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The National Park Service Geologic Resources Inventory

Stanton, Heather I.1; Ransmeier, Melanie 2; O'Meara, Stephanie 1; Thornberry-Ehrlich, Trista 1; Chappell, Jim 1; Karpilo, Ron 1; Croskrey, Andrea 2; Hybels, Georgia 2; Mack, Gregory 3
1 Geosciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
2 Geologic Resources Division, National Park Service, Denver, CO.
3 Pacific West Region, National Park Service, Seattle, WA.

The Geologic Resources Inventory (GRI) is a component of the National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring Program, administered by the NPS Geologic Resources Division. The GRI is one of 12 natural resource inventories advancing science-based park management in the NPS. Working with Colorado State University and other partners, the GRI provides parks with a scoping meeting and a summary report, a digital geologic-GIS map, and a report that highlights park-specific geologic issues, features and processes.

Participants at scoping meetings include local geologic experts and park staff. Scoping meeting summaries list the geologic issues, features and processes identified at specific park meetings and outlines a digital geologic mapping plan. The dedicated digital geologic map for each park incorporates existing digital GIS data or paper maps into a single GIS product tailored to the needs of park resource management staff. GRI digital geologic data are delivered in ESRI geodatabase and shapefile format and follow a consistent data model that meets rigorous standards for spatial and attribute quality. Final geologic reports contain a geologic setting; a discussion of the geologic issues, features, and processes occurring in the park; a map unit properties table summarizing characteristics of geologic units in the park; and a brief regional geologic history.

The scoping summary, digital geologic-GIS map and geologic report provide essential information and tools for park resource management. NPS resource managers have used GRI products to 1) track glacial response to climate change, 2) find areas of cave formation, 3) identify rockfall hazards, and 4) correlate plant and animal habitats with geology. When combined with the other natural resource inventories, the GRI provides an invaluable tool that park resource managers can use to help preserve and protect the scenic beauty, safety, and natural environments that the public has come to expect from National Parks.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009