How old is the Grand Canyon? New study estimates it at 70 million years old.
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A study from the University of Colorado Boulder has determined the Grand Canyon in Arizona to be over 60 million years older than previously thought. The research, which was conducted by CU-Boulder assistant professor Rebecca Flowers, says the geographic landmark was created 70 million years ago while dinosaurs were still alive.
To determine the birth date of the Grand Canyon, Flowers and her colleagues tested a number of mineral grains found at the bottom of the west part of the canyon. According to Flowers, her research team then applied a dating method to the mineral grains. The method looked at a phosphate mineral called apatite and determined the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium atoms into helium atoms in the sample.