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Geologic History of the Teton Range Topic of Thursday Talk at AMK Ranch

August 11, 2014
Two people smiling
Jack Reed and Carol Frost will present “Mighty Mountains: Deciphering the Geologic History of the Teton Range” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, at the AMK Ranch, located in Grand Teton National Park. (Courtesy Photo)

The production of the first geologic map of the rocks that comprise the Teton uplift will be discussed Thursday, Aug. 14, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

The presentation will describe how -- during six summers spread between 1962 and 1970 -- John C. Reed Jr. of the U.S. Geological Survey systematically inspected and described every peak and canyon for the geologic map.

This week’s Harlow Summer Seminars speakers are Jack Reed, U.S. Geological Survey scientist emeritus, and UW Department of Geology Professor Carol Frost. They will discuss “Mighty Mountains: Deciphering the Geologic History of the Teton Range” at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m.

Reservations are not required. For more information, call the UW-NPS Center at (307) 543-2463.

Although, in the 1870s, members of the Hayden geological surveys of the territories had noted that the Teton Mountain peaks were composed of metamorphic rocks, nearly a century would pass before a geologic map was made of the range.

In addition to his geologic map, Reed contributed the chapter on the geology of the Tetons to Ortenburger’s Climber’s Guide -- in which a number of Reed’s pioneering routes and first ascents are documented. He also co-wrote the popular book, “Creation of the Teton Landscape,” for a general audience.

The geologic framework that emerged from Reed’s map provided a springboard for later discoveries. Among these is the recognition that the rocks of the Tetons provide a record of the oldest known Himalayan-style mountain building event on Earth, formed by a 2.7 billion-year-old collision of continents.

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.

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