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What is a canyon?

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Quick Answer

A canyon refers to a deep and narrow valley that has steep sides. The word canyon is derived from the Spanish word cañon, which means pipe or tube.

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Canyons are formed by the movement of the rivers, tectonic activity, weathering and erosion. The Grand Canyon, located in Arizona, was formed through tectonic uplift. The most common type of canyon is the river canyon. This type of canyon is formed when a river's water pressure cuts deep into the river bed. The sediment is transported downstream, forming a narrow, deep channel. Additionally, there are also canyons called submarine canyons that are located beneath the ocean. This type of canyon cuts into continental slopes and continental shelves.

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