A friend of mine once asked me how I thought the Grand Canyon
was formed. We discussed the possibility that river erosion as the
accepted cause was the reason. We both disagreed with that dogma.
He had a problem with the idea of the amount of flowing water
that would have been required when you look at the size of the
gap. My problem with river erosion was not the amount of water;
but, its velocity that would have had to be maintained. Both
arguments were valid. However, an alternative for the canyon’s
formation was missing. I now believe I have formulated an answer.
My theory is verifiable given the resources. These resources
are beyond my economic means. It will require grants and donations
that my qualifications do not command. Hopefully, someone will
take on the task and check my idea.
Before we talk about my theory, let’s look at the problems that
seem to me to be obvious with river erosion creating the Grand
First, my friend was right. The amount of water to cut the
canyon would be incalculable because we would not know the average
depth of the river. Let’s suffice it to say that it is “a lot”.
So, where did this water come from?
Even glacial melt would have its limits. The melt would only be
able to provide a set amount of water. Then through some sort of
repetitive process, all of the water would have to be concentrated
on one path. Water following fluid dynamics will travel the path
of least resistance. So, the trail that this river followed would
have to be the lowest elevation possible on average on the way to
the sea. This is not true today. There are spots that, when
connected by fluid resistance measurements, would have given the
water from the melt an easier path to the ocean. A number of
existing rivers are proof of that.
Now that other rivers have been mentioned, how come they have
not also created canyons on that scale?
My argument against river erosion dealt with velocity. The
speed at which the water would have to travel on its entire trip
to the sea would have been very fast. Note: I said the entire
trip. Anywhere that the water slowed down it would have released
some of the debris that it was dragging along. As this debris
settled to the bottom, it would start to create a dam. To overcome
the damming effect, the water would need to find another path or
build a lake, that it eventually would have to spill over. This
spill over would be a widening similar to the mouth of any other
river. Proof of ancient lakes and the actual lakes do not exist.
As proof of what I am saying, I offer that the Mississippi
River needs to be continually dredged in order to keep it open to
shipping traffic. Without human intervention Ole Miss would widen,
shallow out, and thus, slow to a crawl. The more it slows, the
more likely a lake would form. These types of regions are called
“deltas’ to describe the effect.
Now let’s look at both of these arguments against river erosion
together. The large amount of water in a slow (normal flow) river
would be greatly compounded. A pipe carrying water at one foot per
minute may transport 10 gallons; yet, that same pipe moving water
at 3 feet per minute will carry 45 to 50 gallons. The amount of
water to defeat the combined arguments becomes insurmountable in
my mind. Where did it come from and where is it now?
So, what process could create the Grand Canyon?
Let’s look to plate tectonics and the movement of them. The
earth’s crust is floating on magma in large pieces. Each piece is
referred to as a plate. We most commonly see them as land masses,
even though many continents and ocean/sea regions are made up of
Where two plates push upwards against each other, mountain
ranges are formed. With that in mind, the reverse process would
happen if two plates pulled away from each other. You would now
have a canyon on a grand sale. I propose that is what has happened
and is continuing to happen.
I further believe that the reason we do not see an opening with
molten lava showing is that these plates, relatively freely
moving, have a subterranean plate under them. This plate now has a
river of normal size running generally north to south on top of
So, now the strata layers exposed on the walls of the canyon
with sharp, jagged edges would not need vast amounts of water and
erosion to explain the canyon’s existence. The lack of water marks
on the canyon walls would be self-evident. In short, in that
region, the land mass is growing.
This theory is easily tested using seismographs and GPS
devices. By positioning them at various spots around the canyon’s
rim, we could monitor for movement. We would answer the question
of how the Grand Canyon was formed. These tests might also be
merited in the area where the Alaska/Russia land-bridge was
supposedly connected and on Iceland where there is the appearance
of a mini canyon forming.
Further, information on the subject can be found by reading
Are We Worth Our Salt? available online through www.lulu.com
and www.amazon.com or by ordering at your local Barnes and Noble
Copyright by Art Ryan
Presented with permission of the author
Articles by Art Ryan
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About the Author
Arthur “Art” Ryan is an independent researcher and
author, who is a full-time employee supporting a major railroad
and a small business owner of a process engineering consulting
company, that enjoys all manner of things science. He is a
baseball and football fan, who values his privacy and therefore
writes under a pseudonym.
His book concerning Earth Changes is called “Are We
Worth Our Salt?” which can be purchased through Lulu by visiting
Amazon and may be procured at you local Barnes and Noble
Art accepts constructive criticism about his ideas
and welcomes evidence that support or dispute his thoughts.
Questions and comments can be addressed to Art through his
At his site, Art has opened a controlled, closed
forum where intellectuals, professionals, academics, and aspiring
amateurs can express their thoughts, findings, and alternate
theories under pseudonyms; thereby avoiding possible damage to
their careers or loss of existing funding. This site is to be
driven by its users and will grow to fit the need. Those
interested in writing on Science Doubt are invited to review the
“Outstanding Questions” and “News Articles” sections for topic
ideas or to contact the editor about your own.
Are We Worth Our Salt?
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