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Carving the Canyon

With Zion National Park, Utah


Zion National Park’s rock layers have been uplifted, tilted, and eroded, forming a feature called the Grand Staircase, a series of colorful cliffs stretching between Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. In an area from Zion to the Rocky Mountains, forces deep within the earth started to push the surface up, eventually causing Zion’s elevation to rise from near sea level to as high as 10,000 feet above sea level. This process of uplift is still occurring today, and has resulted in the sharp erosion process that continues to carve the canyon today. Through this program, students will gain an understanding of the unique and complex geologic story of Zion and the southwest. Students interact with park rangers via the internet to discuss the formation of the canyon, and then engage in a critical-thinking activity about erosion and engineering.

  • Date: Thursday, October 29, 2020, 12 PM ET

  • Target Audience: Grades 4-7

  • Length: 50 minutes

Carving the Canyon

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