2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


PROSE, Douglas V.1, LAMACCHIA, Diane M.1, CHAN, Marjorie A.2 and GODSEY, Holly S.3, (1)Earth Images Foundation, 470 Cavour St, Oakland, CA 94618, (2)Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Univ of Utah, 135 South 1460 East, Room 719, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, (3)Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, 135 S. 1460 E. Rm 719, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, dougprose@earthlink.net

Independent filmmakers have collaborated with geologists at the University of Utah to produce a short video that explores the concept of "geoantiquities," unique geologic features that function as undisturbed natural records of Earth's history. The video focuses on geoantiquities in the vicinity of Salt Lake City, Utah, where rare geologic features created by Pleistocene Lake Bonneville are also seen as highly desirable parcels for upscale housing developments and sand and gravel quarries. The few geoantiquities in the area that remain undeveloped have become valuable as open space and intact habitat. They are also popular for low impact recreation, such as hiking and wildlife viewing, and for educational field trips. The video documents how the Utah geologists have linked these attributes and the geoantiquities' scientific values to make a compelling case for preserving these features. The video also places the geologists' efforts within the broader global movement to establish "geoparks," showing examples of successful geoparks in Greece and Ireland. To illustrate the potential of applying the geoantiquities concept nationwide in the United States, several potential geoparks beyond the Salt Lake area are also explored.

The video was conceived to help the Utah geologists share their experiences with a general audience and help build wider support for on-going geoantiquity efforts. Because the geologists have already had some notable successes, their story has national and international implications in the challenging arena of land conservation, especially in the United States, where the concept of preserving lands primarily because of their geologic attributes has yet to be implemented. The video's intended audience are lay people, geologists, educators, politicians, and others who might want to support and work for the establishment of the geoantiquity concept in any locale with outstanding geologic features. A distribution plan to reach this broad audience will be presented.