What Is a Gorge in Geography?

The Grand Canyon is one of the world's largest gorges.
••• grand canyon image by Lars Lachmann from Fotolia.com

A gorge is a deep channel formed by a river that has eroded the earth's crust over millions of years. Some gorges are so large they are visible from space. One of the most famous is the Grand Canyon.

Characteristics

Gorges have steep banks where the river has cut through the earth. The Grand Canyon, which was formed by the Colorado River, reaches 6,000 feet deep -- more than a mile -- and is 277 miles long and 15 miles at its widest point. Some gorges are dry and the rivers that once carved them long gone.

Famous Gorges

Gorges are found all over the world. The largest American gorges include the Grand Canyon, Gorges of Finger Lakes, Columbia River Gorge, New River Gorge and Canyon Lake Gorge. China's gorges include the Yangzi River’s Three Gorges, Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon and Kali Gandaki Gorge. The Victoria Falls Gorge and Olduvai Gorge are located in Africa; the Gorge du Verdun is in Europe.

Benefits

The tremendous power that produced the gorges is now harnessed on many of the rivers by hydroelectric dams to produce electricity. The rivers and gorges also offer whitewater rafting, hiking, wind sailing and other recreational opportunities.

Related Articles

Major Landforms in the Midwestern Region
Which Layer of the Earth's Crust Contains the Highest...
List of Natural Resources in New York State
Facts About the Colorado River
Landforms of Connecticut
Bodies of Water in the USA
How Gorges Are Formed
Famous Delta Landforms
About Minor & Major Landforms
Volcanic Rock Types by Mauna Loa
How Do Glaciers Change the Landscape?
California Land Characteristics
What Are the Two Major Components of an Atom?
Where Are Bogs Located?
How Are River Rocks Formed?
Interesting Facts About Streams & Rivers
What Are the Physical Characteristics of the Atlantic...
What Was Silt Used for in Ancient Egypt?
Test Your Knowledge on Middle School Science
What Landforms Are Formed at a Transform Boundary?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!