2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 33
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


MCCOLLOCH, Jane S. and MCCOLLOCH, Gayle H., West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, 1 Mont Chateau Rd, Morgantown, WV 26508-8079, janemc@geosrv.wvnet.edu

Between 2000 and 2003, the greatest population growth in West Virginia occurred in the Morgantown metropolitan area. This growth has been more than three times that of any other area of the state. The reasons for this growth are many. West Virginia University, West Virginia's major research and development center and only comprehensive doctoral-granting institution, is located in Morgantown. Several federal and state facilities are also located in Morgantown; the largest of these include the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In addition, Morgantown is the home of West Virginia University Hospitals, which serves as a regional research and teaching hospital.

Several geologic hazards are common in the Morgantown area including landslides, coal mine subsidence, flooding, and unstable Pleistocene lacustrine deposits. Booming construction, the proliferation of impervious surfaces, and poorly planned or inadequate infrastructure, coupled with recent periods of heavy precipitation, have generated an increased incidence of some hazards.

Previous geologic mapping of the area occurred in the early 1900s at a scale of 1:62,500 as part of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey’s County Report Series. In the 1960s, the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey provided support for student mapping of a few 1:24,000 quadrangles in the area, which are available as open-file reports. Since the 1960s, much geologic and remotely-sensed data has been collected in the area. Also, new, re-projected 7.5-minute topographic maps have been published by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The West Virginia State Mapping Plan includes provisions to produce modern geologic mapping along the interstate highway corridors. To address this need, the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, supported by the STATEMAP Program, is conducting geologic mapping along the growing parts of these corridors, beginning in the Morgantown area.