Geodiversity Atlas—Arctic Network Index

photo of two people standing atop lava dome
Lost Jim Basalt Flow at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska.

NPS photo by David Swanson.

Geology and Stratigraphy of the Arctic Network Parks

The Arctic Inventory & Monitoring Network consists of five National Park Service units in northwestern and north-central Alaska. These parks include Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, and Noatak National Preserve. The parks of the Arctic Network includes some of the nation’s largest national parks, with Gates of the Arctic being the second largest national park covering 3,428,702 ha (8,472,506 acres), and Noatak being not far behind at 2,660,598 ha (6,574,481 acres).

The Arctic Network parks are inaccessible by road and offer visitors tremendous opportunities for wilderness experiences. The parks associated with the Brooks Range offer an outstanding wilderness landscape with abundant wildlife and other natural resources. All of these parks, with the exception of Bering Land Bridge, lie north of the Arctic Circle and are in or directly adjacent to the Brooks Range, a broad area of uplifted Paleozoic bedrock that forms an east– west trending mountain range across northern Alaska. The geographic area covered by the Arctic Network can be divided into a series of east–west trending geologic provinces (Blodgett et al. 2002). These provinces are defined by stratigraphy, structural character, and degree of metamorphism. They primarily reflect the deformational history related to the formation of the Brooks Range.

A Brief Geologic History—Arctic Desert Network

A few examples of events and Network resources in each geologic time period are highlighted below, from youngest to oldest.

Visit—Park Geology

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    Type Sections—Arctic Network

    thumbnail image of cover of type section report

    The geologic history above is excerpted from a report titled, "National Park Service Geologic Type Section Inventory: Arctic Inventory & Monitoring Network". Type sections are essential reference locations for the geoscientists who study geologic history and paleontology. A summary of the type sections in each park can be found at the links below.

    • Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska [Site Under Development]

    • Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska (no designated stratotypes identified)

    • Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska [Site Under Development]

    • Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska (no designated stratotypes identified)

    • Noatak National Preserve, Alaska [Site Under Development]

    The full Network report is available in digital format from:

    Please cite this publication as:

    • Henderson TC, Santucci VL, Connors T, Tweet JS. 2022. National Park Service geologic type section inventory: Arctic Inventory & Monitoring Network. Natural Resource Report. NPS/ARCN/NRR—2022/2832. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado.

    NPS Stratotype Inventory

    Geodiversity Atlas pages—by Inventory & Monitoring Network

    Geodiversity Atlas pages—by State, U.S. Commonwealth, and Territories

    Geodiversity Atlas pages—by Unified Interior Regions

    Last updated: October 30, 2023


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