Geologic and Geomorphologic Interpretation of the Perimeter Trail, Ouray, Colorado: A Virtual Field Trip Application
MetadataShow full item record
Each year many people seek respite from their busy lifestyles by traveling to state or national parks, and national forests. The majority of these parks were established to help preserve natural heritage, including wildlife, forests, and the beauty of landscapes formed from years of geologic and geomorphologic processes. Although the public has the opportunity to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of nature, tourists are deprived of a more in-depth educational experience because they either lack a geologic background and or no interpretation or guide to the geology and geomorphology of the area exists. One such location that attracts a large number of tourists is the Perimeter Trail in Ouray, Colorado. The Perimeter trail is a ~9.3 km (~5.8 mi) trail that circumnavigates Ouray. Located in Southwestern Colorado, Ouray is situated in the San Juan Mountain Range, which is accessed by the “Million Dollar Highway.” Ouray is a popular destination for summertime tourism because of its unparalleled scenery and historical significance, but it is also situated in an area that contains numerous geologic and geomorphic features. These features range from a textbook angular unconformity, to glacial and periglacial landscapes, to mass movement and fluvial features, which have been sculpted from metasedimentary, sedimentary, and volcanic rocks. In the study area, The San Juans have been modified by an array of major faulting events; glacial, landslide and fluvial activities; as well as volcanic processes Hiking the Perimeter Trail is an exceptional experience, but could be enhanced with the development of an interactive application that provides the public with a virtual tour guide. For an application of this nature to be useful, a presentation of the geology and geomorphology of the Perimeter Trail must be generalized, well-illustrated, and tied to specific geographic locations. Unfortunately, no such application exists to provide this information. Thus, the objective of this thesis is to investigate the geology and geomorphology of the Ouray area, specifically focusing on the Perimeter Trail. Additionally, a major contribution of this thesis is the development of a smartphone, tablet, and computer application, which provides location-specific descriptions of the geology and geomorphology encountered on the Perimeter Trail. The application is based on an interactive base map, which can be zoomed to various scales. The app hosts a locational service that uses the respective onboard GPS of the device to fix the location of the hiker on the trail. As a hiker traverses the trail, the application contains geographically specific waypoints that have generalized descriptions accompanied with well-illustrated photographs to convey an understanding of the respective geologic and geomorphologic features. The goal of this thesis is the development of a simple, yet effective application that guides hikers along the trail and contributes to expanding the knowledge of individuals who hike the Perimeter Trail.
Allen, Hunter M (2017). Geologic and Geomorphologic Interpretation of the Perimeter Trail, Ouray, Colorado: A Virtual Field Trip Application. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from