Northeastern Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (12–14 March 2007)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:55 AM


MARVINNEY, Robert G., Maine Geol Survey, 22 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0022,

Through nearly 170 years, programs of the Maine Geological Survey have evolved to meet societal needs. During the first century of work, basic geologic mapping focused on exploring virtually unknown territory for the resources to sustain modern living. The resource emphasis of geologic mapping continued through the war years, with a particular focus on uranium and beryllium, essential elements for the atomic age. A major effort to map the geologic framework of the state in the 1980s supported the other end of the nuclear spectrum – searching for suitable waste disposal sites. Other events during this time frame further guided the development of Survey programs. Broad-scale issues with ground water contamination prompted a major program to characterize this resource, which is the domestic supply for half the state's population. Devastating coastal storms in the late 1970s highlighted the dynamic nature of Maine's coast and spawned the Survey's marine program, which focuses on characterizing the coastal and nearshore environments. Current programs include bedrock mapping with a focus on ground water quality, surficial mapping that emphasizes stability of materials, coastal mapping that emphasizes temporal changes in the dune environment, and ground water investigations that emphasize resource characterization and sustainability of use. All of these programs employ modern GIS techniques and information is widely disseminated through the internet.