The Grand Canyon Of Arizona: How To See It By George Wharton James

 -  Let us, therefore, take a seat at El Tovar, and try to read a
few pages of the stone book - Page 136
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Let Us, Therefore, Take A Seat At El Tovar, And Try To Read A Few Pages Of The Stone Book Of Creation As Opened There.

Suppose all this vast region at about sea level, and the uplift just beginning.

The course of the Colorado River is already well defined. As the uplift continues, the cherty limestone and possibly the cross-bedded sandstone are both cut through, as the plateau slowly emerges. Whether the process of uplift is slow or rapid, as soon as a stratum emerges, it becomes subject to the influences of weathering, and the uppermost strata appearing first, they are weathered most. Hence the recession of the uppermost cliffs is greater than that of the cliffs lower down. The differences in hardness and resistance to weathering are alone responsible for the step-like profile of cliffs and terraces. The lower platform owes its width entirely to the rapid weathering and recession of the soft shales, which overlie the Tonto sandstones. The red-wall limestone, on the other hand, remains standing out as a cliff because of its exceeding durability.

The Faults. During the final uplift, the river cut through the Cambrian and Algonkian strata, and into the Granite Gorge as we find it to-day, and the process is still slowly going on. During these various periods of uplift, there were other changes occurring. Sometimes the uplift was uneven, certain parts of the plateau being lifted more rapidly than other parts; then occurred breaks in the strata, called faults.

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