--> --> Creating a Master Geologic map of the Great Basin

AAPG Pacific Section and Rocky Mountain Section Joint Meeting

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Creating a Master Geologic map of the Great Basin


A field-corrected master geologic map of the Great Basin is critical to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the region. The foundation for creating the master geologic map is to combine the state geologic maps of Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona and dissolving state boundaries by coordinating and combining map units across state boundaries. Larger scale geologic maps are then ‘burned’ into the master map by replacing the portion of the smaller scale maps with the more detailed larger scale maps. Teams of geotechs are scanning and digitizing older geologic maps that have yet to be digitized. They are extracting the geologic units, attitudes, and faults into different map layers. High-resolution raster images are being made of topographic quadrangle so that they can be vectorized with line scan programs to create a topographic layer. Teams of experienced field geologists scrutinize the compiled master geologic map, identify potential problem areas in the map, and then use Rapid Precision Mapping (RPM) to correct and improve the master geologic map. RPM mapping is a geologic mapping technique that combines high-resolution, sub-meter GPS Technology (Trimble Navigation) with Geographic Information System (MapInfo) to rapidly create geologic maps with precise attitude and sample locations. One of the goals for creating the master geologic map is to create restorable balanced cross sections using LithoTech, a sophisticated program to help create cross sections. The structural cross sections greatly supplement a regional Great Basin structural contour map on the top of the Mississippian Joana Limestone.