NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Joshua Tree National Park, California

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.

desert landscape

Geologic Features and Processes

[Site Under Development]

Regional Geology

Joshua Tree National Park lies at the eastern terminus of the Transverse Ranges wiithin the Pacific Border Physiographic Province. The Transverse Ranges are unusual in that they trend east-west rather than north-south as do most ranges. The Transverse Ranges province extends about 325 miles from Point Arguello and San Miguel Island on the west coast of California to the Coxcomb Mountains in Joshua Tree on the east (Norris and Web, 1976). Principal mountain ranges include the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the southwest, the Pinto, Cottonwood, and Hexie Mountains in the central part, and the Eagle and Coxcomb Mountains on the east end. Elevations are generally between 2,000 to 4,000 feet. The highest point is 4,562 feet at Twentynine Palms Mountain.

Maps and Reports

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 2912. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

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

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2984. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

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Joshua Tree 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.

Joshua Tree National Park

Last updated: February 10, 2022