Module 1: How Stratigraphy and Fluvial Processes Affect the Development of the Grand Canyon
Key words: Grand Canyon, relief, fluvial landforms, gradient, slope, knickpoint, knickpoint migration, and cliff retreat
Content GoalsAfter successfully completing this exercise, students will be able to:
- Define relief, cliff retreat, knickpoint, and knickpoint migration
- Explain the roles of faulting, weathering, gravity, cliff retreat, and fluvial erosion in the development of the Grand Canyon
- Describe how the types of rocks that form the walls of the Grand Canyon influence the shape of the canyon
Higher Order Thinking SkillsAfter successfully completing this exercise, students will be able to:
- Analyze landscapes eroded by rivers to identify hard and soft rock layers on the basis of their outcrop patterns
Context for Use
Undergraduate course in geography or geology
This exercise is an entry-level assignment and requires no particular skill set.
Where this activity fits in the course
This exercise is intended as an introduction to fundamental concepts in fluvial geomorpholoy, and as the first of several exercises focused on the evolution of the Grand Canyon. In particular, it is envisioned as a preliminary exercise to be completed prior to exploring the evolution of the Grand Canyon via WILSIM-GC, a computer simulation. However, it can also be used as a stand-alone assignment.
Description and Teaching Materials
Module 1: How Stratigraphy and Fluvial Processes Affect the Development of the Grand Canyon (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 2.5MB Nov11 15)