Structural Research of Canyonlands National Park, Utah Essay
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Canyonlands National Park, immense amounts of wilderness and rock, is located at the heart of the Colorado Plateau (Canyonlands National Park-Geology). Millions of years have formed specific features to the rock and surrounding wilderness that make it so special. Throughout the park, you will find that the sedimentary rock has formed many features such as hundreds of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires. The Green and Colorado rivers have played a major role in the formation of many of these features. These rivers cut through the park forming two massive canyons. This further splits the park into three distinct zones. “Island in the Sky” sits to the north while “The Maze” sits off to the west and “The Needles” to the…show more content…
All three sections of Canyonlands has its own distinct features that attract so much attention every year but what many would love to know is how has this immense landscape come to be?
By analyzing the structure (i.e. faults, folds, tectonic plates), we have one manner in which to answer this question. Internal forces of the Earth reach and break through the surface to form volcanoes, mountains, plateaus, and many other topographical features which may later cause these layers to tip, fold, warp, or fracture. Faults play a major role in the formation of landscapes. So, by first looking at faults, hopefully we can come closer to truly understanding how Canyonlands National Park has come to be. On plateaus such as the Colorado Plateau, faults and weak rock tend to be synonymous in their locations. Faults, which are cracks or fractures in Earth's crust, form when internal heat forces and pressure from underground forces shifts the plates, thus creating stress within the plate. Faults commonly occur in elevated regions such as the Rocky Mountain region (which includes the Colorado Plateau and Canyonlands National Park). As previously mentioned, faults tend to be surrounded by weak rock. Therefore, a river or other flowing water easily cuts through this