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Geologic Resources Management

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION
DEFINITIONS
POLICY AND PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
        NPS Management Policies
        Program Objectives
AUTHORITIES
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER GUIDANCE
PROGRAM GUIDANCE
        Achieving Program Objectives
        Specific Geologic Resources
                Fluvial Features and Processes
                Geothermal Resources
                Glaciers and Glacial Features and Processes
                Volcanoes
                Arid Land Features and Processes
                Quaternary Landforms and Paleoecological Deposits
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
EXHIBIT 1: Park Enabling Statutes with References to Geologic Resources

Introduction

The geologic setting is the fundamental underlying factor for the behavior and characteristics of a landscape. Geology is a major determinant of the chemistry of the water and soil, the type of plants that will grow and thrive, the stability of the hillsides, the availability of fresh water, and the locations of habitats. NPS geologic resources are important for their role in the ecosystem, their scenic grandeur, and their contribution to visitor enjoyment.

The National Park System contains geologic resources of international renown, including both geologic features and processes. Many parks were established specifically to protect geologic resources. (See Exhibit A for a list of these parks and excerpts from their enabling statutes.) Even parks that were not specifically established for this purpose contain or are affected by geologic resources. For example:

  • More than 120 parks contain significant paleontological resources.
  • 21 parks have active glaciers.
  • 58 parks have significant cave/karst features.
  • 40 parks manage coastal zones.
  • 190 parks contain disturbed lands requiring restoration.
  • 12 parks are periodically shaken by movement on the San Andreas Fault zone.
  • 15 parks contain active volcanoes of the Pacific Rim.
  • 15 parks are experiencing regional uplift in the Colorado Plateau.
  • 13 parks are situated on the shifting sands of barrier island beaches.
  • 6 parks are being pulled apart by crustal extension in the Great Basin Region.
  • Virtually all parks confront soils management issues.

This section first presents the management components that apply to all NPS geologic resources, and then discusses several specific geologic resources in detail.

Geologic Resources Management Table of Contents | RM#77 Table of Contents
update on 02/05/2004  I   http://www.nature.nps.gov/Rm77/geology.cfm   I  Email: Contact Us
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