ‘gorge’.
            The Grand Canyon, in northern Arizona state in the United States, is the most beautiful and awesome canyon in the world. It is cut about a kilometre and a half deep into the earth and is known for its fantastic shapes and colours. Swiftly flowing water, sand, gravel, and mud gave the rocks their interesting shapes. Each of its rock layers has a different shade of colour, including buff, grey, green, pink, brown, and violet.
Another beautiful view of The Grand Canyon 

            The canyon is 446 kilometres long and has been carved through the Arizona landscape by the Colorado River. It stretches in a zigzag course from the northern end of Arizona to the Grand Wash Cliffs near Nevada.
            Many ancient pueblos – Native American Cliffside dwellings – and other ruins in the canyon show that prehistoric peoples lived there. The Grand Canyon was first discovered by Europeans in 1540. It was established as a national park in 1919.
            Visitors to the park can take a mule-pack trip down to the bottom of the canyon. People can even go river rafting, taking a thrilling trip over the rapids.
A beautiful view of the River Colorado in the Grand Canyon

            If you visit the canyon, you’ll probably see some of the many animals that live there. Squirrels, coyotes, foxes, deer, badgers, bobcats, rabbits, chipmunks, and kangaroo rats all make their homes near the canyon. In 1979 the Grand Canyon was named a World Heritage site.

In geological terms the Grand Canyon is fairly young, at about 6 million years old. But the rocks it cuts through date back as far as 2 billion to 2.5 billion years ago.

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