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…
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.
Blackwelder would later use the Muddy Creek Problem, in which older limestone dispositions were abruptly halted by the Colorado River’s rapid arrival, to support the notion that the Colorado River was younger than the Kaibab Plateau. John Powell argued against Newbury’s belief that the plateau was older, claiming that the river had already existed when an uplift of the plateau occurred giving it its current formation. This theory is known as Antecedence, but due to the Muddy Creek dilemma another proposition was in need to further push the case for an ancient river. Through Superimposition theory, Alan Strahler stated that an old river would have been assisted by scarp retreat caused by the uplift. Lastly, Eddie McKee attempted to address the

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