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View of Mt. Shuksan, North Cascades National Park.  Photo by R. Tabor, USGS

View of Mt. Shuksan, North Cascades National Park. Photo by R. Tabor, USGS

USGS Geology in the Parks

Welcome! From the swirling sands of Mojave National Preserve's Kelso Dunes to the brief, fiery growth of Sunset Crater Volcano, our National Parks preserve the showcases of our nation’s rich geological heritage. We invite you to explore a few of these very special places with us.
The Basics
pebbleGeologic Maps
pebblePlate Tectonics
pebbleRocks & Minerals
pebbleGeologic Time
pebbleEducation Resources

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pebbleGeomorphic Provinces
pebbleSand Dunes
pebbleGlaciers - Preview!

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Park geology
pebbleSunset Crater
pebbleLake Mead
pebbleLassen - Preview!
pebbleNorth Cascades
pebbleJoshua Tree - Earthquake!
pebbleDevils Postpile
pebbleDeath Valley

About this site

spacer image This new site is produced as a collaborative effort of the US Geological Survey and National Park Service. We are adding, updating, and expanding weekly. Provisional pages that are under review are posted with an UNDER CONSTRUCTION banner.
spacer image Our presentation is structured to inform and entice virtual and future park visitors with a non-technical approach to geology. We hope that everyone from middle-school age and up will find something of interest. Information is presented at a variety of technical levels. All of our 'entry' pages including the first page of any topic, including field trip stops, is presented at the most basic level. If you're interested in more detail, simply work your way through each site and you'll find that our presentation becomes increasingly specialized and uses more technical language. We have also included lots of material specifically aimed at park interpreters and educators.
spacer image Most scientific terms are highlighted as links. Clicking on the term will take you to our glossary or other page that explains the term or concept. The glossary provides simplified definitions for technical terms. Many terms also have their own 'more details' links to pages with illustrations and/or more information.
spacer image We have organized our pages into two categories, general geology topics and individual parks. As you can see by browsing through some of the buttons to the right, there are several sites that cover the basics: plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, and the like. These offer the key introductory information you need to get started.
spacer image Several sites are dedicated to the unique geologic history and resources of specific parks. When you visit these sites, you'll notice that their style and content varies. Each of these sites is jointly developed by park interpreters and USGS staff, therefore each one reflects the unique visitor make-up, resources, and of course, personality of that park and its staff.
spacer image For the 'experts' we are developing technical resource pages for each park that includes a list of geologic and topographic maps, technical literature citations, and other pertinent information for geology aficionados.
spacer image You'll also find education resource pages for several parks. These will eventually include interpreter’s geology manuals, field trip guides, lessons, and any other materials of use to educators and NPS interpreters.
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This site is a cooperative project of the
US Geological Survey Western Earth Surface Processes Team
and the National Park Service.

Please share your comments and suggestions with us!
This page was last updated on 10/10/00