Hypothese of Kaibab Plateau in the Grand Canyon Essay

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Many will attest to the grandeur of the natural feature that exists in northern Arizona, but the formation of the Grand Canyon has befuddled geomorphologists to this day. This confusion can be attributed to the Kaibab Plateau, an anomaly considering the Colorado River traverses it seamlessly. Four prevalent hypotheses have been proposed since the 19th century, starting with the lake overflow proposition first brought up by John Newbury and then reinforced by Eliot Blackwelder. Newbury argued that a structure must have ponded an ancient lake causing an overspill to cut into the Grand Canyon. This argument holds that the river must have come after the plateau’s existence. Unbeknownst to Newbury, the structure would be the Kaibab Plateau.…show more content…
Antecedent supporters will claim that the river could flow anywhere on the Kaibab Plateau, but evidence of a river that strayed has not been found. In addition, the canyons of the Mogollon Highlands show evidence of ancient rivers that once flowed northeast against the southwest direction of the Colorado River the Antecedent proposition purports (3c). Gravel sediment where the Mogollon Highland’s would have drained onto the Colorado Plateau supports this statement (3b). A true testament to the power of the Colorado River from the Rocky Mountains is evident in its capabilities to erode away volcanic bedrock in the past (5c). As many as 13 volcanic dams were formed in the Grand Canyon’s past, but all did not withstand the Colorado River. Basaltic lava flows are relatively resistance, but the river has successfully eroded about 11,300 feet of volcanic material, equivalent to twice the depth of the Grand Canton itself (8b). Further proof of major rivers’ ability to effectively erode barriers can be found near Cameron, where the Little Colorado River has managed to change its course north and remove 150 feet of bedrock material (5c). With these factors in hand it is not hard to imagine that younger Colorado River had the capability to erode significant parts of an older Kaibab Plateau. Tributaries like the Bright Angel Canyon also present
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