GEO101 (MOD5 Portfolio MIlestone Peer Review)


After a tutor has been selected; I will post the additional students post. (This is this weeks assignment and the students have not yet posted their outlines for review.)
For this peer review assignment, you should begin by posting your
outline to the discussion board. In the body of your post, include your
outline title and thesis statement. Then, attach your outline as a Word
document to your post.Next, select a minimum of three outlines posted by your peers.
Download each outline and review it in a response post to that student.
Your review should cover both the overall content (clarity,
organization) and details on each of the outline’s six sections. You are
welcome to point out spelling and grammatical errors, but your review
should primarily focus on content. Include at least three constructive
suggestions for how the outline might be improved.

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Option #2: Earth Science in a National Park
Darby Mullis
Colorado State University-Global Campus
GEO101C-Earth Science with Lab
Dr. Clifford Blizard
January 3, 2020
Option #2: Earth Science in a National Park
I. Introduction
Yellowstone was named the first national park in the world on March 1, 1872, courtesy of its
extraordinary hot springs, steam vents, geysers, mud pots, and other wonders that include
Yellowstone River’s Grand Canyon. Yellowstone’s geology makes it unique compared to other
places on earth (Suderman, 2019). The earth’s crust magma beneath the part is near the surface,
making the area volcanically active. In this regard, a geographer interested in understanding
geological characteristics should visit Yellowstone to appreciate its hydrothermal, glacial, and
volcanic processes.
II. Geography of Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is one of the largest national parks in the United States. It is positioned at the
joining of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, with the bulk of its coverage in Wyoming. The park has
plentiful natural features (Yogerst, 2019). Additionally, Yellowstone has three calderas that formed
after volcanic eruptions, a large variety of plant and animal species. The park also has numerous
mountain ranges such as Washburn Range, Absaroka Range, Gallatin Range, and mountains such as
the Red mountains. Yellowstone is home to numerous rivers and streams such as Yellowstone,
Snake, Gardner, Lewis, Lamar, Firehole, and Shields rivers. Lakes and rivers constitute 5% of the
area covered by the park. Yellowstone Lake is the largest water body in the park, covering 87, 040
acres. Most areas of the park are covered with grasslands, deep canyons, forests, and mountains. The
park also comprises numerous animal and plant species. Species of trees and plants in the park
exceed 1,700, and varieties of the animal population are over sixty (Hastings, 2019). Examples of
animals include moose, bison, deer, wolves, mountain lions, and bears. Furthermore, the park has
311 different varieties of birds and 18 various types of fish.
III. Plate Tectonics Setting of Yellowstone Park
Yellowstone’s plate tectonic setting is a tectonic hotspot, occurring far innermost from the
boundary of plates with others. The hotspot originates at a shallower depth. Moreover, it is assumed
that the hot spot occurs due to the underlying mantle plume (Steinberger et al., 2019). Therefore,
Yellowstone is a creation of combined plate movement and a convective outpouring of semi-molten
and hot rocks. The earth’s crust under Yellowstone constitutes basalt and rhyolite (“Thermal
Biology Institute,” 2019). The prerequisite for the thermal activity of this park includes freely
available water and a source of heat from the low magma chamber. Yellowstone is a unique volcano
that lies at the center of the North American plate (Ravilious, 2016).
IV. Geologic History
The geologic chronology of the park is equivalent to the history of the earth. The oldest
rocks in the park are traced to exist for the past 2.7 billion years. These rocks constitute the Norther
Mountains of Yellowstone. Yellowstone has progressively changed over the years. It was covered
by shallow inland seas 500 million years ago, but currently, it has several hot springs. The major
landforms in Yellowstone include caldera, geothermal features, mountains, waterfalls, and Grand
Canyon (Harris, 2018). Politicians acknowledged the uniqueness of Yellowstone and proposed
strategies that would help to preserve the incredible landscape. Yellowstone volcano yields rhyolite
lava that is rich in silica (Troch et al., 2017). The lava solidifies to form various types of igneous
rocks based on conditions of eruption and cooling. Explosive eruptions shoot magma into the air.
Such magma solidifies immediately and falls as porous pumice and ash. Conversely, passive
eruptions cool lava into various diversities of rhyolite rock. Obsidian is a unique rock generated by
rhyolite lavas.
V. Weather and Climate
The weather of Yellowstone has two significant characteristics that include heavy snowfall
and low temperatures. The park experiences erratic weather changes since most of its coverage lies
6,000 feet higher than the sea level. During spring and fall, temperatures of the day range from 0o C
to 20oC, while overnight temperatures range from -5oC to -20 oC (Becker, 2019). Springs are
typically accompanied by 24-hour snowfalls of 12-inch accumulations. During summer, on the other
hand, daytime temperatures are 25oC, while night temperatures can drop below freezing point.
Lastly, winter temperatures range from -20oC to -5oC. Generally, the climate of the park changes
constantly, and the current temperatures exceed temperatures experienced in the park over 50 years
ago. The rise in temperature affects the ecosystem of the park.
VI. Conclusion
In conclusion, Yellowstone National Park is a significant natural wonder of North America,
courtesy of its numerous ecosystems. The park’s boundaries comprise of rivers, lakes, sub-alpine
forests, canyons, mountains, and numerous waterfalls. Nonetheless, Yellowstone is generally known
for its variety and abundance of geothermal features such as travertine terraces, mud pots, geysers,
hot springs, and fumaroles. Temperatures of the park change throughout the year.
Becker, K. (2019). The Weather and Climate in Yellowstone National Park. Retrieved 3 January
2020, from
Harris, A. (2018). Types of Landforms in Yellowstone.USA Today. Retrieved 3 January 2020, from
Hastings, K. (2019). Visiting Yellowstone National Park: 12 Attractions, Tips & Tours |
PlanetWare. Retrieved 3 January 2020, from
Ravilious, K. (2016). Supervolcano – super mystery. The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2020, from
Steinberger, B., Nelson, P. L., Grand, S. P., & Wang, W. (2019). Yellowstone plume conduit tilt
caused by large‐scale mantle flow. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.
Suderman, J. (2019). Geology – Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service). Retrieved
3 January 2020, from
Thermal Biology Institute. (2019). An Overview of Yellowstone Geologic History.
Troch, J., Ellis, B. S., Mark, D. F., Bindeman, I. N., Kent, A. J., Guillong, M., & Bachmann, O.
(2017). Rhyolite generation prior to a Yellowstone supereruption: insights from the Island
Park–Mount Jackson rhyolite series. Journal of Petrology, 58(1), 29-52.
Yogerst, J. (2019). Everything to know about Yellowstone National Park. Retrieved 3 January 2020,

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