GEOLOGICAL AND PALEONTOLOGICAL WORK IN DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
While Dinosaur National Monument is very well known for its dinosaur fauna, little work has taken place elsewhere in the monument’s long geologically exposed outcrops. There are 23 geologic units exposed within the monument, spanning 1.2 billion years of geologic time and representing one of the most complete stratigraphic columns exposed within the National Park System. Of these 23 units, one is Precambrian, seven are Paleozoic (only missing the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian), 13 are Mesozoic, and two are Cenozoic in age. Dinosaur National Monument contains at least five caves. There are 13 geologic units that are limestone/carbonates and are likely to exhibit karstic characteristics and processes.
Current research projects are focusing on paleoclimatology and geochemistry of the Cedar Mountain Formation, river corridor geomorphology and sediment loads, origin and crack monitoring of the Quarry Sandstone, and paleontology of the Cambrian Lodore Sandstone. The park is in search of research partners interested in undertaking paleontological, karst, structural, hydrological, geomorphologic, and geologic hazards questions. Student opportunities are also available annually through the GeoCorps Geoscientist-in-the Parks internships, as well as through volunteering opportunities.