NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Geodiversity refers to the full variety of natural geologic (rocks, minerals, sediments, fossils, landforms, and physical processes) and soil resources and processes that occur in the park. A product of the Geologic Resources Inventory, the NPS Geodiversity Atlas delivers information in support of education, Geoconservation, and integrated management of living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components of the ecosystem.

cover of gri report with photo of cliffs and canyon
In-depth geologic information is contained in the baseline inventory products of the Geologic Resources Inventory, see table below.


[Site Under Development]

Grand Canyon National Park is, of course, among the most stunning geologic experiences on the planet, let alone in the National Park System, and it hardly needs an introduction. People have lived in, marveled at, held sacred, explored, and studied the canyon for centuries.

Geologic Features and Processes

Geologic features and processes present in the park include the following:


Those varied geologic features and processes also create a multitude of resource management issues for park staff, including:

  • Climate Change and Water Supply

  • Flash Floods and Debris Flows

  • Restoring and Monitoring Colorado River Sediment Load

  • Slope Movement Hazards

  • Cave and Karst Inventory, Monitoring, and Protection

  • Trans-Canyon Pipeline Replacement

  • Paleontological Resource Inventory, Monitoring, and Protection

  • Earthquakes

  • Abandoned Mineral Lands

  • Uranium Mining

  • Hydrocarbon Exploration

  • Lake Mead Delta

Learn more about NPS programs for geologic resource management on these websites: [Geoconservation Programs] [Geohazards] [Fossil Stewardship] [Cave Resources Stewardship]

Regional Geology

Grand Canyon National Park is a part of the Colorado Plateaus Physiographic Province and shares its geologic history and some characteristic geologic formations with a region that extends well beyond park boundaries.

Maps and Reports

geologic map of the park cropped thumbnail view

The Geologic Resources Inventory produces digital geologic maps and reports for more than 270 natural resource parks. The products listed below are currently available for this park, check back often for updates as many maps, reports, and posters are still in progress.
  • Scoping summaries are records of scoping meetings where NPS staff and local geologists determined the park’s geologic mapping plan and what content should be included in the report.
  • Digital geologic maps include files for viewing in GIS software, a guide to using the data, and a document with ancillary map information. Newer products also include data viewable in Google Earth and online map services.
  • Reports use the maps to discuss the park’s setting and significance, notable geologic features and processes, geologic resource management issues, and geologic history.
  • Posters are a static view of the GIS data in PDF format. Newer posters include aerial imagery or shaded relief and other park information. They are also included with the reports.
  • Projects list basic information about the program and all products available for a park.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2883. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

NPS Soil Resources Inventory project has been completed for Grand Canyon National Park and can be found on the NPS Data Store.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2954. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

GRI Geology Image Gallery

Related Articles

Grand Canyon National Park

National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas

The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on geoheritage and geodiversity resources and values within the National Park System. This information supports science-based geoconservation and interpretation in the NPS, as well as STEM education in schools, museums, and field camps. The NPS Geologic Resources Division and many parks work with National and International geoconservation communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available.

For more information on the NPS Geodiversity Atlas, contact us.

Grand Canyon National Park

Last updated: December 1, 2023