2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 157-4
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


SAN JUAN, Carma A., U.S. Geological Survey, Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center, P.O. Box 25046, MS 973, Denver, CO 80225, HORTON, John D., U.S. Geological Survey, Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center, Box 25046 Denver Federal Center, MS-973, Denver, CO 80225, EMSBO, Poul, USGS, P.O. Box 25046, MS 973, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, STOESER, Douglas, Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center, USGS, Mail Stop 973 Box 25046 DFC, Denver, CO 80225 and MCLAUGHLIN, Patrick I., Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 N. Walnut Grove, Bloomington, IN 47405, csanjuan@usgs.gov

Between 1997 and 2006, the USGS Mineral Resources Program (MRP), in partnership with state surveys, compiled all 48 state geologic maps for the conterminous U.S. into a standardized geospatial format to support mineral resource and geoenvironmental assessments as well as ore genesis research. The nominal 1:500,000-scale State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) represents the highest resolution GIS-based geologic map of the conterminous U.S. (Alaska and Hawaii compilations are in progress). Since 2006, MRP has continually updated the SGMC by incorporating new versions of state geologic maps, by resolving discrepancies, and by adding new geologic data as they become available. The new SGMC represents a considerable improvement over the original SGMC and is expected to be available by 2016 (http://mrdata.usgs.gov).

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.