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Predicting Sea Level Rise for Miami
April 17, 2014 | National Science Foundation

A National Science Foundation press release gives a quick look at efforts to predict long-term sea level rise in Miami

Advocating Landslide Mapping in West Virginia
April 17, 2014 | WVU Today

Graduate students at West Virginia University are using LiDAR, a high resolution mapping technology, to detect and map historic and prehistoric landslides. The maps can then be used to avoid landslide areas prior to construction and identify areas where mitigation might be considered.

The Status of Landslide Mapping in the USA?
April 13, 2014 | CNBC

An article on CNBC website explores some of the challenges of producing landslide hazard maps for the United States.

New USGS Topo Maps of Utah
April 10, 2014 | United States Geological Survey

USGS announced that they have published new topographic maps and orthophoto images for the state of Utah in pdf format. A small sample of the Moab quad is shown below. If you want to see it full size in a pdf document click here (28 megabytes).

Missouri Geosciences Technical Resource Assessment Tool
April 3, 2014 | Missouri Geological Survey

The Missouri Geological Survey has recently launched a new online tool called the Missouri Geosciences Technical Resource Assessment Tool. GeoSTRAT is a web application that makes geologic and hydrologic data readily available for public use. GeoSTRAT enables users to easily visualize and explore geospatial data using an interactive map developed on an Esri and Google platform to allow 3D viewing of the land surface. Data can be downloaded in formats compatible with a variety of free and commercial mapping software and includes layers such as geology, bedrock elevation, water wells, sinkholes, historic mine locations, caves, springs, dye traces, well logs, aquifers, losing streams and a host of other coverages and associated metadata. GeoSTRAT can be used in the office or in the field for site assessments in areas such as geologic hazards, geotechnical consulting and engineering, emergency response, local and regional planning, water availability and a multitude of other purposes.

Arizona Experience Store
March 29, 2014 | Arizona Experience Store

The Arizona Geological Survey has a reputation for offering an enormous number of recent and historic publications in electronic format online where anyone anywhere can download them to read or print without a fee. You can find them in the AZGS Document Repository.

In addition, there are a lot of other Arizona earth science books, maps and products that they are unable to distribute for free online. They are now offering them through the Arizona Experience Store. There you can find books, maps and other documents from the Arizona Geological Survey, Arizona Geological Society, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press, University of Arizona Press, National Geographic, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service and many other sources. They are also offering other “Arizona” merchandise from the Arizona Experience Store’s physical location in Tucson.

30 Outstanding Geologic Features in Pennsylvania
March 20, 2014 | Pennsylvania Geological Survey

The Pennsylvania Geological Survey has a website that gives you a photo and topographic map visit to “30 Outstanding Geologic Features in Pennsylvania“.

Measuring a Migrating River Network
March 18, 2014 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Researchers at MIT and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) have developed a mapping technique that measures how much a river network is changing, and in what direction it may be moving.” Quoted from the MIT video release.


Land Below Sea Level
March 16, 2014 |

Did you know that there are seven distinct depressions on Earth that are over 100 meters below sea level, and twenty-three that are over 10 meters below sea level and ten more that are at least two meters below sea level? We have a google map that points to ten of these depressions and a list of the remaining locations.

Monitoring Basin Water Storage by Satellite
March 13, 2014 | University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling

In response to drought conditions in California the University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling has published: Water Storage Changes in California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins From GRACE. It provides a summary of water conditions based upon data acquired from NASA’s GRACE satellite.

USGS Merging the National Map and National Atlas
March 11, 2014 | USGS

During this year, National Atlas of the United States and The National Map will transition into a combined single source for geospatial and cartographic information.

Interactive Energy Map of the United States
March 2, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration has an interactive energy map that allows you to discover the locations of facilities such as natural gas power plants, petroleum refineries, natural gas pipelines, LNG import/export terminals and much more. The choropleth map below shows the photovoltaic solar potential of the 48 states with solar power plants plotted as yellow dots.

Global Forest Watch
February 27, 2014 | Global Forest Watch has an interactive Google map that allows you to explore where tree cover loss and gain is occurring – on a time line – throughout the world.

See article here.

Mapping the Winter Pace of Glaciers in Iceland
January 28, 2014 | NASA

A high-precision radar instrument from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., left Southern California for Iceland today to create detailed maps of how glaciers move in the dead of winter

Global Temperature Trends
January 26, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has published a pair of maps that show global temperature trends. The map below shows the average change in temperature in degrees Celsius per decade between 1950 and 2013.

New USGS Topos for Idaho and New Mexico
January 23, 2014 | USGS

“The USGS, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, has posted new Idaho US Topo quadrangles (1,193) and New Mexico quads (1,980 maps) which include Public Land Survey System (PLSS). These are added to the growing list of states west of the Mississippi River to have PLSS data added to US Topo maps.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Arizona Gravity and Aeromag Maps
January 21, 2014 | Arizona Geology

The Arizona Geological Survey document repository now has gravity and aeromagnetic maps available for free viewing.

Mapping the Hollywood Fault
January 9, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

The California Geological Survey has released new maps that show the Hollywood Fault trending under sites where major developments are planned. Read the article here and see the maps here.

Related: Google Map of the San Andreas Fault

Development of the Geological Map of Arizona
December 29, 2013 | Arizona Geology

Many events, programs, organizations and people influence the development of a geological map. An article in the winter edition of Arizona Geology traces the development of the Geologic Map of Arizona.

Zoom in on the San Andreas Fault
December 5, 2013 |

After being down for a couple of days for a software update, our interactive San Andreas Fault map is back in action. You can use it to follow the approximate trace of the fault from the Salton Sea in Southern California to near Shelter Cove, north of San Francisco. For more information about the San Andreas Fault visit, a website by Dr. David Lynch, who provided data used to make the interactive map.

Landslide Mapping Needed in North Carolina
November 26, 2013 |

Hundreds of landslides occur every year in North Carolina but lawmakers have almost eliminated a program that can help developers avoid building homes, commercial and public buildings on ancient landslides and slide-prone areas. It can also help the state highway department and utility companies avoid building roads and pipelines across ancient landslides and slide-prone areas. This one-time job was costing about $350,000 per year and would only require mapping the western part of the state where most landslides occur.

In a 24-year period landslides in the state killed 7 people and destroyed 85 homes. Not available is how much is spent on repairs to roads and utilities. The annual cost of these is undoubtedly many times the cost of the landslide mapping program – which is temporary.

The economics of this project suggests that millions per year should be spent to get it done as quickly as possible – but lawmakers decided to cut it.

First Known Zircon from Mars
November 21, 2013 | The Australian

“An analysis of one of the 70-odd Martian meteorites discovered so far, a chunk of rock found several years ago by Bedouins in the Sahara Desert, has revealed the first known fragments of zircon from the red planet.” Quoted from The Australian press release.

Related: Meteorite Articles

Mapping Global Forest Losses and Gains
November 20, 2013 | NASA

“The ravages of deforestation, wildfires, windstorms and insects on global forests during this century are revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study based on data from the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat 7 satellite.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

USGS Releases New Topo Maps of Ohio
November 19, 2013 | USGS

“It is great to have these 748 updated US Topo maps for our state available online at no charge.” said Charley Hickman, the Geospatial Liaison for Ohio. “We appreciate the continuing improvements in this product, including the availability of PLSS township, range, and section information.”

Crustal Thickness Map of the Moon
November 12, 2013 | NASA

“Global map of crustal thickness of the moon derived from gravity data obtained by NASA’s GRAIL spacecraft. The lunar near side is represented on the left hemisphere. The far side is represented in the right hemisphere.”

Arizona Mining Review for October
November 1, 2013 | Arizona Geological Survey on YouTube

News and events on mining in Arizona during October, 2013.

** Nyal Niemuth takes a hard look at AZ minerals industry – a lot of concern as some promising project are mothballed for lack of funds. (0:30)

** Hall Stewart of Commonwealth Silver discusses new development in one of AZ’s oldest and most productive silver properties. (8:21)

** Steve Rauzi focuses on our new AZ Oil and Gas Well viewer as a window into AZ’s subsurface and how this can inform environmental, water, minerals, oil and gas studies/exploration. (20:13)

New Aerial Photos of Arizona
October 30, 2013 | Arizona Geology

The latest statewide aerial photo coverage of Arizona from the National Aerial Imagery Program (NAIP) is complete and currently ready for distribution on the APFO Public web server.

Natural Gas Flaring from Space
October 30, 2013 |

We have posted views of Earth from NASA’s Suomi satellite that show night illumination and natural gas flaring for oil industry sites in the Bakken Formation, Eagle Ford Shale, Alaska North Slope, United States Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Venezuela Orinoco Field, Brazil offshore basins, North Sea, North Africa onshore, west Africa offshore, and Persian Gulf.

Potential 21st Century Temperature, Precipitation Changes
October 19, 2013 | NASA

“Models used by the IPCC estimate global temperature and precipitation patterns will change throughout the 21st century given current rising greenhouse gas levels. This video depicts a scenario in which carbon dioxide concentrations reach 670 parts per million by 2100, up from around 400 ppm today.” Quoted from the NASA video release.

The Government Shutdown and Geology
October 15, 2013 | American Geophysical Union

The American Geophysical Union has a short article that explains why the “Government Shutdown Affects More Than Jobs“.

Texas Mineral Resources Map
October 13, 2013 | University of Texas at Austin

“The Bureau of Economic Geology frequently fields calls from the general public to find information about clay deposits, uranium site locations, sand and gravel deposits, or what
resources, in general, are located at or around a specific location. The interactive Map provides the public with the means to search out locations on their own, and click on the points of interest, bringing up pertinent information…”

For more information about the map see the “Under the Radar..” section here.

Natural Hazard Viewer for Arizona
September 24, 2013 | Arizona Geological Survey

The interactive Natural Hazard Viewer focuses on four hazards common to Arizona — geologic faults and earthquakes, earth fissures, floods and wildfire. Each hazard is described in detail and displayed as a layer on a map. Moreover, the natural hazard information is dynamic; site updates will occur as new or revised hazard data becomes available.

Editor’s Comment: Every state geological survey should have one of these!

New Topo Maps for Colorado and Minnesota
September 18, 2013 | USGS

“In keeping with rapid demand, the USGS has posted new US Topo quadrangles covering Colorado (1,794 maps) and Minnesota (1,689). These new quads replace the first edition US Topo maps for those states.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

These maps are beautiful. If you want to see a sample we have Mammoth Cave, Kentucky unzipped and ready for you to download as a .pdf document (30 megs). Click here to download. Be sure to zoom in to see the great detail.

National Park Service Image
Mount McKinley Shrinks by 83 Feet
September 17, 2013 | CNN

New measurements made by Alaska’s Statewide Mapping Initiative and the United States Geological Survey have placed a new altitude on the summit of Mount McKinley, America’s highest mountain. It’s official height is now 20,237 feet instead of the previous 20,320 feet. (It didn’t really “shrink”. Just better measurement methods.)

RRE Mines Deposits and Occurrences
September 9, 2013 | USGS

USGS has an interactive map: Rare earth element mines, deposits, and occurrences. It gives access to information on mineral deposits containing rare earth elements and yttrium from around the world with grade and tonnage, and mineralogy.

Related: What are rare earth elements?

Mapping The Rim Fire
September 4, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

As of yesterday the Rim Fire had burned 235,841 acres of brush, oaks, and pine in the Sierra Nevada Range near and in Yosemite National Park. NASA’s Earth Observatory has a day-by-day map that shows the spread of the fire atop of a shaded relief map.

400 New Topo Maps for Alaska
September 4, 2013 | United States Geological Survey

“More than 400 new topographic maps are now available for the state of Alaska. The new maps are part of the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Mapping Initiative, to update foundational data for the state and to replace the existing maps that are about 50 years old.” Quoted from the USGS Newsroom.

Popular for August 2013
September 3, 2013 |

40 Maps that Explain the World

A Spanish Fort in the Appalachians in 1567?

12-Year-Old Finds a 5-Carat Diamond in Arkansas

Sinkhole in Western Kansas

Rare Eruption of Steamboat Geyser

Origin of the Antarctica Ice Sheet?

Frozen Landslides in Alaska

Solar Magnetic Field is about to Flip?

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona


40 Maps that Explain the World
August 22, 2013 | Washington Post

The Washington Post has an interesting article titled “40 Maps that Explain the World”. Most of these are demographic maps that

Surficial Geologic Maps of Massachusetts
August 20, 2013 | Massachusetts Geological Survey

USGS has published a collection of digital Surficial Geologic Maps of Massachusetts.

Maps of Segregation and Diversity
August 20, 2013 | Slate

Slate has published an interesting collection of maps that illustrate geographic segregation and diversity of the United States and several urban areas at different scales.

California Seafloor Mapping Program
August 16, 2013 | USGS

“Three new USGS products in an ongoing series by the California Seafloor Mapping Program were released August 9th, 2013 — a map set for the area offshore of Carpinteria in southern California, a catalog of GIS data layers for all of CSMP’s published maps, and a collection of videos and photos of the seafloor along the entire California coast.” Quoted from the USGS announcement.

USGS Geologic Map of the Winslow Quad
August 5, 2013 | United States Geological Survey

USGS has published: Geologic map of the Winslow 30’ × 60’ quadrangle, Coconino and Navajo Counties, northern Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3247, pamphlet 25 p., 3 sheets, scale 1:50,000, by Billingsley, G.H., Block, D., and Hiza Redsteer, M.

New Topo Maps for IN IA NC PA and VA
August 4, 2013 | USGS

USGS has published nearly 4000 new topo maps covering the states of Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Retired maps can be downloaded at their Historical Topographic Map Collection. New maps are available for free download from The National Map.”

These maps are beautiful. If you want to see a sample we have Mammoth Cave, Kentucky unzipped and ready for you to download – but be warned that it is a really big file (30 megs) and will take quite a while to download – but well worth the wait…

If you have Adobe Reader or equivalent software, click here, get the download started, go for coffee, come back to a great map. Be sure to zoom in to see the great detail.

Geologic Map Contest for Students
July 21, 2013 | Geological Society of America

“The competition will highlight student research from around the world that utilizes field mapping and the creation of geologic maps as a major component.”
Quote from the contest announcement on the Geological Society of America website.

Top Diamond Producers
July 18, 2013 |

Botswana, Russia and Canada retained their positions as the top three gem quality diamond producers for 2012 according to production estimates from the United States Geological Survey.

Related: Diamond Mines in Canada

The Maps of Yosemite
July 11, 2013 | Yosemite National Park

This video describes some of the types of maps that have been created for Yosemite National Park and the audiences of people who use them.

Most Popular June 1 to June 30
July 2, 2013 |

An Asteroid With a Moon?

Lunar Gravity Mystery Solved?

5000 Cave Paintings Discovered in Mexico

Geology and the Civil War

World’s Largest Landslides

The Most Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century

The Shale Gas Cycle

Topography Below Antarctic Ice

Geology and the Civil War
June 17, 2013 | Pennsylvania Geological Survey

The most recent issue of Pennsylvania Geology has an article titled: “The Role of Geology and Terrain in the Defeat of Stuart East of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863″.

Landscape Consequences of Natural Gas Extraction
June 16, 2013 | USGS

USGS has published: “Landscape Consequences of Natural Gas Extraction in Fayette and Lycoming Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004–2010″ as an open file report.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.

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frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
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fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.

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