Grand Canyon Gets Younger
Laura Crossey, UNM
New thermal histories of rocks show that this segment of Grand Canyon (Marble Canyon, near Cape Solitude) wasn't carved until last 6 million years.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State
Aug. 10, 2012 --
We asked and you responded! This year with drought and wildfires ravaging the nation, finding a cool campsite hasn't been easy. So we wanted to know your favorite spots and share which ones are ours as well.
Sunrise over Mt. Hood and fall color trees, H
@mahjerle tweeted: In the @MtHoodNF! RT @Discovery_News: Hey tweeps! We've got a question: Where are your favorite places to camp?? Let us know! Hey mahjerle! Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon is one of our favorites too!
McWay falls crashes on the beach at Julia Pfe
@Local420tribe tweeted: @Discovery_News Big Sur Ca. - Big Basin Santa Cruz Ca. - Yosemite Ca.
BIG VID: Stunning Time-Lapse Video of Yosemite National Park
Burgess Falls, near Murfreesboro, Tennessee (
@april_YH tweeted: @Discovery_News Just about anywhere! #TennesseeStateParks #BarfieldCrescent, Murfreesboro #BackYard #LoveMeSomeNature!
Camping cottage at French Creek State Park, P
@ryanjgates tweeted: @Discovery_News Greenwood Furnace State Park, PA @ryanjates have you checked out the Pennsylvania State Parks Facebook Page? You can also check campsite availability here: www.pa.reserveworld.com
Youghiogheny River Gorge, Ohiopyle State Park
Pennsylvania is full of natural beauty, especially in late summer and early autumn. Pictured here is the Youghiogheny [yaw-ki-gay-nee] River Gorge that runs through Ohiopyle State Park near the southern reaches of Laurel Ridge, in Laurel Highlands, Penn.
PHOTOS: Why Do Leaves Change Color?
Richard T. Nowitz/Corbis
Check out these fall colors at the scenic overlook along US Route 68 in Green Ridge State Forest, Western Maryland, not far from Discovery News headquarters!
Lake Powell as viewed from Alstrom Point (Dan
Growing up, my family would get together with a bunch of other families from California and go house boating and water skiing on Lake Shasta or Lake Powell in Arizona. PHOTOS: Awesome Images Make You Feel Amazing
How do you get there? By caravan! Caravans stand in front of Lake Powell at the Glen Canyon Dam near Page in the North of Arizona. The dam was built to provide hydroelectricity and flow regulation from the upper Colorado River Basin to the lower. Its reservoir is called Lake Powell, and is the second largest artificial lake in the country, extending upriver well into Utah. The dam is named for Glen Canyon, a colorful series of gorges, most of which now lies under the reservoir.
Richard T. Nowitz/Corbis
Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in Page, Arizona, seen from at the start of a float trip.The 17-mile stretch of canyon between the dam and Lee's Ferry, where boats trips start the ten-day run through the Grand Canyon, is a low-traffic spot for two-day float trips on canoe, kayak or raft, as well as trout fishing.
Hawn State Park, Mo.
"I would have to say that my favorite camping site in the U.S. is Hawn State Park in Missouri. It is a 5,000 acre park south of St. Louis, near St. Genevieve, Mo. Although other parks have more dramatic scenery and wildlife, Hawn is like an old sweater to me, comfortable and well-known. Growing up in St. Louis, Hawn was close enough for me to drive there for a weekend retreat." -- DNews blogger Tim Wall
Tree House in St. Louis Park, Minnesota (Andr
Some liked to stay close to home: @SwiitTweets tweeted: @Discovery_News Eral Rowe in Ontario, Canada. Awesome biking, hiking and kayaking trails. Check it out! I did: Looks fun! @OptimusPilot tweeted: @Discovery_News my kids like to camp under 4 chairs & a blanket in the living room! :-) @yaykyle tweeted: In a tree out your window. @Discovery_News: Hey tweeps! We’ve got a question: Where are your favorite places to camp?? Let us know!”
Man standing in Caribbean Ocean on the island
Others really wanted to just get away from it all. @Kill3rC tweeted: @Discovery_News Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico @Conzky0321 tweeted: @Discovery_News "staircase to heaven" in Oman it's an old shepherds route. It's great to camp when the weather cools down. Wow, that does not sound easy!
Competitors speed down the beach during the R
It was fun to read and investigate all the places our twitter fans like to camp. But this one really blew me away! @oceanicitl tweeted: @Discovery_News Country View, Weston-Super-Mare Sounds like the nice beach view gets all revved up in October! Btw did you know if you dig into the sand you can see the compression of sand grains from tire tracks on the beach? We often leave more than we intend to when we go camping or to the beach so remember to pack it in and pack it out!
PHOTOS: Trashy Beaches are Everywhere
The Grand Canyon is a geological Frankenstein, made of old and new canyon parts, according to new research published in the Jan. 26 issue of Nature Geoscience. The work may be the beginning of the end a very long debate that has put the canyon at anywhere from 70-million-years-old to as young as 5 or 6 million-years-old.
"I think we've got the solution to a 140-year-old problem," said Karl Karlstrom of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
The solution comes in the form of a technique called apatite fission-track dating which allow geologists to determine how long rocks of the canyon have been cooled from the steamy warmth a kilometer or two underground, to the chilly surface temperature of the Earth -- what is called their thermal histories.
By figuring out the thermal histories of rock samples taken from the base of different segments of the Grand Canyon and the adjacent canyon rims 1,500 meters above, Karlstrom and his colleagues were able to determine how long ago the rocks were unearthed by the canyons, which were being cut by a river.
They found that two of the three middle segments, the Hurricane segment and the Eastern Grand Canyon, formed 70 to 50 million years ago and 25 to 15 million years ago, respectively. On the far ends of the canyon they dated Marble Canyon to the east and the Westernmost Grand Canyon to the past 5–6 million years.
So although the middle parts of the canyon are old, the team concludes that it was the modern Colorado River that stitched the old and new together to make today's Grand Canyon.
"The new dating techniques have really opened up a lot of ideas," said geologist James Sears of the University of Montana. Sears is among those trying to work out the ancient route the ancestral Colorado River took, long before it turned south. "The river needs somewhere to go before 5 million years ago; before capture by the Gulf California." He thinks it went north -- all the way to Hudson Bay. But that's another story.
The Grand Canyon's inner gorge shown here was carved in the last 6 million years by the powerful Colorado River.Laura Crossey, UNM
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."
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.