RESOURCES: Where's the Map?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5553, pp. 239
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5553.239a

Need a map of fossil-bearing Permian strata in west Texas? How about the locations of titanium deposits in the western United States? Then plot a course for the National Geologic Map Database, a vast and growing catalog from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). There you'll learn how to obtain almost every USGS map, along with hundreds of others published by state governments, universities, private companies, and organizations such as the American Geophysical Union.

Map types include topography, the ocean floor, magnetic or gravity measurements, fossil localities, and soils. Others pinpoint resources such as metals and oil, provide water-quality measurements, and delineate hazards such as earthquake faults and volcanoes. Raw data for some maps are available online, but for most the site supplies contact information for ordering paper copies. You can also plumb GEOLEX, a database of some 16,000 named geological formations that includes geographical extent, age, publication history, and a brief bibliography.

Navigate This Article