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Southern California Areal Mapping Project

 

Geologic Framework of Joshua Tree National Park

| Selected References |

Geologic-mapping Investigations

The U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service are engaged in a cooperative effort to improve our understanding and communication of science in the Federal parks. As part of this cooperative effort, SCAMP is conducting geologic-mapping and related investigations in and around Joshua Tree National Park that are directed toward the following goals:

Geologic Map of Joshua Tree National Park.

SCAMP is developing a detailed and state-of-the-art digital geologic map of the Park to serve as a basis for interpretive presentations and resource assessment by Park personnel. Areas being mapped include a swath covered by existing NASA (JPL) and USGS airborne spectrographic data, offering the opportunity to correlate ground-based geologic maps with remote-sensing maps.

 

Recent SCAMP Products

Powell, R.E., 2001, Geologic Map and Digital Database of the Conejo Well 7.5 minute Quadrangle, Riverside County, Southern California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-031, scale 1:24,000.
http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of01-031/

Powell, R.E., 2001, Geologic Map and Digital Database of the Porcupine Wash 7.5 minute Quadrangle, Riverside County, Southern California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-030, scale 1:24,000.
http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of01-030/

Fleck, R.J., Wooden, J.L., Matti, J.C., Powell, R.E., and Miller, F.K., 1997, Geochronologic investigations in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, California: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, no. 5, p. 12-13.

Matti, J.C., Wooden, J.L., and Powell, R.E., 1994, Late Cretaceous plutonic and metamorphic complex in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, southern California: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 26, no. 2, p. 70-71.

Blue Cut, Porcupine Wash-Substation, and Smoke Tree-Victory Pass Faults

SCAMP is acquiring data that help to better constrain timing of Quaternary movement on these important left-lateral strike-slip faults of the San Andreas system. The mapping will lead to a better understanding of the seismotectonic significance of these faults, some of which are seismically active.

Desert Ecosystem Studies

Geologic mapping in and around Pinto Basin will augment ecosystem studies in a fragile ecosystem in the southern California urban fringe area by providing a geologic base for ongoing National Park Service and USGS Biological Resources Division vegetation mapping and ecosystem studies in Joshua Tree National Park. The proposed mapping will document compositional, textural, geomorphic, and weathering characteristics, along with relative and (where possible) chronologic ages of bedrock units, surficial deposits, and soils. These data will provide a basis for establishing links between vegetation and lithologic substrate and for assessing the vulnerability and recoverability of ecosystems on various desert surfaces.

Geohydrologic Framework

SCAMP geologic mapping is contributing to a better understanding of the Park's water resources by mapping faults and Quaternary (and Pliocene?) deposits in and around Pinto Basin and by gathering data on stratigraphic relations in the surficial deposits.

Cooperative Interactions

SCAMP coordinates with several efforts that contribute geologic information to the management of public lands, including:
  1. The USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program and its Science-in-the-Parks Project, which has supported geologic-framework studies in Joshua Tree National Park and collaborative interpretive publications and curriculum development materials that describe the geology of Joshua Tree and other California parks within the context of the San Andreas fault system;
  2. The USGS program for Place-Based (Ecosystem) Studies that is supporting Mojave Desert Ecosystem studies. These investigations are part of a broader multidisciplinary and multi-agency effort to investigate the fragile desert ecosystem of the Southwest. Other investigating agencies involved in these ecosystem studies include the Department of Defense, the Northern and Eastern Mojave Planning Effort of the National Park Service, USGS Biological Resources Division, and Bureau of Land Management.

| Selected References | Return to "Where is SCAMP currently working?" |

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This site last updated September 3, 2004 (ps)

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