Grand Canyon Gets Younger: Page 2

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Other researchers who have used different variations of the apatite fission-track dating technique in the Grand Canyon have found some rocks which agree with the new work, and some that don't.

"Their new results appear to agree to first order with our inferred Grand Canyon carving history everywhere except in the westernmost Grand Canyon," explained geologist Becky Flowers of the University of Colorado, Boulder. There are other differences, however. "...t will take a bit more time to understand fully why their interpretations are so different from ours and why they conclude that the erosion history varied so dramatically within this short reach of the canyon."

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That said, the new thermal histories seem on the verge of cracking the tough geological puzzle that the Grand Canyon has posed ever since John Wesley Powell first set his geologically trained eyes on it in 1869.

"It is exciting that it is generating more discussion over Grand Canyon evolution," Flowers said.

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