The Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database
A Digital Resource for Integrating Field-Based Research, Teaching, and Learning
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Use this page to search our collection of educationally-useful geologic field guides and road logs in Montana and Yellowstone. You may search the database by entering a keyword to search or choosing one of the listed terms for geologic topic, geographic location, or geologic province.


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The Middle Yellowstone Valley from Livingston to Gardiner, Montana: A Microcosm of Northern Rocky Mountain Geology part of MT Field Guides
The middle Yellowstone valley, between the Great Plains at Livingston and the edge of the Yellowstone volcanic plateau near Gardiner, is a complex palimpsest of lithology, structure, and surficial processes. It shares basement rocks with the continental interior, largely to the north and east; Paleozoic lithologies with the western interior, compressive tectonics with the Fold and Thrust Belt to the west; extension with the Basin and Range to the west and south; and Cenozoic volcanism and elements of its geomorphic evolution with much of the surrounding region. The geological exploration of this region serves as a microcosm of the evolution of the geological understanding of the American West.

Topics: Hydrology, Resources, Fossils, Environmental Geology, Hazards, Surficial geology, Sedimentary rocks, Igneous rocks, Structures, Metamorphic rocks
Geographic Location: Yellowstone National Park, Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

Field Guide; North Moccasin and Judith Mountains part of MT Field Guides
The emphasis of this field trip is to examine gold mineralization hosted in karsts breccias at the Kendall mining district and the relationship between intrusives, Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and mineralization in the Judith Mountains.

Topics: Surficial geology, Hydrology, Sedimentary rocks
Geographic Location: North-Central Montana
Geologic Province: Montana Plains

Economic Geology of the Greater Helena Area: Helena to Montana Tunnels Mine, Lump Gulch, Grizzly Gulch, Fort Harrison and Marysville part of MT Field Guides
The Helena area has a long history of base- and precious-metal production from the Corbin-Wickes District on the south to the Marysville gold district northwest of the Capitol City. Gold has also been mined from the placers along Last Change Gulch now within the city limits. This field trip examinations the volcanic-hosted ore body at the recently opened Montana Tunnels mine south of Helena. From this mine, participants will travel north to Helena through an area of numerous inactive base- and precious-metals mines at the northern margin of the Boulder batholith and then onto the Marysville district northwest of Helena where the gold deposits are related to the Marysville stock.

Topics: Hydrology, Resources, Structures, Sedimentary rocks, Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Rocky Mountain Fold-Thrust Belt

Hydrologic Aspects of Metal Mine Impacts on Upper Clark Fork Superfund Sites, Butte - Warm Springs, MT part of MT Field Guides
This road log concentrates on environmental impacts of historic mining activities in the Butte Mining District, particularly with regard to water quality. The trip decribes the general geology between Bozeman and Butte and provides a detailed overview of the geology, hydrogeology, mineralization, and mining history in the Butte district. Specific topics included in this field guide are: water quality changes in underground mines and the Berkeley Pit, impacts and remediation of mine tailings and processing plants (mills, smelters, and reduction plants), and groundwater contamination and remediation. Detailed information from geotechnical and hydrogeological studies related to these topics is included.

Topics: Hydrology, Environmental Geology
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Rocky Mountain Fold-Thrust Belt

Multiple Catastrophic Drainage of Glacial Lake Missoula, Montana part of MT Field Guides
This field guide describes two localities related to the history and drainage of Glacial Lake Missoula northwest of Missoula, Montana. The first site highlights spectacular erosional and depositional features that illustrate the effects of extremely large discharge related to the drainage of the lake. In a sense, the area is the world's most extravagant natural flume experiment. Features include bedrock basins (scoured by flood waters), large deltaic bars, and megaripples as large as 35 feet from crest to trough. The second site, a large roadcut along I-90, contains a record of at least 36 fillings of the lake, presumably during Pinedale(?) time, suggesting that drainage occurred many times. Another roadcut exposes a similar, but unstudied record of deposition in a higher terrace that probably formed during Bull Lake(?) time and may indicate an older history of lake formation and drainage.

Topics: Surficial geology, Hydrology, Sedimentary rocks
Geographic Location: Northwest Montana
Geologic Province: Rocky Mountain Fold-Thrust Belt

Rhyolite-Basalt Volcanism of the Yellowstone Plateau and Hydrothermal Activity of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming part of MT Field Guides
This field guide provides an overview of the major geologic and hydrothermal features along the park roads through the western and northern parts of Yellowstone National Park. A number of sites from Old Faithful to Mammoth Hot Springs are described in the context of the geologic history of the Yellowstone region. Areas receiving special emphasis are the Firehole River and Upper Geyser Basin (including the Old Faithful area), Midway and Lower Geyser Basins, Firehole Canyon, Madison Junction, Norris Geyser Basin, the Norris-Mammoth Corridor, and Mammoth Hot Springs.

Topics: Surficial geology, Structures, Hydrology, Igneous rocks, Sedimentary rocks
Geographic Location: Yellowstone National Park
Geologic Province: Yellowstone Plateau

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the Middle Rocky Mountains part of MT Field Guides
This trip is designed to show participants the granite-cored Laramide (Late Cretaceous-earliest Eocene) mountain ranges in the middle Rocky Mountains, and their various stages of burial by Cenozoic deposits and subsequent Quaternary exhumation. Mountain-flank structures involving Precambrian, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic rocks, the classic Heart Mountain detachment fault complex, and the rootless overthrust mountain ranges of the Wyoming-Utah-Idaho thrust belt are traversed.

Topics: Hazards, Igneous rocks, Hydrology, Structures, Metamorphic rocks, Sedimentary rocks
Geographic Location: Yellowstone National Park
Geologic Province: Yellowstone Plateau