Friday, June 20, 2014

AASG resolution on future directions of geologic mapping

The Association of American State Geologists passed a resolution at its annual meeting outlining a bold vision for geologic mapping with national goals out to 2030.

WHEREAS geologic mapping is a core activity for geological surveys that underpins geoscience as a whole and that provides the framework and understanding that supports subsurface prediction;
WHEREAS managers of energy, minerals, water, hazards, climate change, environment, waste, and engineering increasingly rely on and therefore need to invest in well-devised applications of geologic mapping;
WHEREAS investments in geological mapping return benefits including lives saved, resources discovered, costs avoided, increased efficiency, and fundamental understanding of earth composition, structure, and history;
WHEREAS geological surveys can accelerate progress in response to societal needs through proven collaboration methods, concurrent with efforts in program administration, infrastructure, formats, and accessibility;
WHEREAS benefits will be enhanced by this nationwide acceleration, including updating, coordination, and seamless compilation of multi-resolution plan view and 3D onshore and offshore geological mapping; and
WHEREAS with adequate funding, the following key objectives could be achieved by 2030: an ongoing vibrant pace of detailed mapping, regular updating, nationwide multi-resolution seamless coverage, and 3D mapping at least of depth to bedrock and basement as well as subdivision of sediments and/or little-deformed rock strata where data allow;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that members of AASG believe that state geological surveys should increase their commitment to work with USGS and other partners through the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program to ensure timely provision of optimal geological mapping that will progressively be more:
·         focused on immediate user needs while accommodating unanticipated applications, and being designed   with reference to ongoing statewide assessment of the status of databases and mapping;
·         focused on the most detailed mapping where needed, while committed to statewide completion at an appropriate scale;
·         reconciled with integrated, appropriate topographic and bathymetric data, integrated from onshore to offshore, and coordinated with soil mapping;
·         based as needed on compilation ideally of all public domain drillhole and other relevant data, along with strategic drilling and newly acquired geochronology, geochemistry, and geophysics;
·         based on sound stratigraphic naming, and categorized using broadly accepted query language; ·         committed to regular updating of maps as science and technology progress, and assembled as statewide seamless compilations;
·         3D, in which the extent, thickness, and properties of all little-deformed sediment and rock units, and selected complex structural features such as faults and folds, are distinguished;
·         coordinated with increasingly 3D versions of state, continental, and global-scale maps, while being fully accessible through robust and open-source software for conveying subsurface mapping; and
·         linked to a complete compilation of scanned and searchable publications, as well as consistent and comprehensive geological, geophysical, and geochemical databases,
thus better fulfilling the essential role that geological surveys play in response to the needs of society.

Lexington, Kentucky, June 11, 2014

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