Long before today's landscape appeared, streams, oceans, deserts, and volcanos deposited thousands of feet of mud, lime, sand, and ash. The immense pressure and heat of accumulating sediments turned lower layers to stone. Later, underground forces uplifted the Colorado Plateau, a 130,000 square mile mass of rock, over 10,000 feet above sea level. Rain's watery fingers then worked the Plateau's minute cracks, loosening grains and widening fractures -- and eroding today's mighty canyons.
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