Dating the grand canyon
4 Perhaps the most baffling observation, even to evolutionary geologists, is that the Grand Canyon cuts through, not around, a great plateau. It appears to cut right through this uplifted wall of rock, which lies three thousand feet above the adjacent Marble Platform to the east.5 Indeed, the headwaters of the Colorado River are at a lower elevation than the top of the Kaibab Plateau through which the Grand Canyon has been cut (figure 5).
Carved through sedimentary layers of sandstone, limestone, and shale and into the basement formations of mostly metamorphic schists and igneous granites, the Grand Canyon is a testimony to the erosive power of water. They can be divided into three groups as shown in figure 1.
The crystalline basement formations are believed by most creation geologists to have been set in place on Day 3 of the Creation Week.
The Colorado Plateau covers an area of about 250,000 square miles (647,000 square km) and consists of several smaller plateaus, which today stand at slightly varying elevations.
The Kaibab Plateau, which reached more than 9,000 feet (2,740 m), forms part of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most awesome erosional features.
It is 277 miles (446 km) long, including the 60 miles (96 km) of Marble Canyon upstream.The age of at least the western Grand Canyon was thus reduced to 6 million years, but many continued to believe the central and eastern canyon was 70 million years old, based on the stream-capturing theory outlined below.Subsequently, the 70-million-year date was gradually reduced to 17 million years, based on several pieces of the puzzle indicating a younger canyon.9 New findings continue to question the age of the canyon.Some scientists still suggest 70 million years as the correct age, while others place it at less than 6 million years.10 The debate goes on, with none of the accepted dating methods providing a clear-cut answer to the age of the Grand Canyon.11 John Wesley Powell was the first to attempt an explanation of how the Grand Canyon was formed.Known as the “antecedent river” theory, Powell theorized an ancient river eroded down into the Colorado Plateau at the same rate the plateau was being uplifted.12 Although this slow, gradual process fit nicely into the ruling uniformitarian thinking, over the next 50 to 75 years it was rejected by most geologists.The tilted pre-Flood sediment layers are up to 14,000 feet (4,260 m) in thickness, but are only exposed in the eastern canyon and in a few other areas.