Exploring Yellowstone: The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is stunning.

The raging, crystal blue Yellowstone river carves it’s way through the yellow and red canyon. And then, of course, there is the massive waterfall located at one end of the canyon.

Roughly 20 miles long and ranging between 900 and 1,200 feet in depth, this massive geologic feature in Yellowstone is one you don’t want to miss.

Relatively a recent development in Yellowstone, in terms of earth history, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is predicted to be no more than 14,000 years. Similar to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, this canyon was caused by erosion from the Yellowstone River. Unlike the Grand Canyon, however, the one in Yellowstone did have some help from faulting caused by the caldera eruption and lava flow.

We originally thought the color was caused from the abundance of sulfur but actually it’s from a process called hydro thermal alteration. This is the heating of rocks which causes a chemical alteration in iron compounds. When the rocks are exposed to the elements, they are rusting.

More information about the canyon can be found at National Park Service: Yellowstone.

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