TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED 1:500,000-SCALE DIGITAL GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE UNITED STATES—ADVANCING THE VISION OF W. SMITH
Though the new SGMC is a substantial accomplishment, its full power has yet to be realized because of a lack of integration between states. Differing scales, stratigraphic and structural interpretations, mapping approaches, and nomenclature between states have resulted in a quilt-like agglomeration of 48 geologic maps. In order to reap the full potential of this foundational product, MRP has evaluated strategies for integrating this patchwork into a unified map of the Nation. Prototype studies have demonstrated that a fully integrated 1:500,000-scale digital map of the United States is achievable. Moreover, the combination of new digital technologies, on-line information, established collaborative relationships with state surveys, and the application of new chronostratigraphic approaches can produce an integrated geologic 3D map of the Nation. Thus, MRP is uniquely positioned to advance the vision of W. Smith, the progenitor of modern geologic mapping, (and beneficiaries like J. Powell) who anticipated the vital role of geologic maps in addressing ever-increasing national resource and environmental challenges.