Rocky Mountain Section - 72nd Annual Meeting - 2020

Paper No. 14-8
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM


HUNT-FOSTER, ReBecca, National Park Service, Dinosaur National Monument, 11625 East 1500 South, PO Box 128, Jensen, UT 84035

Dinosaur National Monument was established in 1915 to protect and preserve the globally significant paleontological resources at the historic Late Jurassic Carnegie Quarry. The monument was expanded in 1938 and now protects 210,844.02 acres in northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado, 91% of which is managed as Recommended Wilderness. Dinosaur National Monument is situated on the eastern end of the Uinta Mountains, a broad anticline that formed during the Laramide Orogeny. The Green and Yampa rivers have carved out numerous canyons, with faults and folds of Laramide-age exposed throughout the 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.