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By Erik Hanson
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In the vicinity of the gorge, the margins agree in a loose and general sense. But the Columbia Plateau does not extend into Canada. The Columbia River Basin does. The Columbia River originates in Columbia Lake, in British Columbia, Canada, and its drainage basin exists around the entire length of the river. Researchers have noted the potential for confusion in this context, given that the term Columbia Basin is generally applied very loosely. At the western, most downstream, end of the gorge, the Columbia Backarc Basin ends and blends into the Portland Basin.
These river miles are the distances from Lees Ferry, which is just downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam. The Toroweap Fault Line crosses the Colorado River at the so-called Lava Falls Rapid, which is at river mile 179 (km 111) of the river. This location is just upstream of the point at which Prospect Canyon feeds into the Grand Canyon. The Hurricane Fault crosses the river at mile 188 (km 117), a point that is downstream of the Toroweap Fault. Mile 188 is near the mouth of Whitmore Canyon and Whitmore Wash, the ephemeral stream that intermittently feeds water into the Colorado River.
Across the Colorado Plateau and in other areas, the degree of asymmetry changes in relation to the gradients of rivers. Rivers tend to form meanders that are strongly ingrown, or asymmetrical, on very flat ground. As the gradient of the river increases, up to a certain point, the walls become more symmetrical and tend to be vertical on both sides of a meander. This makes sense, given that a higher gradient can produce downward incision. As the gradient becomes very steep, however, the walls along a meander become less symmetrical.
Canyons (The Extreme Earth) by Erik Hanson