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The higher elevation has also resulted in greater precipitation in the Colorado River drainage area, but not enough to change the Grand Canyon area from being semi-arid.
The uplift of the Colorado Plateau is uneven, and the Kaibab Plateau that Grand Canyon bisects is over a one thousand feet (300 m) higher at the North Rim (about 1,000 ft or 300 m) than at the South Rim.
Major exceptions include the Permian Coconino Sandstone, which contains abundant geological evidence of aeolian sand dune deposition.
Several parts of the Supai Group also were deposited in non–marine environments.
Temperatures on the North Rim are generally lower than those on the South Rim because of the greater elevation (averaging 8,000 feet or 2,400 metres above sea level).
Many of the formations were deposited in warm shallow seas, near-shore environments (such as beaches), and swamps as the seashore repeatedly advanced and retreated over the edge of a proto-North America.
For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves.
The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it.
Nearly two billion years of 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.
Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.The great depth of the Grand Canyon and especially the height of its strata (most of which formed below sea level) can be attributed to (1,500 to 3,000 m) of uplift of the Colorado Plateau, starting about 65 million years ago (during the Laramide Orogeny).