July 5, 2003
The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River cuts through the salmon-colored rock of northern Arizona’s Colorado Plateau in this westward-looking image made from a combination of observations collected by the Landsat satellite and topographic information collected by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. The Little Colorado is flowing in from the east (bottom) across the Painted Desert to join the Colorado River as the big river cuts into the Keibab Plateau, to the north, and the Coconino Plateau, to the south, both of which are covered in a layer of green vegetation. The multi-colored rock formations that reveal the millions of years of geologic history of the Canyon have been displayed in shades of pink and purple in the image.
Topics: Environment, Colorado Plateau, Colorado River, Physical geography, Grand Canyon, Geography of the United States, Coconino Sandstone, Geology of the Grand Canyon area, Canyon