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A canyon, or gorge, is a valley walled by cliffs. Most canyons originate by a process of long-time erosion from a plateau level with a stream gradually carving out its valley. The cliffs form because harder rock strata that are resistant to erosion and weathering remain exposed on the valley walls. Canyons are much more common in arid areas than in wetter areas because weathering has a lesser effect in arid zones. Canyons' walls are often formed of resistant sandstones or granite.

The word canyon is Spanish in origin; in some parts of the United States, canyons are sometimes called gorges (the British English word) or notches.

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Pages in category "Canyons and gorges"

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