2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 278-3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


ROGERS, Daniel T., Amsted Industries Incorporated, 180 N. Stetson, Suite 1800, Chicago, IL 60601, MURRAY, Kent S., Department of Natural Sciences, The Univiversity of Michigan - Dearborn, Dearborn, 48050 and KAUFMAN, Martin, The University of Michigan-Flint, 516 Murchie Science Building, Flint, MI 48502

Mapping the urban geology of metropolitan Detroit for the past 25 years has not only uncovered the sequence, position, composition, and history of recent natural sedimentary deposits, but has also revealed the anthropogenic influence and disturbance civilization has exerted upon the natural environment. In addition, forensic geologic techniques have been developed that permit the geologist to map the often times difficult urban region with a high degree of precision and accuracy. Some requirements of mapping urban regions include acquiring data from multiple and sometimes creative and opportunistic but reliable sources, municipality cooperation, engaging the community, mapping in three dimensions, and the always and dependable abundance of field work. The benefits of urban geologic mapping are numerous, some benefits include understanding how roads are built, how buildings are constructed, how water flows, and perhaps most importantly – how chemicals behave and how they affect people and the environment. The importance of detailed three-dimensional near-surface geologic maps of urban areas is profound because this is where civilization meets the natural world and understanding this contact can assist in constructing a sustainable future if humans use the scientific information wisely.