2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM


CONNORS, Timothy B.1, HEISE, Bruce A.1, GREGSON, Joe D.2, O'MEARA, Stephanie3, THORNBERRY, Trista3 and GRAHAM, John3, (1)National Park Service, Geologic Rscs Div, 12795 West Alameda Parkway, PO Box 25287, Lakewood, CO 80225, (2)National Park Service, Nat Rscs Information Div, Fort Collins, CO, (3)Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, CO, tim_connors@nps.gov

The role of geology, including bedrock and surficial deposits, active earth processes, fossils, and historical surveys, is often overlooked in park and ecosystem management and interpretation in the National Park System.

However, there is a growing awareness that better understanding of earth science is often critical to successful park management.

The NPS has identified that a geologic inventory, especially digital geologic maps and reports, is needed for managing, interpreting, and understanding park resources.

This paper reviews the goals, preliminary findings, and status of the inventory as well as applications for resource management. Examples include the use of geologic information to construct fire histories, to identify habitat for rare and endangered plant species, and to locate potential hazards.

Beginning in 1998, the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a Geologic Resources Inventory (GRI) to document and evaluate the geologic resources of about 272 National Park System units (national parks, monuments, recreational areas, historic sites, seashores, lakeshores, etc.). To date, GRI workshops have been held for 67 parks, geologic bibliographies developed for 235 parks, digital geologic maps produced for 18 parks (numerous more in progress and nearing completion), and geologic reports produced for 13 parks in Utah and Colorado

User-friendly (i.e. main users are NPS Natural Resource Managers) GIS tools have been developed in ESRI ArcView format for the digital geologic maps. Applications including the NPS-developed ArcView Theme Manager, graphical cross section viewer and legend text display tools are integrated with a standard geology-GIS model that is in development to reproduce the components of a "paper" geologic map into a digital geologic database. The evolving geology-GIS model is based on the Washington State ArcInfo GIS data model (Harris 1998) that is being adapted for ArcView GIS and extended to include components of the North American Geologic Map Data Model (NADM), http://geology.usgs.gov/dm/.