Ancient Chasm: Parts of Grand Canyon may be 17 million years old

By Sid Perkins, 15:58 PM April 15, 2008

Studies of mineral formations found in caves in the walls of the Grand Canyon and nearby may provide fresh insight into the chasm's history, including its age and the rate at which it was carved.

Many of these caves contain mammillaries, mound-shaped lumps of carbonate minerals that typically form just below the surface of mineral-rich pools. Thus such deposits mark the level of the local water table, says Carol Hill, a geologist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. If the water ta...

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