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Scientific Investigations Map 3142

Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service

Geologic Map of Big Bend National Park, Texas

By Kenzie J. Turner, Margaret E. Berry, William R. Page, Thomas M. Lehman, Robert G. Bohannon, Robert B. Scott, Daniel P. Miggins, James R. Budahn, Roger W. Cooper, Benjamin J. Drenth, Eric D. Anderson, and Van S. Williams

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (132 MB)Abstract

The purpose of this map is to provide the National Park Service and the public with an updated digital geologic map of Big Bend National Park (BBNP). The geologic map report of Maxwell and others (1967) provides a fully comprehensive account of the important volcanic, structural, geomorphological, and paleontological features that define BBNP. However, the map is on a geographically distorted planimetric base and lacks topography, which has caused difficulty in conducting GIS-based data analyses and georeferencing the many geologic features investigated and depicted on the map. In addition, the map is outdated, excluding significant data from numerous studies that have been carried out since its publication more than 40 years ago.

This report includes a modern digital geologic map that can be utilized with standard GIS applications to aid BBNP researchers in geologic data analysis, natural resource and ecosystem management, monitoring, assessment, inventory activities, and educational and recreational uses. The digital map incorporates new data, many revisions, and greater detail than the original map. Although some geologic issues remain unresolved for BBNP, the updated map serves as a foundation for addressing those issues.

Funding for the Big Bend National Park geologic map was provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program and the National Park Service. The Big Bend mapping project was administered by staff in the USGS Geology and Environmental Change Science Center, Denver, Colo. Members of the USGS Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center completed investigations in parallel with the geologic mapping project. Results of these investigations addressed some significant current issues in BBNP and the U.S.-Mexico border region, including contaminants and human health, ecosystems, and water resources. Funding for the high-resolution aeromagnetic survey in BBNP, and associated data analyses and interpretation, was from the USGS Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center. Mapping contributed from university professors and students was mostly funded by independent sources, including academic institutions, private industry, and other agencies.

First posted September 20, 2011

For additional information contact:
USGS Geology and Environmental Change Science Center
Box 25046, Mail Stop 980
Denver, CO 80225

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:

Turner, K.J., Berry, M.E., Page, W.R., Lehman, T.M., Bohannon, R.G., Scott, R.B., Miggins, D.P., Budahn, J.R., Cooper, R.W., Drenth, B.J., Anderson, E.D., and Williams, V.S., 2011, Geologic map of Big Bend National Park, Texas: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3142, scale 1:75,000, pamphlet 84 p.




Description of Map Units





References Cited


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