Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Grand Canyon



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Grand Canyon

Climate change and environmental degradation have already begun to impact parks, especially in the US Grand Canyon, and will continue to pose significant threats in the future. In Yellowstone, the grizzly bear relies on white pine seeds as an important part of its diet.

Unfortunately, these trees are being destroyed at an alarming rate by a beetle that thrives due to rising temperatures. Even the California condor who lives here is at risk of extinction. The Grand Canyon is a long fissure in the ground, very deep - in some places up to 1,600 meters - in the Colorado Plateau region which makes layers of the Proterozoic and Paleozoic visible.

The strata are gradually highlighted by a gentle slope that begins at Lee's Ferry in the town of Page in Arizona and continues to the Hance Rapid in the Colorado River. The uplift of the mountain building (the orogeny), associated with plate tectonics, caused the sediments to rise hundreds of meters, creating the Colorado Plateau zone.

The elevation of the region also caused increased atmospheric precipitation throughout the Colorado River drainage basin, but not enough to save the Grand Canyon area from becoming semi-arid. In fact, landslides and other landslides caused a sinking of the bed itself and the consequent deviation of the river, which increased the depth and width of the canyons, without excluding the dryness of the environment.

The elevation of the Colorado Plateau is uneven: the northern boundary of the Grand Canyon is about 300 meters higher than the southern one. The fact that the river flows closer to the southern edge of the Canyon is due to this asymmetrical elevation of the terrain.

Almost all the water that falls above the northern edge of the Plateau (which receives more rain and snow) flows into the Grand Canyon; on the contrary, below the southern margin, the water flows in another direction, following the general inclination.

The result is a much more pronounced erosion north of the river, with a Canyon and its tributary Canyons characterized by more abrupt widths north of the river.
The Colorado River Basin (of which the Grand Canyon is a part) developed 40 million years ago and the Grand Canyon itself is probably less than 5 or 6 million years old.

millions of years). The result of this erosive phenomenon is one of the most complete geological columns on the planet. The wetter climate present in the Ice Age also increased the amount of water in the Colorado river system.

The primeval river then adapted, generating a faster and deeper path. The course of the Colorado River changed 5.3 million years ago as the Gulf of California widened and carried the lowest point of the river lower.