Geology of National Parks

Edition: 8

Copyright: 2022

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The National Parks of the United States preserve our nation's iconic landscapes and some of the finest examples of geologic heritage. From glaciers to caves, volcanoes to canyons, or mountains to coral reefs, the nation's geologic features and landforms have been an important part of the American experience throughout its history. The geologic features found in our national parks are a testimony to the Earth’s complexity and dynamic nature; a planet that has been in a continuous state of change since its origin 4.6 billion years ago. The landscapes and awe inspiring geological features we observe in the national parks are merely snapshots in time as Earth continues its course of change as the result of interactions among the planet’s many internal and external processes. 

The landforms and geologic structures within our national parks have a story to tell about an area’s geologic history and tectonic setting.

Geology of National Parks teaches how to recognize landforms and rock formations within a national park; thus, students will begin to read and interpret the geologic story behind the scenery which extends to scenery beyond the parks to their own backyard. Students will also recognize that the plant and animal communities in an area along with the human history are linked to the landforms through the habitat, resources and shelter they provide.

Geology of National Parks features five parts:

  1. Scenery Developed by Weathering and Erosion on Flay-Lying Rocks
  2. Caves and Reefs
  3. Landscapes Shaped by Continental and Alpine Glaciation
  4. Volcanic Features and Volcanic Activity
  5. Landscapes and Structures in Areas of Complex Mountains

This edition features 62 National Parks and each has a dedicated chapter within these categories.

 

Highlights of the 8th Edition

  • Presents the geology of the four National Parks that were created since publication of the 7th edition: Gateway Arch, White Sands, Indiana Dunes, and New River Gorge
  • Summarizes exciting recent findings from research in many National Parks, including Grand Canyon, North Cascades, Saguaro and more
  • New images from the bottom of Grand Canyon reveal geologic concepts in the first major chapter of the book
  • Introduces more geological concepts in the front matter and in the openings of each section
  • Includes a reference table for the “concept boxes” throughout the text that pulls this information together, which will help instructors organize lessons and use the National Parks as examples for courses in Physical Geology, Physical Geography, Earth Science, and the Geology of National Parks
  • Includes updates and revisions to many of the chapters for iconic National Parks including Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon

 

Print product comes in a loose leaf format.

Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Introduction

 

Part I Scenery Developed by Weathering and Erosion on Flat-Lying Rocks
The Geologic View of Time

1. Gateway Arch National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Running Water and Streams • River Systems • The Mississippi River Watershed • New Madrid Seismic Zone

2. Grand Canyon National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 2.1 How Rocks Are Classified
Geologic History
Box 2.2 Geologic History of the Colorado Plateaus
Box 2.3 The Terraced Walls of the Grand Canyon
Hydrology of the Grand Canyon • Bedrock Formations • Rocks of the Grand Canyon • Igneous Rock Features • Sedimentary Environments • Geologic Structures • Karst Features

3. Zion National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic Structures
Geologic History
Box 3.1 The Grand Staircase
Erosional Features • Bedrock Formations • Volcanic Rocks

4. Bryce Canyon National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Pink Cliffs at the Top of the Staircase • Weathering Processes • Hoodoos

5. Capitol Reef National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Box 5.1 How Mass Wasting Operates in Arid Regions
Box 5.2 Geologic Structures of the Colorado Plateaus
Structure and Stratigraphy • Erosion and Weathering Features • Patterns of Stream Erosion

6. Canyonlands National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Island in the Sky • The Maze • The Needles • The Rivers

7. Arches National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Box 7.1 Colorado National Monument and Dinosaur National Monument
Arches and Natural Bridges • How the Arches Form • Arches of Arches • Balanced Rocks • Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers • The Controlling Influence: Salt Structures • Products of weathering

8. Mesa Verde National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Natural World of the Mesa Verde
Ancestral Puebloans • Cuesta Features • How the Alcoves Formed • Loess Deposits • Igneous Features • Landslides

9. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic Structure
Geologic History

10. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
The Sedimentary Bedrock
The New River “Gorge”
Mass Wasting and Whitewater Rapids
Geologic History

11. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Sedimentary Bedrock • Glacial Features • The Cuyahoga River Watershed • Fluvial Features • Mass Wasting Features

12. Congaree National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Coastal Plain • The Southern Bluffs • Fluvial Features • Paleozoic Assemblage of Pangea • Early Mesozoic Rifting and Breakup of Pangea • Upper Cretaceous to Middle Eocene Growth of the Coastal Plain • Late Eocene to Miocene Landscape • Pliocene—Pleistocene Formation of the Orangeburg Scarp and Coastal Plain Terraces • Late Pleistocene–Holocene Landscape • Holocene Anthropogenic Impacts

13. Petrified Forest National Park
Geographic Setting
Box 13.1 Silica Can Assume Many Forms
Box 13.2 How Does Wood Turn to Stone?
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Chinle Formation • The Petrified Wood • Fossils and the “Dawn of Dinosaurs” • Petroglyphs and Desert Varnish • Caliche and Other Desert Features • Badland Topography and the Painted Desert

14. Badlands National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 14.1 Badlands Topography
Geologic History
Prehistoric Animals of the Badlands • The Sedimentary Bedrock • Paleosols in the Badlands • How the Badlands Developed • Erosional Features of the Badlands • Why the Water Is “White” • Concretions and Geodes • Geologic Structures

15. Theodore Roosevelt National Park  
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Little Missouri Badlands • The Sedimentary Bedrock • Fossils • Lignite and Petrified Wood • Clinkers (Scoria) • Badlands Landforms • Mass Wasting

16. Kobuk Valley National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 16.1 Landforms in River Valleys
Geologic History
Climatic Conditions • The Flood Plain • The Sand Dunes • Bedrock

17. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History

18. White Sands National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Dunes at White Sands • Source of the Gypsum

19. Indiana Dunes National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Beaches and sand dunes • Blowouts and Migrating Dunes • The Great Marsh • Sand ripples

 

Part II Caves and Reefs
Caves and Reefs Protected in the National Park Systems
Limestones and Dolostones
The Role of Ground Water

20. Mammoth Cave National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 20.1 How Caves Are Formed
Geologic History
Stratigraphy and Geologic Structure • Surface Features • Cave Passages • Solutional Features in the Cave • Cave Deposits

21. Wind Cave National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Wind Cave Passages • Primary and Secondary Features

22. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Origin (Speleogenesis) of the Caves • Bedrock and Geologic Structure • Cavern Features • Sediments in the Cavern • Lechuguilla Cave

23. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Capitan Reef

24. Virgin Islands National Park
Geographic Setting
Development of Coral Reefs
Box 24.1 Tectonic Activity in the Caribbean Region
Reef Terraces
Geologic History
Box 24.2 Buck Island Reef National Monument and Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

25. Everglades National Park
The Wetlands Environment—Past and Present
Geologic History
Box 25.1 The Biscayne Aquifer
The Ecosystems of the Wetlands

26. Biscayne National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 26.1 The Geologic Role of Mangrove Swamps
Geologic History
Box 26.2 Hurricanes
The “Carbonate Rock Factory” • The Living Reefs

27. Dry Tortugas National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic and Biologic Features
Geologic History
Geologic Materials Used in Fort Jefferson
Logistics • History

 

Part III Landscapes Shaped by Continental or Alpine Glaciation
The Theory of Glacial Ages
Types of Glaciers
How Glaciers Form and Move
The Work of Glaciers
Glacial Advances and Retreats
Carbon-14 Dating
Is Another Ice Age Coming?

28. Voyageurs National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 28.1 Dating Precambrian Rocks
Glacial Features
Geologic History
The Precambrian Rocks • Effects of Glacial Rebound

29. Isle Royale National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Precambrian Rocks • Effects of Glaciation on the Preglacial Topography

30. Acadia National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features

Box 30.1 More about Metamorphic Rocks
Geologic History
Terranes That “Drifted” • The Metamorphic Rocks of Acadia • The Cadillac Mountain Intrusive Complex • The Shatter Zone, Pegmatites, Veins, and Dikes • The Acadian Orogeny • Glacial and Wave-Action Features • Wave-Depositional Features

31. Rocky Mountain National Park
Box 31.1
Igneous Rocks
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Crystalline Bedrock • The Development of the Rocky Mountains • Volcanic Activity, Pegmatites, and Hydrothermal Veins • Old Erosional Surfaces • Glacial Features • Mass Wasting Features

32. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Examples of Glacial Erosion • Glacial Deposition • Avalanche Chutes • Glacier Recession • The Belt Supergroup • Igneous Sill and Lavas • The Lewis Thrust

33. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Present-day Climate • Visiting the Park/Preserve • Effects of Glaciation • The Rocks • Geologic Structures

34. Yosemite National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Bedrock Geology • Mesozoic Batholiths • Late Cenozoic Volcanic Activity • Joint Systems and Landform Development • Effects of Glacial Erosion • Waterfalls

35. North Cascades National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 35.1 How Do Glaciers Increase the Hazards of Cascade Volcanoes?
Geologic History
Development of the North Cascades • North Cascade Rocks and Structures • Glacial Features

36. Olympic National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 36.1 Paleomagnetism in Iron-Bearing Rocks
The Olympic National Park Coastal Strip
Box 36.2 How Waves Do Geologic Work
Geologic History
The Making of Geologic Maps • A Plate Tectonics Explanation • Faults and Hot Springs • Turbidites, Tectonic Mélanges, and Piercement Structures • The Shaping of the Olympic Landscape

37. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Structurally Controlled Topography • Glacial Features • Studies of Glacial Advances and Retreats • Bedrock

38. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Box 38.1 Plate Tectonics and Accreted Terranes
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Bedrock Sequences • Earthquakes and Volcanoes • Mountains and Canyons • Glaciers and Rivers • Periglacial and Permafrost Features

39. Kenai Fjords National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic History and Features

40. Denali National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Yukon-Tanana Terrane • Farewell Terrane • Pingston, McKinley, and Chulitna Terranes • Younger “Overlap” Rocks • Faults and Earthquakes • Glaciers and Permafrost • Permafrost and Periglacial Activity

 

Part IV Volcanic Features and Volcanic Activity
Volcanic Features Protected in the National Park System
Volcanism and Extrusive Rocks
Characteristics of Lava
How Lavas and Volcanic Rocks Are Classified
Types of Volcanoes and Volcanic Belts

41. Mount Rainier National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 41.1 The Cascade Volcanoes: A Part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”
Geologic History
Glacial Features • Mass Wasting Processes on Mount Rainier

42. Crater Lake National Park
Tectonic Setting and Regional Geology
Geologic Features
Volcanic Features
Mount Mazama’s Climactic Eruption
Glacial Features
Mass Wasting
Geologic History
Volcanic Rocks • Faults • Mount Mazama • Associated Stratovolcanoes • Cinder Cones and Shield Volcanoes • Dikes and Other Features of the Caldera Walls • Volcanic Domes • Volcanic Features on the Crater Lake Floor

43. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Tectonic Setting
Geologic Features
Lassen Peak and the Lassen Volcanic Center
Caribou Volcanic Field
Faults
Lassen Hydrothermal System
Lassen Peak Eruptions of 1914 to 1917
Glacial Features
Geologic History
How Magma Viscosity and Gas Content Are Related to Volcanic Eruptions? • Volcanoes of LVNP • Rockland Stage • Brokeoff Stage • Lassen Stage

44. Katmai National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glacial Features
Geologic History
The 1912 Eruption • The Katmai-Novarupta Connection • The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes • Novarupta • Related Volcanoes and Eruptions

45. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glacial Features
Geologic History
Why Are the Volcanoes Here? • Volcano Hazards in the Lake Clark-Cook Inlet Area • Landsliding and Rockfalls • Rocks and Structures

46. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 46.1 The Geography and Geology of the Hawaiian Archipelago
Submarine and Shore Features
Geologic History
Box 46.2 Forecasting Eruptions
Volcanic Rocks That Form from the Lavas • Types of Lava and Lava Features • Ash Explosions and Pyroclastics • Rift Zones on the Volcanoes • Fault Systems and Landslides

47. Haleakala National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History

48. National Park of American Samoa
Geographic Setting
The National Park Units
Geologic Features
Geologic History

49. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone and the National Park Image
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glacial Features
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River
Buried Forests
Geologic History
Discovery and Exploration • The Surrounding Ranges • The Yellowstone Plateau • The Yellowstone Caldera • What is below Yellowstone? • The Hot Spot • Hot Springs and Geysers • Seismic Activity and the Thermal Features • Columnar Jointing and Obsidian

 

Part V Landscapes and Structures in Areas of Complex Mountains
Characteristics of Major Mountain Belts

50. Grand Teton National Park
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Rocks and Structures • Faults and Fault Blocks • How Surface Processes Modified the Teton Landscape

51. Great Basin National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glaciation
Geologic History
Box 51.1 Crustal Extension in the Great Basin
The Rocks • The Metamorphic Core Complex and Block-faulting • Lehman Caves • Lexington Arch

52. Saguaro National Park
Geology of Saguaro East
Geology of Saguaro West
Geologic History—Tucson Mountains
Geologic History—Rincon Mountains

53. Joshua Tree National Park
Location and Geography
Tectonic Setting
Types of Rocks Exposed in the Joshua Tree Region
Structural Geology
Sculpting the Desert Landscape
Landforms of the Desert
Box 53.1 How Arid Region Landforms Differ From Landforms in Humid Regions
The Final Polish
Geologic History
Climate • Metamorphic Rocks • Igneous Rocks • Faults • Joints • Weathering • Subsoil Weathering

54. Death Valley National Park
Geographic Setting and Human History
Death Valley’s Tectonic Setting
Geologic History
General Features • The Faults • The Ranges • The Basins • Features Related to Active Faulting Along the Black Mountains Front • The Black Mountains and the Basin and Range from Dante’s View • Lake Manly • Playa Lakes and the Death Valley Salt Pan • Young Volcanic Features • Sand Dunes • The Central Death Valley Plutonic–Volcanic Field: A Fault-Controlled Igneous Terrane • Springs • Events That Preceded the Formation of the Present Basins and Ranges

55. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Prospects for the Future
Climatic Zones and Precipitation • Drainage Systems and Divides • Sierra Nevada Uplift • Bedrock Geology • Roof Pendants • Caves and Mineralization

56. Channel Islands National Park
Geographic Setting
Environment and Organisms
Geologic and Other Natural Features of the Channel Islands
Geologic History
San Miguel Island • Prince Island • Santa Rosa Island • Santa Cruz Island • Anacapa Island • Santa Barbara Island

57. Redwood National Park
The Tall Trees
Geologic History and Features

58. Hot Springs National Park  
Geologic Features
Geologic History
How Did the Hot Springs Originate? • Rocks of Special Interest in the Park

59. Big Bend National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Landforms • The Rio Grande • Hot Springs • Vertebrate Fossils • Mining in the Big Bend Area

60. Shenandoah National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 60.1 Formation of the Southern Appalachian Mountains – Georgia to New York
Geologic History
Bedrock and Geologic Structures • Cleavage and Joints • Folds and Faults • Water Gaps and Wind Gaps

61. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Bedrock and Geologic Structures • Folds and Faults • How the Coves Developed

62. Pinnacles National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 62.1 Tectonic Evolution of the San Andreas Fault
Box 62.2 Earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault
Geologic History
San Andreas Fault System • Local Faults • Rocks of Pinnacles • Talus Caves • The Mesozoic Basement • Marine Transgression and Volcanism • San Andreas Fault Transport of the Pinnacles Volcanics and the Bickmore Canyon Arkose • Uplift and Erosion

 

Glossary
Index

David A. Foster
Dr. David A. Foster is a Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida. In addition to teaching courses on the Geology of National Parks he studies the tectonic development of continents. His research in North America, Africa and Australia makes use of radiometric dating methods, structural geology, and petrology to study ancient and modern tectonic processes. He has published over 200 scientific articles and several field guides.
David Hacker
Ann G Harris

The National Parks of the United States preserve our nation's iconic landscapes and some of the finest examples of geologic heritage. From glaciers to caves, volcanoes to canyons, or mountains to coral reefs, the nation's geologic features and landforms have been an important part of the American experience throughout its history. The geologic features found in our national parks are a testimony to the Earth’s complexity and dynamic nature; a planet that has been in a continuous state of change since its origin 4.6 billion years ago. The landscapes and awe inspiring geological features we observe in the national parks are merely snapshots in time as Earth continues its course of change as the result of interactions among the planet’s many internal and external processes. 

The landforms and geologic structures within our national parks have a story to tell about an area’s geologic history and tectonic setting.

Geology of National Parks teaches how to recognize landforms and rock formations within a national park; thus, students will begin to read and interpret the geologic story behind the scenery which extends to scenery beyond the parks to their own backyard. Students will also recognize that the plant and animal communities in an area along with the human history are linked to the landforms through the habitat, resources and shelter they provide.

Geology of National Parks features five parts:

  1. Scenery Developed by Weathering and Erosion on Flay-Lying Rocks
  2. Caves and Reefs
  3. Landscapes Shaped by Continental and Alpine Glaciation
  4. Volcanic Features and Volcanic Activity
  5. Landscapes and Structures in Areas of Complex Mountains

This edition features 62 National Parks and each has a dedicated chapter within these categories.

 

Highlights of the 8th Edition

  • Presents the geology of the four National Parks that were created since publication of the 7th edition: Gateway Arch, White Sands, Indiana Dunes, and New River Gorge
  • Summarizes exciting recent findings from research in many National Parks, including Grand Canyon, North Cascades, Saguaro and more
  • New images from the bottom of Grand Canyon reveal geologic concepts in the first major chapter of the book
  • Introduces more geological concepts in the front matter and in the openings of each section
  • Includes a reference table for the “concept boxes” throughout the text that pulls this information together, which will help instructors organize lessons and use the National Parks as examples for courses in Physical Geology, Physical Geography, Earth Science, and the Geology of National Parks
  • Includes updates and revisions to many of the chapters for iconic National Parks including Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon

 

Print product comes in a loose leaf format.

Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Introduction

 

Part I Scenery Developed by Weathering and Erosion on Flat-Lying Rocks
The Geologic View of Time

1. Gateway Arch National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Running Water and Streams • River Systems • The Mississippi River Watershed • New Madrid Seismic Zone

2. Grand Canyon National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 2.1 How Rocks Are Classified
Geologic History
Box 2.2 Geologic History of the Colorado Plateaus
Box 2.3 The Terraced Walls of the Grand Canyon
Hydrology of the Grand Canyon • Bedrock Formations • Rocks of the Grand Canyon • Igneous Rock Features • Sedimentary Environments • Geologic Structures • Karst Features

3. Zion National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic Structures
Geologic History
Box 3.1 The Grand Staircase
Erosional Features • Bedrock Formations • Volcanic Rocks

4. Bryce Canyon National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Pink Cliffs at the Top of the Staircase • Weathering Processes • Hoodoos

5. Capitol Reef National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Box 5.1 How Mass Wasting Operates in Arid Regions
Box 5.2 Geologic Structures of the Colorado Plateaus
Structure and Stratigraphy • Erosion and Weathering Features • Patterns of Stream Erosion

6. Canyonlands National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Island in the Sky • The Maze • The Needles • The Rivers

7. Arches National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Box 7.1 Colorado National Monument and Dinosaur National Monument
Arches and Natural Bridges • How the Arches Form • Arches of Arches • Balanced Rocks • Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers • The Controlling Influence: Salt Structures • Products of weathering

8. Mesa Verde National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Natural World of the Mesa Verde
Ancestral Puebloans • Cuesta Features • How the Alcoves Formed • Loess Deposits • Igneous Features • Landslides

9. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic Structure
Geologic History

10. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
The Sedimentary Bedrock
The New River “Gorge”
Mass Wasting and Whitewater Rapids
Geologic History

11. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Sedimentary Bedrock • Glacial Features • The Cuyahoga River Watershed • Fluvial Features • Mass Wasting Features

12. Congaree National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Coastal Plain • The Southern Bluffs • Fluvial Features • Paleozoic Assemblage of Pangea • Early Mesozoic Rifting and Breakup of Pangea • Upper Cretaceous to Middle Eocene Growth of the Coastal Plain • Late Eocene to Miocene Landscape • Pliocene—Pleistocene Formation of the Orangeburg Scarp and Coastal Plain Terraces • Late Pleistocene–Holocene Landscape • Holocene Anthropogenic Impacts

13. Petrified Forest National Park
Geographic Setting
Box 13.1 Silica Can Assume Many Forms
Box 13.2 How Does Wood Turn to Stone?
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Chinle Formation • The Petrified Wood • Fossils and the “Dawn of Dinosaurs” • Petroglyphs and Desert Varnish • Caliche and Other Desert Features • Badland Topography and the Painted Desert

14. Badlands National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 14.1 Badlands Topography
Geologic History
Prehistoric Animals of the Badlands • The Sedimentary Bedrock • Paleosols in the Badlands • How the Badlands Developed • Erosional Features of the Badlands • Why the Water Is “White” • Concretions and Geodes • Geologic Structures

15. Theodore Roosevelt National Park  
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Little Missouri Badlands • The Sedimentary Bedrock • Fossils • Lignite and Petrified Wood • Clinkers (Scoria) • Badlands Landforms • Mass Wasting

16. Kobuk Valley National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 16.1 Landforms in River Valleys
Geologic History
Climatic Conditions • The Flood Plain • The Sand Dunes • Bedrock

17. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History

18. White Sands National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Dunes at White Sands • Source of the Gypsum

19. Indiana Dunes National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Beaches and sand dunes • Blowouts and Migrating Dunes • The Great Marsh • Sand ripples

 

Part II Caves and Reefs
Caves and Reefs Protected in the National Park Systems
Limestones and Dolostones
The Role of Ground Water

20. Mammoth Cave National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 20.1 How Caves Are Formed
Geologic History
Stratigraphy and Geologic Structure • Surface Features • Cave Passages • Solutional Features in the Cave • Cave Deposits

21. Wind Cave National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Wind Cave Passages • Primary and Secondary Features

22. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Origin (Speleogenesis) of the Caves • Bedrock and Geologic Structure • Cavern Features • Sediments in the Cavern • Lechuguilla Cave

23. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Capitan Reef

24. Virgin Islands National Park
Geographic Setting
Development of Coral Reefs
Box 24.1 Tectonic Activity in the Caribbean Region
Reef Terraces
Geologic History
Box 24.2 Buck Island Reef National Monument and Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

25. Everglades National Park
The Wetlands Environment—Past and Present
Geologic History
Box 25.1 The Biscayne Aquifer
The Ecosystems of the Wetlands

26. Biscayne National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 26.1 The Geologic Role of Mangrove Swamps
Geologic History
Box 26.2 Hurricanes
The “Carbonate Rock Factory” • The Living Reefs

27. Dry Tortugas National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic and Biologic Features
Geologic History
Geologic Materials Used in Fort Jefferson
Logistics • History

 

Part III Landscapes Shaped by Continental or Alpine Glaciation
The Theory of Glacial Ages
Types of Glaciers
How Glaciers Form and Move
The Work of Glaciers
Glacial Advances and Retreats
Carbon-14 Dating
Is Another Ice Age Coming?

28. Voyageurs National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 28.1 Dating Precambrian Rocks
Glacial Features
Geologic History
The Precambrian Rocks • Effects of Glacial Rebound

29. Isle Royale National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Precambrian Rocks • Effects of Glaciation on the Preglacial Topography

30. Acadia National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features

Box 30.1 More about Metamorphic Rocks
Geologic History
Terranes That “Drifted” • The Metamorphic Rocks of Acadia • The Cadillac Mountain Intrusive Complex • The Shatter Zone, Pegmatites, Veins, and Dikes • The Acadian Orogeny • Glacial and Wave-Action Features • Wave-Depositional Features

31. Rocky Mountain National Park
Box 31.1
Igneous Rocks
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Crystalline Bedrock • The Development of the Rocky Mountains • Volcanic Activity, Pegmatites, and Hydrothermal Veins • Old Erosional Surfaces • Glacial Features • Mass Wasting Features

32. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Examples of Glacial Erosion • Glacial Deposition • Avalanche Chutes • Glacier Recession • The Belt Supergroup • Igneous Sill and Lavas • The Lewis Thrust

33. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Present-day Climate • Visiting the Park/Preserve • Effects of Glaciation • The Rocks • Geologic Structures

34. Yosemite National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Bedrock Geology • Mesozoic Batholiths • Late Cenozoic Volcanic Activity • Joint Systems and Landform Development • Effects of Glacial Erosion • Waterfalls

35. North Cascades National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 35.1 How Do Glaciers Increase the Hazards of Cascade Volcanoes?
Geologic History
Development of the North Cascades • North Cascade Rocks and Structures • Glacial Features

36. Olympic National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 36.1 Paleomagnetism in Iron-Bearing Rocks
The Olympic National Park Coastal Strip
Box 36.2 How Waves Do Geologic Work
Geologic History
The Making of Geologic Maps • A Plate Tectonics Explanation • Faults and Hot Springs • Turbidites, Tectonic Mélanges, and Piercement Structures • The Shaping of the Olympic Landscape

37. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Structurally Controlled Topography • Glacial Features • Studies of Glacial Advances and Retreats • Bedrock

38. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Box 38.1 Plate Tectonics and Accreted Terranes
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Bedrock Sequences • Earthquakes and Volcanoes • Mountains and Canyons • Glaciers and Rivers • Periglacial and Permafrost Features

39. Kenai Fjords National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic History and Features

40. Denali National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Yukon-Tanana Terrane • Farewell Terrane • Pingston, McKinley, and Chulitna Terranes • Younger “Overlap” Rocks • Faults and Earthquakes • Glaciers and Permafrost • Permafrost and Periglacial Activity

 

Part IV Volcanic Features and Volcanic Activity
Volcanic Features Protected in the National Park System
Volcanism and Extrusive Rocks
Characteristics of Lava
How Lavas and Volcanic Rocks Are Classified
Types of Volcanoes and Volcanic Belts

41. Mount Rainier National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 41.1 The Cascade Volcanoes: A Part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”
Geologic History
Glacial Features • Mass Wasting Processes on Mount Rainier

42. Crater Lake National Park
Tectonic Setting and Regional Geology
Geologic Features
Volcanic Features
Mount Mazama’s Climactic Eruption
Glacial Features
Mass Wasting
Geologic History
Volcanic Rocks • Faults • Mount Mazama • Associated Stratovolcanoes • Cinder Cones and Shield Volcanoes • Dikes and Other Features of the Caldera Walls • Volcanic Domes • Volcanic Features on the Crater Lake Floor

43. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Tectonic Setting
Geologic Features
Lassen Peak and the Lassen Volcanic Center
Caribou Volcanic Field
Faults
Lassen Hydrothermal System
Lassen Peak Eruptions of 1914 to 1917
Glacial Features
Geologic History
How Magma Viscosity and Gas Content Are Related to Volcanic Eruptions? • Volcanoes of LVNP • Rockland Stage • Brokeoff Stage • Lassen Stage

44. Katmai National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glacial Features
Geologic History
The 1912 Eruption • The Katmai-Novarupta Connection • The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes • Novarupta • Related Volcanoes and Eruptions

45. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glacial Features
Geologic History
Why Are the Volcanoes Here? • Volcano Hazards in the Lake Clark-Cook Inlet Area • Landsliding and Rockfalls • Rocks and Structures

46. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 46.1 The Geography and Geology of the Hawaiian Archipelago
Submarine and Shore Features
Geologic History
Box 46.2 Forecasting Eruptions
Volcanic Rocks That Form from the Lavas • Types of Lava and Lava Features • Ash Explosions and Pyroclastics • Rift Zones on the Volcanoes • Fault Systems and Landslides

47. Haleakala National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History

48. National Park of American Samoa
Geographic Setting
The National Park Units
Geologic Features
Geologic History

49. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone and the National Park Image
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glacial Features
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River
Buried Forests
Geologic History
Discovery and Exploration • The Surrounding Ranges • The Yellowstone Plateau • The Yellowstone Caldera • What is below Yellowstone? • The Hot Spot • Hot Springs and Geysers • Seismic Activity and the Thermal Features • Columnar Jointing and Obsidian

 

Part V Landscapes and Structures in Areas of Complex Mountains
Characteristics of Major Mountain Belts

50. Grand Teton National Park
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Rocks and Structures • Faults and Fault Blocks • How Surface Processes Modified the Teton Landscape

51. Great Basin National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Glaciation
Geologic History
Box 51.1 Crustal Extension in the Great Basin
The Rocks • The Metamorphic Core Complex and Block-faulting • Lehman Caves • Lexington Arch

52. Saguaro National Park
Geology of Saguaro East
Geology of Saguaro West
Geologic History—Tucson Mountains
Geologic History—Rincon Mountains

53. Joshua Tree National Park
Location and Geography
Tectonic Setting
Types of Rocks Exposed in the Joshua Tree Region
Structural Geology
Sculpting the Desert Landscape
Landforms of the Desert
Box 53.1 How Arid Region Landforms Differ From Landforms in Humid Regions
The Final Polish
Geologic History
Climate • Metamorphic Rocks • Igneous Rocks • Faults • Joints • Weathering • Subsoil Weathering

54. Death Valley National Park
Geographic Setting and Human History
Death Valley’s Tectonic Setting
Geologic History
General Features • The Faults • The Ranges • The Basins • Features Related to Active Faulting Along the Black Mountains Front • The Black Mountains and the Basin and Range from Dante’s View • Lake Manly • Playa Lakes and the Death Valley Salt Pan • Young Volcanic Features • Sand Dunes • The Central Death Valley Plutonic–Volcanic Field: A Fault-Controlled Igneous Terrane • Springs • Events That Preceded the Formation of the Present Basins and Ranges

55. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Prospects for the Future
Climatic Zones and Precipitation • Drainage Systems and Divides • Sierra Nevada Uplift • Bedrock Geology • Roof Pendants • Caves and Mineralization

56. Channel Islands National Park
Geographic Setting
Environment and Organisms
Geologic and Other Natural Features of the Channel Islands
Geologic History
San Miguel Island • Prince Island • Santa Rosa Island • Santa Cruz Island • Anacapa Island • Santa Barbara Island

57. Redwood National Park
The Tall Trees
Geologic History and Features

58. Hot Springs National Park  
Geologic Features
Geologic History
How Did the Hot Springs Originate? • Rocks of Special Interest in the Park

59. Big Bend National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
The Landforms • The Rio Grande • Hot Springs • Vertebrate Fossils • Mining in the Big Bend Area

60. Shenandoah National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 60.1 Formation of the Southern Appalachian Mountains – Georgia to New York
Geologic History
Bedrock and Geologic Structures • Cleavage and Joints • Folds and Faults • Water Gaps and Wind Gaps

61. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Geologic History
Bedrock and Geologic Structures • Folds and Faults • How the Coves Developed

62. Pinnacles National Park
Geographic Setting
Geologic Features
Box 62.1 Tectonic Evolution of the San Andreas Fault
Box 62.2 Earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault
Geologic History
San Andreas Fault System • Local Faults • Rocks of Pinnacles • Talus Caves • The Mesozoic Basement • Marine Transgression and Volcanism • San Andreas Fault Transport of the Pinnacles Volcanics and the Bickmore Canyon Arkose • Uplift and Erosion

 

Glossary
Index

David A. Foster
Dr. David A. Foster is a Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida. In addition to teaching courses on the Geology of National Parks he studies the tectonic development of continents. His research in North America, Africa and Australia makes use of radiometric dating methods, structural geology, and petrology to study ancient and modern tectonic processes. He has published over 200 scientific articles and several field guides.
David Hacker
Ann G Harris