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Geologic Wonders of the National Parks, site 13-18

Coral reef at St. John13. Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands - The small island of St. John contains beautiful examples of coral reefs, white coral sand and coral rubble beaches. There are excellent examples for each coral reef zone including striking reef flats and algal ridges. More

The Grand Tetons14. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming - The Teton Fault is one of the most notable normal faults in North America. The east-dipping tensional fault shows over 10 kilometers of structural relief, with a calculated uplift rate of over a kilometer per million years. The Teton Mountains rise steeply out of the eastern plain, accentuating the results of the fault. More

Badwater Salt Pan15. Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada - Contains some of the best examples of playas and salt pans in North America. Playas, like "the racetrack" are shallow, transient lakes that form in closed basins and quickly evaporate whereas salt pans, like the ones at Badwater, are un-drained natural depressions where salt is deposited upon evaporation. More

Sand Dunes in the San Louis Valley16. Olympic National Park, Washington - Surprisingly, one of the wettest parts of the country also contains one of the most dramatic rain shadows in the United States. Moisture is released from the air as it passes over the Olympic Mountains. Mount Olympus receives around 200 inches of precipitation a year, while the small town of Sequim on the northeastern corner of the Olympic peninsula receives less than twenty. More

Badland Topography17. Badlands National Park, South Dakota - Contains some of the worlds most bizarre and alien looking landscapes; classic examples of badland topography. The poorly consolidated bedrock consisting of loose sediment and volcanic ash is quickly eroded by infrequent rainstorms. Resulting mud mounds, spires, and ridges resemble miniature mountain ranges. More

Dunes on Padre Island18. Padre Island National Seashore, Texas - North Padre Island is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. The National Seashore is 70 miles long with 65.5 miles of Gulf beach. The constant interplay between the wind, ocean, rivers, tides, and storms make barrier islands one of the most dynamic earth systems. The Park hosts a variety of pristine beach, dune, and tidal flat environments. More

updated on 01/04/2005  I   http://www.nature.nps.gov/GEOLOGY/geologic_wonders/13_18list.cfm   I  Email: Webmaster
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