Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM
BASELINE PALEONTOLOGICAL INVENTORY AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL: PERMIAN REEF GEOLOGY TRAIL, GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
The Permian Reef Geology Trail is the premier outdoor geological exhibit in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It is a resource used by dozens of groups of geological field trips and field camps each year and is the focus of an interpretive trail guide published by the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. A lay version of the interpretive trail guide is in progress. Outcrops along the trail begin within deep basinal rocks of the Permian age Delaware Basin and continue upwardly through forereef and reef facies of the Capitan Formation to backreef and shelf facies of the Yates and Tansill Formations. Large numbers of fossil organisms are present in the outcrops and help to identify a wide range of depositional environments and paleoecological associations. Development of a baseline paleontological inventory was determined to be a necessary management tool in order to effectively manage for all these factors. The inventory utilizes an Access database format that associates basic geographic, taxonomic, and visual information and is fully searchable along a wide variety of field parameters. Geographic data are collected with Trimble GeoExplorer GPS units and all positions are differentially corrected using base data. Table fields include Lat/Long and UTM coordinates, three taxic names, digital photograph numbers, references to published images (e.g., from the interpretive trail guide). Photograph number fields are hotlinked to the archival image. When completed the inventory can be uploaded to a laptop and carried by geology managers to the trail allowing on-site assessment of impacts from visitors and weathering, vandalism, needs for sign repair/replacement, and location of trail modifications. A version of the inventory could be adapted for use as an on-line field trip and published on CD format for use in geology classes.