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Computer-Assisted Compilation of New Mexico State Geologic Map

Orin J. Anderson, Darrell L. Daude

During 1985 the U.S. Geological Survey and the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources began work on a project to revise the 1965, 1:500,000-scale New Mexico state geologic map. Additions to our knowledge of the geology of the state during the past 22 years have come from (1) detailed mapping, (2) radiometric dates in areas dominated by Cenozoic volcanism, (3) a keener awareness and better understanding of Precambrian events, and (4) biostratigraphy. These advances plus revisions of stratigraphic nomenclature provided the data base and justification to proceed with a recompilation.

This cooperative effort, now in its third year, has incorporated state-of-the-art computer-assisted compilation methods. The hardware was acquired during mid-1986. System compatibility was demonstrated and geologic map digitizing capabilities were established by November 1986, largely due to the efforts of G. R. Osburn.

The system consists of (1) a Leading Edge model D computer with a Taxan 640 monitor, (2) an IOMEGA systems Bernoulli box cartridge disk system with 10-megabyte capacity, (3) a low-cost printer, (4) an HP 7580 B 24-inch plotter, and (5) an Alteck AC30 digitizing table, presented as a gift from a domestic petroleum company.

The software consists of a U.S. Geological Survey program, GS Map version 3.0. This program allows the digitizing of geologic maps and subsequent plotting at any scale, complete with symbols, in any of four projections.

The goal is to provide the U.S. Geological Survey with an updated version of the state map and its legend by 1990. Other benefits will include the ability to call and print out any portion of the map or map information used in compiling, in response to requests from the mineral industry, the public, or government agencies.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91034©1988 AAPG Southwest Section, El Paso, Texas, 21-23 February 1988.