Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Great Sand Dunes National Park - Quaternary History and Sources of Sand
Studies of dunes in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve examine the role of Holocene groundwater and lake-level change as a control on sand sources. These studies overturn previously held beliefs about the age and origin of the Great Sand Dunes, and critically examine current interpretations of how the Rio Grande has functioned as an eolian sand source. New stratigraphic and geochronologic studies reveal sources of sand from the basin floor that were repeatedly activated via groundwater changes during the Holocene.
Studies of dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park are supported by the Drylands Project, National Park Service, and The Nature Conservancy. New scientific interpretations are being incorporated into the Interpretive Program for Park visitors.
For more information, contact Rich Madole (Scientist emeritus).
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