Paper No. 20
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM
SAND RESOURCE EVALUATION ON VIRGINIA'S OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF AND DIGITAL DATA ACCESS
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (DGMR) with support from the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is developing a digital geologic database to characterize offshore sand and gravel resources in state and federal waters off the coast of Virginia. The initial goal of the project is to assemble a digital database of all available data that will help identify potential sand deposits for future beach nourishment and coastal protection projects. The second goal is to evaluate the potential for economically viable heavy mineral sand deposits found offshore. The database includes links to relevant publications, geotechnical descriptions for all grab samples and vibracore samples, along with all available side-scan sonar images and sub-bottom sonar data collected by private, state, academic and federal institutions.
As part of this project DGMR is also experimenting with various web-based mapping applications to give the public full access to all of Virginia’s available offshore hard minerals data. DGMR is developing a Google Earth API plug-in allowing the user to access all data with any Internet browser from the DGMR website. Google Earth’s user friendly interface will allow the greatest number of users to be able to instantly access the data by familiar zoom controls and visible layering toggles to see only details or data they are interested in. The interface will also allow DGMR to link individual points to larger database searches and downloads. The success of this model could lead to the distribution of other Virginia digital resources using the Google Earth API plug-in.