Grand Canyon Research

Numerous Research Projects on Grand Canyon Geology and Hydrology.
Funding: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Project Description: Crossey and her husband Dr. Karl Karlstrom initiated and installed the Trail of Time Exhibition with $2.3 million from the National Science Foundation. This team has generated Grand Canyon-related science research grants from the National Science Foundation total more than 1.5 million dollars over thirty years. Grand Canyon science contributions By Karlstrom’s team includes more than 65 refereed journal articles, 2 geologic maps, 130 abstracts at professional meetings, and completion of 4 PhD, 10 MS theses, and numerous undergraduate research theses on Grand Canyon topics. See this link for downloadable pdfs. Karl and Laurie conduct Geo trainings for River guides (both Park & tribal) and Park interpreters, as well as provide public talks on GC geology to river guides, hiking guides, and the general public.  Examples of research contributions to Grand Canyon geology include: 1) tectonic evolution and ages of the Vishnu basement rocks; 2) tectonic history and ages of the Grand Canyon Supergroup; 3) Quaternary evolution of Grand Canyon landscapes including incision history; 4) Resolution of the 140-year-long “age of Grand Canyon” debate via the “paleocanyon solution”; 5) identifying flow pathways, deep circulation and impacts on water quality to Grand Canyon springs and groundwater, and 6) Re-definition of the Tonto Group and its marine transgression. 


Panoramic view from river camp at Lava Chuar. To the left is the Tonto Group, to the right is uplifted Supergroup including a massive cliff of the Cardenas Basalt.
Comparing notes while measuring the section of Tonto Group strata. Pictured are (L-R) James Hagadorn, Steve Rowland, and Karl Karlstrom.