Field of Science

New Publication - An Overview of National Park Service Paleontological Resources from the Parks and Monuments in Utah

Lots of Chinle Formation coverage in this new paper as there are fossiliferous exposures of that unit in many of the National Parks in southern Utah, including Dinosaur National Monument.

Santucci, V. L., and J. I. Kirkland. 2010. An Overview of National Park Service Paleontological Resources from the Parks and Monuments in Utah; pp. 589-623 in D.A. Sprinkel, T.C. Chidsey, Jr., and P.B. Anderson (eds.), Geology of Utah’s Parks and Monuments 2010, Utah Geological Association Publication 28.

Abstract - The National Park Service (NPS) administers thirteen park units within the state of Utah. Most of these parks, monuments, and other NPS units have been established and are recognized for their significant geologic features. Fossiliferous
rocks of Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic age have been identified in all of the National Park System units in Utah. In 1998, the first comprehensive inventory of paleontological resources in the national parks and monuments of Utah was initiated. A wide diversity of fossilized plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, and trace fossils has been documented. Paleontological resources identified from within the parks and monuments have been assessed relative to their scientific significance, potential threats, and management as non-renewable resources. Considerable focus has been directed towards the in situ management of the abundant fossil vertebrate tracks identified throughout the Mesozoic formations within at least seven NPS areas in Utah. The baseline paleontological resource data obtained during this inventory will assist park staff with improved management of their paleontological resources and protection of fossils within their park.

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