A park can be many different things to many different people. For many people, Canyonlands National Park is a favorite showcase of geology.
In each of the park’s districts, you can see the remarkable effects of millions of years of erosion on a landscape of sedimentary rock. The Green River has carved a channel out of rock layers deposited nearly 300 million years ago creating an open book for earth science enthusiast of all ages.
Over Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history, tectonic upheavals and colliding plates formed mountain ranges and carved out basins. Forces of erosion and weathering have been at work to break down these landforms. Records of these processes are imprinted on the land and define distinctive landscapes around the United States and in its national parks.
Part A: Younger Deposits
Active erosion wears away surface rocks while deposition piles loose sediments on top of existing surfaces. Over time loose sediments may be compacted and cemented, which forms sedimentary rocks. Younger rocks and sediments are also shown on the geologic map. Let’s look for evidence of young rocks and active deposition using the map and other tools.