Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cañon, or Canyon, a Spanish name for a deep river-gorge with nearly perpendicular sides, such as those of the Colorado in the western United States. Cañons seem to result from streams passing from mountains with a considerable snowfall or rainfall through dry, almost rainless areas. The Grand Cañon of the Colorado is 218 miles long, from five to eleven miles wide, and from 4,500 to 6,000 feet deep. In one part the river flows in a chasm 3,000 feet deep and 3,000 feet wide, at the top of which is a plateau from five to six miles wide with walls 2,000 feet high, above which again is another plateau forty to sixty miles broad, boarded by a series of terraces or escarpments. The strata, cut through in the centre to a depth of 10,000 feet, and once continuous over the whole area, are nearly horizontal. The terraced escarpments and plateaux seem to be the work of ordinary sub-aerial denudation by rain, frost, sun, wind, and rivers, the vertical and comparatively narrow cañons marking a change to drier climatic conditions.