Geological Monitoring

person surveying coastal dune
Monitoring changes in dune profile at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan.
Geological monitoring involves taking repeated measurements in order to detect long term change. Monitoring data can be used to help land managers assess whether changes in a geologic resource are within a normal range of variation, or if the observed changes dictate a corrective action in management practices.

Geological Monitoring Book


The Geologic Resources Division of the National Park Service initiated and funded the development of a geologic monitoring manual to provide guidance for resource managers seeking to establish the status and trends of geologic resources within the National Park System, and to further the understanding of how geologic processes impact dynamic ecosystems. Printed copies ot the monitoring manual are available from the Geological Society of America bookstore.

There are 12 critical geologic resources discussed in the manual:
  • Aeolian
  • Caves & Karst
  • Coastal
  • Fluvial
  • Geothermal
  • Glaciers
  • Marine
  • Paleontology
  • Permafrost
  • Seismic Activity
  • Slope Movements
  • Volcanoes

Last updated: February 21, 2017

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