Yellowstone, Part 2: Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Rock Formations

The incredible volcanic activity at Yellowstone has also contributed to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a 24-mile long canyon that largely came about due to faulting of the rock when the Yellowstone Caldera eruption occurred approximately 600,000 years ago. It has since been deepened by erosion from the Yellowstone River, which continues to cut into the softened rock. The rock itself – a rhyolite – contains varying degrees of iron which was altered by the heat of the volcanic activity, leading to the oxidizing effect or rusted colors seen in the canyon today.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Me at the rim of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Me at the rim of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Oxidation at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Oxidation at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Oxidation at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Oxidation at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Oxidation at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Oxidation at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Lower Falls on Yellowstone River in Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Lower Falls on Yellowstone River in Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Other interesting geological features include the basalt columns seen in the North, Northwest parts of the park. Here the lava flow fractured into heaxagonal columns.

Basalt columns at Yellowstone National Park, WY

Basalt columns at Yellowstone National Park, WY

Basalt columns at Yellowstone National Park, WY

Basalt columns at Yellowstone National Park, WY

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