Nature & Science

To learn about Parashant's natural resources, please visit the Mojave Desert Inventory and Monitoring Network for detailed and interesting information, videos, and more including NPSpecies data widget. This site includes detailed information for researchers.

The geologic story of Parashant: Parashant is located at the junction of 2 physiographic provinces, the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range. Sedimentary rock layers are relatively undeformed and unobscured by vegetation. Deep canyons, mountains, and lonely buttes testify to the power of geologic forces. Geologic faults range from over 6 million years to much newer faults of only 30,000 years. Fossils are abundant on the monument. Among these are large numbers of invertebrate fossils and sponges swallowed up by the muddy bottom of a shallow ancient sea.

The volcanism of Parashant: Parashant's landscape has been volcanically active for over five million years. Several of Parashant's lava flows have dammed the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The most recent eruption in Parashant was a mere 1,075 years ago.

The monument also contains outstanding biological resources preserved by its remote location and limited travel corridors. The monument is the junction of two physiographic ecoregions: the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau. Individually, these regions contain ecosystems extreme to each other, ranging from stark, arid desert to complex, dramatic higher elevation plateaus, tributaries, and rims of the Grand Canyon. The western margin of the Shivwitts Plateau marks the boundary between the Sonoran/Mojave/Great Basin floristic provinces to the west and south, and Colorado Plateau province to the northeast. The intersection of these biomes is a distinctive and remarkable feature.

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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345 East Riverside Drive
St. George, UT 84790


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