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Geologic maps for northern Utah tectonics

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What is this project about?

The project combines traditional surficial geologic mapping with geophysical investigation. Geologic maps, map databases, and project reports will have widespread application for:

1) studies of earthquake and fault motion behavior investigations on around the Great Salt Lake region,
2) ecological studies relevant to land use and climate change,
3) uses to evaluate impacts on infrastructure and civil planning and development, and
4) education related to regional natural hazards, geology, and ecosystems.

Statement of Problem:
The State of Utah has an ambitious and productive geologic mapping program because geologic maps provide vital data for pressing issues from earth-science hazards, to energy and mineral resources, to water resources. Past USGS geologic mapping that was curtailed in the mid 1990’s has been resumed with the goals of complementing the State program by publishing nearly complete maps and addressing a variety of societal issues. This task rolls up last work on the predecessor project “Cenozoic Tectonics of northwest Utah” and provides a platform for continued co-operation with the State of Utah as is appropriate. The two 30x60-minute maps, Newfoundland Mountains and Tremonton, are now mapped in entirety, and the former will enter technical review summer of 2009. Three detailed quadrangle maps are also complete and should start review by fall 2009 at the latest.

With FY2010, we embark on a new phase for this task, compiling the Grouse Creek Mountains 30x60 map in partnership with Utah Geological Survey. This map was a quarter of the original northern Utah project and USGS paid for mapping of substantial parts of it by Bob Compton and Vicki Todd. In addition to compiling those maps, we will add in recent mapping by Michael Wells and his students, and Stanford student theses. We will map areas that have received little attention since the 1950s (NE part of the area and areas west of Grouse Creek Valley) as UGS maps areas in the SE and Grouse Creek Valley. This is planned as a 3-year task.

Objectives: Prepare GIS map databases for 1:100,000-scale and 1:24,000-scale quadrangles in NW Utah, in consultation with Utah Geological Survey. Complete mapping in largely completed quadrangles, in cooperation with other geologic mapping underway. Geologic mapping will be conducted by field studies, interpretation of stereo air photos, and GIS methods. All maps will be created using ArcInfo, and released as digital databases. In addition, goals include preparing summary papers on tectonics of NW Utah and on Holocene lake levels.
Map of northern Utah showing the location of current geologic mapping and research activities   This shaded relief map shows the location of active geologic mapping and associated research in the northwestern Utah region supported by the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. Click here to see selected completed products associated with the project.

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