Inner Grand Canyon, Arizona

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay


Kaibab Limestone

Toroweap Limestone

Coconino Sandstone
Hermit Shale
Pennsylvanian Supai Group
Mississippian Surprise Canyon Formation
Redwall Limestone
Devonian Temple Butte Formation


Cambrian Muav Limestone
Bright Angel Shale
Tapeats Sandstone
Mid-Late Proterozoic Grand Canyon Supergroup
Early Proterozoic Crystalline Basement

Views from the south rim of the Grand Canyon
The flat inner plateau is the Tonto Plateau. It's basically the erosional surface of the crystalline basement, capped by Toroweap Sandstone and a thin erosional veneer of Bright Angel Shale.
The Kaibab Trail
Brahma Temple is the left and rearward of the two pinnacles; Vishnu Temple is on the right.
Kaibab Bridge
Inner gorge of the Grand Canyon, made up of Proterozoic metamorphic rocks. Cambrian Tapeats Sandstone caps the rocks.

One benefit of using old pictures is they document change. Note the sediment-laden river. Thanks to the Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado is now clear enough to support trout. Periodic controlled floods have been instituted to replenish sediment and control bank vegetation.

Kaibab Bridge and Brahma Schist.
Inner gorge metamorphics capped by Tapeats Sandstone.
Looking upstream at the Kaibab Bridge.
Indian Gardens.
Looking along the Bright Angel Fault, which governs the straight valley in the foreground and on the far side of the canyon. The Bright Angel Trail snakes up the valley in the foreground. The cliffs in the foreground are Redwall Limestone.
The Bright Angel Trail zigzags up the slope. The cliff with the deep cave is Redwall Limestone, overlain by the Supai Group. The conspicuous light band below the far rim is Coconino Sandstone.
The isolated butte is The Battleship.

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Created 14 July 2003, Last Update 06 June 2020