Geology of the National Parks

***Week 3***

Tuesday, October 9.       
Finish Cascade Volcanoes
Introduce Sierra Nevada

Reading for Tuesday: Reading for Thursday; Miller, p. 30-35.  Peruse the Cascade Volcano Observatory (CVO) website ( to gain a better feeling for Mt. Rainier NP, Mt. St. Helens NVM, Lava Beds NM, and Lassen Volcanic NP.  What are the main differences between these parks?  Start with the rock type (each park is made of different types of volcanic rocks) and then try to relate their differences to the different rocks.

For the Sierra Nevada, read pages 36-39 and pages 41-45 in Miller.  The first section is about Geologic Contacts and cross-sections, whereas the second pertains specifically to the Sierra Nevada –you’ll need the first section to understand figure 49, which is key to understanding the geologic history of the region.       

Thursday, October 11.       
                Intrusive Rocks and contacts
                Yosemite NP
                Grand Canyon National Park

Reading for Thursday.  For the Sierra Nevada, see Tuesday’s reading assignment (now, really make sure you study figure 49!).  For the Grand Canyon, read pages 6-20 of Price.  Pay special notice to the box “Geologic Setting” on p. 11.  Notice that he also reviews plate tectonics.  To help understand the overall structure of the canyon, read the short section on the Grand Canyon in Miller (p. 59-60).

Written Assignment #1 due.  (see hand-out)

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Geology of the National Parks