Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Grand Tourism Canyon

A new geological tourist destination
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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5 million visitors make a pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, US, every year. Despite its size, its majesty and beauty, the average stay is just 45 minutes long.

Its size means that most visitors only ever visit the rim to gaze in and the canyon is dangerous - some 600 people have died there since the 1870s.

The Grand Tourism Canyon is an altogether safer, smaller place, just as educational, much easier to explore and still able to convey the sense of size of the real thing.

Situated close by to ensure the same geology, the GT Canyon is a 50metre wide, 1600 metre long and 1600 metre deep slot cut into the Arizona petrology. A sample of each metre removed from the slot, is placed along the GT canyon rim in order.

A tourist to the GT canyon can now walk the rim and walk through time as they go, getting hands on to the stone that would otherwise elude them in the true canyon. A timestrip on the walkway, talks through history, from the 2billion year old Vishnu Schist to the 230million year Kaibab Limestone - a one mile walk (1600metres) for 1.8billion years of history.

The slightly more adventurous can take advantage of the new canyon itself with the 3 journeys through Earth history.

The slowest journey sees passengers descend at leisure via a glass lift (elevator) from the surface to the canyon floor, tour guides talk through the history as they go.

The next fastest journey is via an 'inverted rollercoaster' style ride (see link). The ride takes full advantage of the space in the new canyon, with tourists wearing headphones for commentary ... if they can concentrate.

Finally, the ultimate thrill is available at one end of the GT Canyon : the billion year bungee. Depending on the length of your bungee cord, thrill-seekers can jump from modernity into the depths - 1600metres, a mile if you will, from the surface. Folks at the bottom pull you from your cord and put you in the glass lift back to the surface.

jonthegeologist, Dec 04 2006

The Grand Canyon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon
... the GT Canyon bigger brother [jonthegeologist, Dec 04 2006]

Inverted Rollercoaster format http://en.wikipedia...rted_roller_coaster
... for a fast ride through history [jonthegeologist, Dec 04 2006]

The bungee sport http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Bungee_jumping
... creating the Billion Year Bungee in the GT Canyon [jonthegeologist, Dec 04 2006]

Wilma Flintstone http://www.johnrozum.com/images/wilma.jpg
[normzone, Dec 05 2006]


       [phlish] edited, let's make it 50metres.
jonthegeologist, Dec 04 2006

       Jon, did you even read the description? This is meant to be a direct alternative to the Grand Canyon, so there's no point posting a link telling him that the Grand Canyon exists. Also note that your links are non functional because you pasted ones with '...' in the middle instead of the full address..
pie, Dec 05 2006

       [phlish] there will be lights right to the bottom or the glass elevator experience will be wasted. I'll still call it a canyon ... hope you'll forgive me.   

       [pie] I have no idea what you are talking about! I, Jon, have read the idea at roughly the same time as I wrote it.   

       And yes, there is a link to the Grand Canyon, just for those people who'd like to read up more on its size and geology. Thought I'd save people the trouble.   

       ... and yes, all the link *descriptions* do have ellipses in them, but the hyperlinks work perfectly well. Maybe you'd like to try them?
jonthegeologist, Dec 05 2006

       //Jon, did you even read the description? // love it :)
po, Dec 05 2006

       [phlish] allow me to enlighten you.   

       // consider the possibility that some of those sandy strata won't be able to support the virtical weight of the mile // Those stratae already do support the weight of rocks above it. There is no difference in the vertical stresses on the rock be it in the canyon or in the new carved out slot.   

       The reason that the Grand Canyon and others have that 45degree slope is due to erosion - in the case of the GC, from the Colorado River. There is no erosion in that sense here - and if you're worried, I'll stick a roof over it and gulleys either side to ensure water doesn't flow down its 1mile high sides.   

       I'm not ignoring any professional realities. It's perfectly possible. You can fish me for the idea, but its unjustified for the science.
jonthegeologist, Dec 05 2006

       [po] I've seen some odd annotated challenges in my time, but being accused of not reading *my own idea* is a new one on me!
jonthegeologist, Dec 05 2006

       I'm reminded of an old Flintstones episode. The family is on vacation, and they stop to see the Grand Canyon.   

       They stand and look at a tiny rivulet a few inches across, and Wilma Flintstone says "They say it's really going to be something someday".
normzone, Dec 05 2006

       sand and sandstones are not the same thing - that's why one collapses and the other does not. Keep the rain off (and this is Arizona), then all should be well.   

       The water in the real canyon was (is) a swirling, moving body of water, with eddying pools. This is what creates the cut of the rock. You'll note that the canyon's sides change angle - some almost sheer, some with shallow slopes. The angle here is defined almost entirely by the geology - the harder the rock, the sharper the drop. The water has cut different shapes into the rock.   

       Keep the water off the new canyon and all will be well. Hey, not convinced? Add steel to support the walls. I don't think it'll need it.
jonthegeologist, Dec 05 2006

       Canyon rockfalls can be seriously deadly. Couple years back a rockslide killed about 20 people about 5 minutes from my house. If there is doubt, just don't try it.
twitch, Dec 05 2006


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