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Circular 1327

Geological, Geochemical, and Geophysical Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Edited by J.E. Gray and W.R. Page


Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (29.6 MB)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been investigating a number of broad and diverse geologic, geochemical, and geophysical topics in BBNP to provide fundamental information needed by the National Park Service (NPS) to address resource management goals in this park. Scientists from the USGS Mineral Resources and National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Programs have been working cooperatively with the NPS and several universities on several research studies within BBNP. Because the last geologic map of the entire BBNP was pub­lished in the 1960s, one of the primary goals of the USGS is to provide a new geologic map of BBNP at a scale 1:100,000; this work is ongoing among the USGS, NPS, the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, and university scientists. This USGS Circular summarizes eight studies funded and primarily carried out by the USGS, but it is not intended to be a comprehensive reference of work conducted in BBNP. This Circular describes topical research of the recently completed interdisciplinary USGS project, which has provided information leading to a more complete understanding of the following topics in BBNP:

Tectonic and geologic history,
Age and formation processes of a skarn mineral deposit,
Geoenvironmental effects of abandoned mercury mines,
Age, source, and geochemistry of surface and subsurface water resources,
Isotopic tracing of food sources of bears, and
Geophysical characteristics of surface and subsurface geology.

Version 1.0

Posted October 2008

For more information concerning this publication, contact:
Team Chief Scientist, USGS Central Mineral Resources Box 25046, Mail Stop 973 Denver, CO 80225

Or visit the Central Mineral Resources Team Web site at:

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Gray, J.E., and Page, W.R., eds., 2008, Geological, geochemical, and geophysical studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Big Bend National Park, Texas: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1327, 93 p.



by K.M. Johnson


by J.E. Gray and W.R. Page

Tectonic History of Big Bend National Park,

by W.R. Page, K.J. Turner, and R.G. Bohannon

Surficial Deposits of Big Bend National Park,

by M.E. Berry and V.S. Williams

Volcanic Geology of Several Prominent Outcrops in the Western Part of Big Bend National Park,

by D.P. Miggins, M. Ren, and E.Y. Anthony

Where Magma Meets Limestone: Dagger Flats, an Example of Skarn Deposits in Big Bend National Park,

by L.A. Morgan and W.C. Shanks

Evaluation of Mercury Contamination at Inactive Mercury Mines in and around Big Bend National Park,

by J.E. Gray, P.M. Theodorakos, and D.P. Krabbenhoft

The Waters of Big Bend: Geochemical Variations, Ages, and Sources,

by W.C. Shanks ,L.A. Morgan, J.E. Gray, A.H. Manning, and P.A. Gemery-Hill

Stable Isotope and Trace Element Studies of Black Bear Hair, Big Bend Ecosystem, Texas and Mexico,

by W.C. Shanks, E.C. Hellgren, C. Stricker, P.A. Gemery-Hill, and D.P. Onorato

Aeromagnetic and Radioelement Analyses Identify Igneous Rocks in the Big Bend National Park Region,

by C.A. Finn and E. Anderson

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