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Geoecosystem Overview

This page was written by Denny Capps as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education.

Bison in geyser basin.
Bison in geyser basin. Details

Volcanic Component of the Yellowstone Geoecosystem

Resources describing volcanism in the Yellowstone geoecosystem.
  • Geologic Map of the Yellowstone Plateau Area. This geologic map shows rock formations, surficial deposits, faults, calderas, lava flows, and other geologic features of interest. A separate small map shows rhyolite flows. (more info)
  • Some Points of Volcanic Interest in Yellowstone National Park. This U.S. Geological Survey website highlights a few of the many interesting volcanic features related to the Yellowstone volcanic system. Highlighted features include the Obsidian Cliffs, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Sheepeater Cliffs, and the Mesa Falls ash-flow tuff. An oblique overview map of the Yellowstone area shows the location of these features in relation to other prominent locations around the park. (more info)
  • The Quaternary and Pliocene Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. This U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper is aimed at constructing a volcanic history of the Yellowstone Plateau region, interpreting important volcanic mechanisms, and seeking clues to deeper-seated processes that gave rise to the volcanic activity. Research for this paper spanned four decades and involved areal geologic mapping and the delineation of volcanic stratigraphy and significant structural relations. It includes text, maps, photographs, diagrams, and chemical analysis data. (more info)
  • Volcanic History of the Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field. This U.S. Geological Survey website gives an overview of Yellowstone volcanism. Text, numerous photos, tables, a map, and a volcanic term glossary explain the three major volcanic cycles that created the landscape that we call Yellowstone. (more info)
  • Volcano Hazards Fact Sheet: Yellowstone - Restless Volcanic Giant. This U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report summarizes the Yellowstone volcanic system and its associated hazards. Scientists are studying the Yellowstone region to assess the potential hazards from future earthquakes and eruptions and to provide warning of increased unrest. The report includes text, several maps, and data plots. Topics include Yellowstone's roots, the Yellowstone caldera, contemporary unrest, reasons to worry, and additional readings. (more info)
  • Yellowstone Geology. This Yellowstone National Park website provides geological information about the Park. Links include geologic highlights, hydrothermal features, reports by park geologists, and scientists' talks (videos). A wide array of information can be found on these links and the webpage is expanding as more topics are added. (more info)
  • Yellowstone Resources and Issues. This Yellowstone National Park online book is a compendium of concise information about the park's history, natural and cultural resources, issues, and major areas. Chapters, which are downloadable as PDF files, focus on the history of the park, the yellowstone ecosystem, geology, life in extreme heat (as in the hot springs), vegetation, fire in yellowstone, wildlife, and park issues. (more info)
  • Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This source is a clearinghouse of scientific information about the Yellowstone volcanic system. Topics include recent seismic and thermal activity, volcanic history, references and maps, a photo gallery, and FAQs. This website contains both general information that would be useful for anyone that is seeking information on the Yellowstone volcanic system, as well as more specific resources for geology students or teachers. (more info)
  • Velocity structure of the Yellowstone hot spot from teleseismic tomography: Evidence for an upper mantle plume. [Waite et al, 2006] Mantle plume research (citation and description)

Maps of the Yellowstone Geoecosystem

Maps describing Yellowstone.
  • Digital Atlas of the Greater Yellowstone Area. This online atlas provides a wide array of maps of the natural and socio-economic features of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and surrounding areas. The maps are made from GIS layers, and users can select from many types of information such as satellite imagery and topographic maps. Map areas include Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Gallatin County, and several other areas. A list of additional web resources with metadata is also provided. (more info)
  • Geologic Map of the Island Park Area, Yellowstone Region. This website contains a geologic map of the Island Park, Idaho area. The map shows rocks, deposits, faults, calderas, flows, and other geologic features of interest. (more info)
  • Geologic Map of the Yellowstone Plateau Area. This geologic map shows rock formations, surficial deposits, faults, calderas, lava flows, and other geologic features of interest. A separate small map shows rhyolite flows. (more info)
  • TopoZone - Yellowstone National Park. This website contains U.S. Geological Survey digital topographic maps for Yellowstone National Park and the rest of the United States. Maps are available in numerous series, and may be viewed at various scales and in UTM, decimal degrees, degrees/minutes/seconds, and degree/decimal minutes coordinate formats. (more info)

Yellowstone Geoecosystem

General resources describing the Yellowstone geoecosystem.
  • Nature and Science: Natural Features and Ecosystems. This Yellowstone National Park website gives a brief overview of how geologic characteristics form the foundation of the park's ecosystem. Yellowstone has a unique interplay between volcanic, hydrothermal, and glacial processes that exert control on the distribution of flora and fauna. Topics include summaries on geologic formations, glaciation, geothermal features, and volcanism. (more info)
  • Yellowstone National Park Facts. This Yellowstone National Park website provides a fact sheet with a wide range of physical and cultural information. Key topics include general park facts, wildlife, flora, geology, Yellowstone Lake, cultural resources, visitation, facilities, roads, trails, and the latitude/longitude of several significant features. (more info)
  • Yellowstone National Park: Historic 3-D Photographs Featuring Park Geology. This source provides a series of 34 historic photographs of well-known geologic landmarks in Yellowstone National Park. The photographs can be viewed individually or as part of a tour that begins at Old Faithful and proceeds in a clockwise route around the park. The images were created by digital manipulation of antique stereographs and they may be viewed as black and white photos or in 3-D using special stereographic glasses. (more info)
  • Yellowstone Resources and Issues. This Yellowstone National Park online book is a compendium of concise information about the park's history, natural and cultural resources, issues, and major areas. Chapters, which are downloadable as PDF files, focus on the history of the park, the yellowstone ecosystem, geology, life in extreme heat (as in the hot springs), vegetation, fire in yellowstone, wildlife, and park issues. (more info)
  • Yellowstone Weather. Yellowstone National Park's high altitude and mountainous terrain makes weather prediction very difficult. This website provides seasonal weather information, average temperature and precipitation data, links to weather forecasts, and other weather links. (more info)

Additional Literature

Additional useful literature about Yellowstone.
For ideas on how to use these webpages in a classroom, a Study Guide is provided.

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