What 2 processes formed the grand canyon?  

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mathscihelp eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although researchers are still investigating the processes that were involved with the formation of the Grand Canyon, it is believed that two primary processes or forces played a major role in its formation. These forces include the following:

1. Erosion - Over the course of many years massive amounts of water as well as some ice served to carve out the Grand Canyon as we know it today. This force is thought to be a primary force for its formation.

2. Wind / Changes in Climate - Coupled to the strong erosion forces, strong and fluctuating wind conditions that were the results of fluctuations in our climate also served as a means to carve out the Grand Canyon.

Other forces that have been implicated in its formation include the following:

3. Colorado River - This is the river which flows through the Grand Canyon.

4. Volcanism

5. Continental Drift

It is also important to realize that these forces collectively have served as a hot knife which has carved out the Grand Canyon to varying extents depending upon the period in the history of Grand Canyon as well as its corresponding geological composition during the period under consideration. When one studies the canyon's formation, one must also consider the complex geology of each of its layers which include:

Kaibab Limestone

Toroweap Formation

Coconino Sandstone

Hermit Shale

Supai Group

Redwall Limestone

Mauv Limestone

Bright Angel Shale

Tapeats Sandstone

... etc

Suffice it to say, there are quite a number of layers to consider when on ponders the forces that have shaped this canyon.

Given the canyon's geology, erosion and wind due to changes in climate appear to be the major processes or forces involved in its formation.