Grand Canyon is one of the premier geologic landscapes in the world.
It is a geologically young canyon, carved in the last 6 million years (6 Ma) by the Colorado River and its tributaries.
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(3) In the depths of Grand Canyon, the oldest rocks are the igneous and metamorphic rocks we call the (Granite Gorge Metamorphic Suite plus the Zoroaster Plutonic Complex).
These rocks record the formation and modification of the continental crust of the region in the Paleoproterozoic Era between 18 Ma.
The purpose of this volume is to present an up-to-date and easy-to-understand summary of the geologic history of Grand Canyon, with emphasis on the eastern Grand Canyon.
Geology, like any science, has complicated concepts and a necessary vocabulary, but we try to present difficult concepts in a context of familiar ones, and new words with enough context to help in understanding the vocabulary.
Throughout this monograph, readers need to be familiar with the geologic time scale, the larger subdivisions of which are listed in Table 1. This part of the canyon is special because it contains nearly all the rock units of Grand Canyon.
It is the only part of the canyon where the 800–742 Ma Chuar Group strata are found, and the only place where the Sixtymile Formation is found.This carving of the canyon has revealed three sets of rocks in the walls of the canyon that record progressively older chapters: (1) The horizontal sedimentary rock layers that make up the upper strata throughout Grand Canyon are Paleozoic rocks, deposited between ~525 and 270 million years (m.y.) ago (between 525 and 270 Ma).(2) The tilted rock layers, exposed selectively in fault blocks and exceptionally well preserved in the eastern Grand Canyon, are Meso-Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks of the Grand Canyon Supergroup that were deposited between 1255 and 700 Ma.It also provides excellent exposures of the Butte fault, a major fault line in the crust with an interesting history of multiple movements, including formation of the East Kaibab monocline.The eastern canyon also contains Marble Canyon, the confluence of the Little Colorado River with the Colorado River, and river gravel and travertine deposits that record how fast the river has been carving the canyon.Each of the rock sets is becoming increasingly well understood, and our goal is for this monograph and the new geologic map to help readers get to know all the rocks in Grand Canyon better by exploring and pondering the rich geologic database of this new detailed geologic map.