Geology of Tetons & Yellowstone

Geology of Tetons & Yellowstone

Geology of Yellowstone and geology of Grand Teton Park are fascinating. For instance, the Grand Tetons have fossilized sea creatures embedded in few places. You could find such phenomena in Yellowstone as well. Some of our guides will talk about Yellowstone Geology if that is what interests you. Over a period of millions of years, the Tetons began to experience tectonic movements which have continued to this day. The mountains would have been part of a sea or perhaps ocean floor. The Grand Teton at 13,800 feet is believed to increase in height gradually, with the rest of the mountain range. While the Tetons rose , the Jackson valley from the town of Jackson to Moran experienced gradual sinking. When you drive from Jackson to Snake River Overlook, you wonder why the land is flat. That is why Geologic tours of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are fascinating indeed.

Credit- Kendra Leah Fuller/Shannon Sullivan: Images of America, Grand Teton National Park.

Geology of Tetons & Yellowstone - Basalt dyke tours of Grand Teton

Grand Teton geology: nearly two hundred thousand years ago, glaciers from Yellowstone melted over a period of thousands of years. Moreover, as it did, it brought rocks and soil to the Jackson valley which was now a one mile hole deep. Moraine from the glacier filled the hole and made it flat the way it looks today. Driving through the Tetons, you wouldn’t know a third historic event occurred perhaps half a million years ago. The earth mantle could have cracked and released basalt volcanic magma. The magma cut the Tetons vertically at least in one place and remains as a visible dyke today, according to a geologist. The basalt dyke is visible. There is a second intrusion that is possibly a basalt dyke as well, perhaps there are more. Grand Teton tours can be more fun with some understanding of Grand Teton Park geology.

Credit- Kendra Leah Fuller/Shannon Sullivan: Images of America, Grand Teton National Park.


Volcanic History of Yellowstone

How big is Yellowstone volcano? - Will Yellowstone erupt? It could in the future. Huckleberry Ridge eruption 2.1 million years ago and created the Island Park Caldera; Mesa Falls eruption 1.3 million years ago resulting in Henry's Fork Caldera and; Lava Creek Caldera eruption 640,000 years ago and it created the Yellowstone Caldera (Wikipedia).


Special places to visit in Jackson Hole

The Wildlife Museum of Art is another place where some people like to spend time. It has a collection of paintings and sculptures that could take you two hours to look through. There is a restaurant in the building as well. You may decide to have lunch there after you look around. Outside the Museum, you can look across highway 89 into the Elk Refuge valley. The view is stunning and worthy of your attention. In the winter, you can buy tickets to go into the Elk Refuge on horse drawn buggies to get up close to the elk inside the Elk Refuge. It is one of the most popular events in Jackson Hole.