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National Surveys and Analysis Projects

Links to Regional Project Information: Alaska | Western | Central | Eastern


National Maps and Datasets for Research and Land Management

National- and regional-scale earth science datasets that are easily available and of high quality are critical for a wide range of land-planning, resource, and environmental issues. USGS Mineral Resources Program's regional Surveys and Analysis projects are designed to ensure the availability of reliable geologic, geochemical, geophysical, and mineral locality data for the United States. The regional projects work together to define common goals, set priorities, and ensure that products conform to consistent standards and protocols. The MRP geologic, geochemical, geophysical, and mineral locality data sets are all available at http://mrdata.usgs.gov/.

Much of the available information was compiled in cooperation with State agencies. Where existing data were incomplete, new data have been or will be collected to ensure national coverage. As datasets are completed or revised, the information is made publicly available through a variety of media, including the Internet.

The data are used by researchers in State and Federal government agencies and academia, as well as by members of the general public. Maps and analyses produced from the databases provide information that can be used for mineral resource assessments; environmental studies; regional and national land-use studies; and earth science research, such as the identification of metallogenic terranes, determination of regional geochemical backgrounds, and study of the relationships between toxic elements and human health.


Status of the major datasets

Geology | Geochemistry | Geophysics | Mineral Occurrences


Geology

One goal of the MRP-funded projects is to ensure the availability of reliable geologic data. The geologic database is intended make available quick-turnaround geologic base maps for regional- and national-level resource and environmental studies, lithologic maps, definition of geological or metallogenic terranes, and so on.


Geochemistry

Figure 1.  Map of continental U.S. and Alaska showing selenium distribution in parts per million.
Figure 1. - National Geochemical Map for selenium.
Map was compiled by Andrew Grosz and Jeffrey Grossman in 2006.

The stream-sediment-based geochemical survey for the United States provides data at a nominal spacing of 17 by 17 kilometers. Much of the survey has entailed reanalysis of approximately 35,000 archival samples from the National Uranium Evaluation (NURE) program to ensure that analytical routines and standards are consistent throughout the survey.


Geophysics

Figure 2.  Merged aeromagnetic anomaly map of Georgia.
Figure 2. - Merged aeromagnetic anomaly map of Georgia, USGS Open-File Report 01-0106,
http://pubs.usgs.gov/openfile/of01-106/.

The USGS Mineral Resources Program regional Surveys and Analysis projects closely coordinate with the USGS National Geophysical Database Project to ensure the availability of reliable geophysical data for the United States. Potential-field maps (gravity and magnetics) and datasets for each State are available as USGS open-file reports at: http://crustal.usgs.gov/geophysics/.


Mineral Occurrences

The regional Surveys and Analyses projects, in cooperation with the Mineral Resources Database Project, are helping to upgrade the USGS Mineral Resources Data System, largely through cooperative agreements with State agencies. A primary focus is on developing comprehensive records for the most significant deposits in the United States. In addition, other data , such as industrial minerals information for part of the eastern United States and older datasets not presently available in the national database will be incorporated into the data base to ensure the availability of reliable mineral locality data.

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