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History of Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon - Hopi Point Creative CommonsJean-Christophe Benoist

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.  While some aspects about the history of incision of the Grand Canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago.

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. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.

"Grand Canyonlocated in northwestern Arizona, is the 15th site in the United States to have been named a national park. It was officially designated a national park on February 26, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson.

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Head of Geology Library & Map Room Mathematical Sciences Librarian Science Education Specialist

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Danny Dotson
Contact:
180E Geology Library
Orton Hall
614-688-0053

Geology Library Associate II