How Are Canyons Formed?

Canyons are formed by wind and water erosion over a long period of time after a large hill, mountain or plateau is formed. The original land mass is formed by tectonic plates colliding and causing tectonic uplift, and the weakest of material is worn down over time to create a deep, narrow ravine called a canyon.

The most common type of canyon is a river canyon; running water wears down the rock formation on either side and carries it away. Additionally, in colder climates, water can seep into rock, freeze and expand to break down further rock and dirt.