Great Dune Fields of North America

Great Dune Fields of North America
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Assembling North America, Park by Park
Conclude by surveying national parks not yet visited in the course, traversing North America on a grand expedition. Along the way, assess the geology of this spectacularly diverse continent. From the Appalachians to the Aleutians, the national parks and other protected lands tell a dramatic and unforgettable story.
Zion, Gunnison’s Black Canyon, Capitol Reef
Witness other wonders of canyon erosion on the Colorado Plateau, including the deep and narrow Black Canyon of the Gunnison, as well as The Narrows, a dramatic slot canyon in Zion National Park.
The Colorado Rocky Mountains
Ascend the heights of the Rocky Mountains, asking how tectonic processes nearly a thousand miles away could possibly have raised this extensive range. Venture to Rocky Mountain National Park, Red Rocks, the Garden of the Gods, the Maroon Bells, and the Canadian Rockies.
Crater Lake, Olympic, North Cascades
Learn how seafloor subduction raised a lofty volcano only to obliterate it in a colossal eruption that created Crater Lake in Oregon. Hundreds of miles to the north, tectonic forces upended the imposing mountains of Olympic National Park and formed the high jagged peaks at North Cascades National Park.
Death Valley and Great Basin: The Rift Zone
Continental rifting has caused huge blocks of land to sink between high mountain belts, producing Death Valley, the lowest, hottest, driest place in North America. Explore this and other national parks and monuments in the Great Basin region.
Great Smoky Mountains and Hot Springs
Survey some of the attractions that make the Great Smoky Mountains America's most visited national park. Investigate a related geological structure in the famous Hot Springs National Park, discovering why there are hot springs so far from volcanic activity.
Yellowstone: Microcosm of the National Parks
Start your tour of the geological wonders of North America's national parks with Yellowstone, where the breathtaking landscape inspired the idea of a national park. Focus on the processes that produce Yellowstone's many geothermal formations, particularly its geysers.
Yellowstone’s Cataclysmic Origins and Future
Read the evidence in the rocks to discover Yellowstone's bigger story: the massive volcanic eruptions that created the region and will one day destroy it, the glaciers that shaped the terrain, and the meltwater floods that carved the impressive Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Grand Teton and Jackson Hole
At Grand Teton National Park south of Yellowstone, an active fault lifts some of North America's oldest rocks to the summits of some of the continent's youngest mountains. Explore these glacier-sculpted peaks, and learn the origin of the broad valley, called Jackson Hole, at the base of the Teton Range.
Hawaii Volcanoes - Earth’s Largest Mountains
Compare the lessons of hotspot volcanism at Yellowstone with the very different landscape at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is also stoked by upwelling magma from Earth's mantle. Professor Cochran describes rivers of fire on the Big Island of Hawaii and suggests distinctive lava formations to visit.
The Hawaiian Islands and Maui’s Haleakala
How does a barren volcanic landscape become a tropical paradise? Study the speed with which volcanic islands erode, leaving rich soil behind. Watch these processes at work on the Big Island of Hawaii, at Haleakala National Park on Maui, and also in the National Park of American Samoa.
Mount Saint Helens, Lassen Volcanic, Rainier
Tour Mount Rainier National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Pacific Northwest, which are part of the Cascade Range of active volcanoes that include Mount Saint Helens. Then visit a group of similarly cataclysmic volcanoes in national parks in central Mexico.