Malaspina University College - Geology 390 - Special Field Studies

Arizona & Grand Canyon Field Trip - May 2005

In order to fully appreciate and understand the geology of the Arizona and the Grand Canyon it would be a good idea to learn the names and lithologies of the major rock units that we will see.  To give you a start in that direction I have created an annotated view of the Grand Canyon (as seen from the south rim), plus a simple stratigraphic column of the Paleozoic rocks.

Annotated scenic view Paleozoic stratigraphic column

I recommend that you print out the stratigraphic column, and then colour in the various formations using colours that correspond with those of the different units as seen in the light at the time that the photograph was taken.

On the website ( Bob Ribokas has provided a useful mnemonic to help with learning the names of most (but not all) of the Paleozoic formations:

Know Kaibab Fm. (limestone and dolomite)
The Toroweap Fm. (siltstone, sandstone, limestone)
Canyon's Coconino Fm. (quartz sandstone)
History, Hermit Fm. (mudstone, siltstone, sandstone)
Study Supai Gp. (mostly sandstone and siltstone, some shale)
Rocks Redwall Fm. (limestone and dolomite with chert)
Made Muav Fm. (dolomite and shale)
By Bright Angel Fm. (mostly siltstone)
Time Tapeats Fm (sandstone and conglomerate)