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.
Geologic Features and Processes
[Site Under Development]
The central feature of the park is the Teton Range, an active, faultblock mountain front that is 40 miles long and 7–9 miles wide. The range includes 12 peaks over 12,000 feet, with the highest in the range over 13,000 feet. The park protects 7 morainal lakes along the base of the Teton Range and more than 100 alpine and backcountry lakes. The Snake River bisects the valley of Jackson Hole and is the headwaters of the Columbia River system.
The oldest rocks in Grand Teton National Park are also some of the oldest rocks in the National Park System and the world. These rocks represent Archean (4.0 billion to 2.5 billion years old) crust, part of the North American protocontinent. The Archean suite is composed of gneiss, amphibolites, ultramafic rocks, and metagabbro. Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks surround the central core, excepting the Cenozoic deposits that dominate the land surface immediately east of the core, in Jackson Hole.
Geology Field Notes
Students and teachers of college-level (or AP) introductory geology or earth science teaching courses will find that each park's Geologic Resource Inventory report includes the Geologic History, Geologic Setting, and Geologic Features & Processes for the park which provides a useful summary of their overall geologic story. See Maps and Reports, below.
Grand Teton National Park is a part of the Middle Rocky Mountains Physiographic Province and shares its geologic history and some characteristic geologic formations with a region that extends well beyond park boundaries.
Geologic Resources Inventory
- 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.
- Grand Teton—Geologic Activity
- Grand Teton—Mountains
- Grand Teton—Glaciers/Glacial Features
- Grand Teton—Glacier Research
- Grand Teton—Fossils
- Grand Teton—Photo Gallery: Grand Teton Landscape
- Grand Teton—Park Home
- NPS—Fossils and Paleontology
- NPS—Glaciers and Glacial Landforms
- NPS—Plate Tectonics
- NPS—Geologic Time
- NPS—Explore Regional Geology
Related ArticlesGrand Teton National Park
National Park Service Geodiversity AtlasThe 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.
Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas
Last updated: October 25, 2019