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The walls of the canyon are mostly cut into horizontal rock layers of Paleozoic age (green in Figure 1, above).

There is an angular unconformity at the bottom of the Paleozoic layers.

The sediments above the angular unconformity must be younger than the sediments below it.One particular Precambrian layer known as the Cardenas Basalt has been dated by radiometric methods to about 1.1 billion years in age.The Cenozoic flows sampled by ICR thus are claimed to yield an age which is about 200 million years older than the Cardenas Basalt.The ICR's Grand Canyon Dating Project does not strike a telling blow against the reliability of isochron dating.The conditions which caused the "false isochron" in this case are fairly well-understood, and easy to avoid by proper sample selection.

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