Digital Geology of Idaho Digital Atlas Link Digital Geology Link

Introduction to Idaho Geology Web Course

The "Digital Geology of Idaho" systematically divides Idaho geology into individual teaching modules. The modules correspond with a 15-week Geology of Idaho course (Geol 456-556 for 2 credits).Geology of Idaho The Digital Atlas of Idaho is written at a more accessible level, and is a resource that also contains exercises for K-12 teachers.As of August 2007, all modules are complete and can serve as a source of information, reference, maps and photographs of Idaho geology.

New Idaho Geologic Map

Another component of this project was preparation of a new Geologic Map of Idaho by the Idaho Geological Survey. The map on the left is a simplified version of this new geologic map. Each of the modules on this web site contain derivative geologic maps showing specific map units. The new Geologic Map of Idahos is presently under peer review.

Fly-throughs   flythrough

Most modules have fly-throughs where geology is draped over topography to provide a graphic visualization of the geology along Idaho rivers. They are .mov format and require QuickTime.quicktimelogo


Bonneville Flood Visualizations

The Lake Bonneville Flood, module 14, has extensive visualizations showing the various lake levels, prepared by Dr. Shuhab Khan and students at the University of Houston.

Slide Shows   slideshow

Slide shows used in the modules include pictures by Paul Link, and by Jim Cash of Moscow High School and Reed Lewis of the Idaho Geological Survey. A pdf reader is needed to view slide shows and many of the images which enlarge to pdf format. If you wish to view the pdf slide shows in full screen slide show mode, use the keyboard strokes "ctrl+l" when viewing in the pdf reader. Push "esc" key to exit the full screen mode.


This web site was developed by Paul K. Link of Idaho State University, Reed S. Lewis of the Idaho Geological Survey, Shuhab Khan of the University of Houston, and Keegan Schmidt of Lewis-Clark State College, These were prepared by students of Dr. Dan Ames, Idaho State University, Idaho Falls, with funding from the National Science Foundation Geoscience Education Program - NSF GEO-0331174. Contributors to content and design are: Laura DeGrey, Lori Tapanila, Nate Arave, Kristen Straub, and Diana Boyack and many students in various classes at Idaho State University.


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Module 1 - Idaho Basement Rock
Module 2 - Belt Supergroup
Module 3 - Rifting and The Passive Margin
Module 4 - Accreted Terranes
Module 5 - Thrust Belt
Module 6 - Idaho Batholith
Module 7 - Geology of Northern Idaho and The Silver Valley
Module 8 - Challis Magmatism
Module 9 - Basin & Range Province - Tertiary Extension
Module 10 - Columbia River Basalts
Module 11 - Snake River Plain ... Yellowstone Provinces
Module 12 - Pleistocene Glaciation
Module 13 - Palouse and Lake Missoula Flood
Module 14 - Lake Bonneville Flood
Module 15 - Snake River Plain Aquifer
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Idaho from the Air
Digital Atlas Of Idaho
Watershed Fly-Throughs
Geology Lab Exercises
USGS - Tapestry of Time & Terrain
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Idaho Map

Geologic Overview of Idaho

Idaho has a complicated geologic history which is reflected in its physical geography. A shaded relief map of Idaho shows the mountain ranges, and the major cities to give an idea of how the state is subdivided by its geography.

slideshow"Idaho from the Air" pdf slideshow is a compilation of aerial photos taken by Paul Link. They give a unique perpective of the Idaho landscape.

The geologic provinces of Idaho are briefly summarized in the table below. A geologic time scale is included to help with the perspective of the great amount of time that geologic history spans..

Idaho Provinces timescale provinces



Idaho Rivers

Idaho River Drainages

Below are links to animations of the drainages in Idaho, broken down by regions of Idaho.

Click here for an animation of Southern Idaho Rivers.

Click here for an animation of Central Idaho Rivers.

Click here for an animation of Northern .




Supplemental Reading

Resources recommended to accompany the Idaho Geology course are listed below.
Many are included as pdf files throughout the website.

Publications resulting from this NSF grant include:

Specific research papers and field trip guides are listed under each module.


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Continue to Module 1 - Idaho Basement Rock