Geoscience in Your State: Utah

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Cover of Geoscience Policy State Factsheet. Image credit: AGI

By the numbers: Utah

  • 4,224 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1
  • 1.15 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • $2.61 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • 31 total disaster declarations, including 18 fire, 8 flood, and 2 severe storm disasters (1953-2017)
  • $9.02 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in 201714...

Agencies Working on Geoscience Issues in utah

Utah Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ's mission is, "Safeguarding and improving Utah’s air, land and water through balanced regulation." We implement State and federal environmental laws and work with individuals, community groups, and businesses to protect the quality of our air, land and water.

Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining

The mission of the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining is to regulate the exploration and development of coal, oil and gas, and other minerals in a manner which encourages responsible reclamation and development; protects correlative rights; prevents waste; and protects human health and safety, the environment, and the interests of the state and its citizens.

Utah Geological Survey

The Utah Geological Survey provides timely scientific information about Utah's geologic environment, resources and hazards.

Case Studies & Factsheets

Cover of AGI Factsheet 2018-002-Geologic Mapping and Public Health

Using Geologic Maps to Protect Public Health Geologic maps can be used to understand and mitigate public health risks across the US, in addition to their more traditional use in resource and infrastructure decisions. Geologic maps can show the location of naturally occurring hazardous materials and...

Cover of Abandoned Wells

Introduction In 2017, there were one million active oil and gas wells in the United States.1 When a well reaches the end of its productive life, or if it fails to find economic quantities of oil or gas, the well operator is required by regulators to remove all equipment and plug the well to prevent...

Cover of AGI Factsheet 2018-004 - Present Day Climate Change

Climate Science 101 Climate is the average of weather conditions over several decades.1,2 Geoscientists monitor modern climate conditions (1880 A.D. to present) in part by taking direct measurements of weather data (i.e., air temperature, rainfall and snowfall, wind speed, cloudiness, and so on)...

CI_Factsheet_2017_3_Deicing_170712_thumb

Background In areas prone to winter precipitation, transportation infrastructure must be able to quickly respond to snow and ice on roadways. Ice removal is a vital service in these communities. Deicing chemicals melt ice by lowering the temperature at which it melts. They can also prevent new ice...

Cover of Spills in Oil and Natural Gas Fields

Introduction Oilfield spills can harm wildlife and pose a risk to human health if they reach fresh water sources or contaminate soil or air. The enormous size of the oil and gas industry and the huge volumes of oil and produced water that are handled, stored, and transported result in thousands of...

Cover of Heavy Oil

Introduction Naturally occurring crude oil comes in many forms. The most familiar to many people is light crude oil, which is less dense than water and flows easily at room temperature. Heavy oil and bitumen are forms of crude oil that are more viscous (thicker) and dense. The largest crude oil...

Cover of Geoscience Policy State Factsheet. Image credit: AGI

By the numbers: Utah 4,224 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1 1.15 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3 $2.61 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174 31 total disaster declarations, including 18 fire, 8 flood, and 2 severe storm disasters (1953-2017)6  $9...

CI_Factsheet_2017_7_ValleyFever_171205_thumb.JPG

What grows in arid, sandy soils? How do these soils become dust? Many small organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, grow among the sand and silt particles in dry valley and desert soils. At the soil’s surface, these organisms often form biological webs (“microbiotic crusts”) that keep small sand and...

CI_Factsheet_2017_5_drywellprograms_170906_thumb.JPG

Introduction Dry wells improve stormwater drainage and aquifer recharge by providing a fast, direct route for rainwater to drain deep into underlying sediment and rock. Dry wells are most common in the western U.S. where clay or caliche layers slow down the natural drainage of water into underlying...

Mining Operation to Produce Road Aggregate, Flowell, Utah. Image Credit:Lee Siebert, Smithsonian Institution.

Under pressure to restrict aggregate operations, county leaders in Tooele, Utah developed an ordinance to protect the stone, gravel, and sand industry as well as the environment. Between 1990 and 2000, the population of Tooele, Utah, increased 51.3 percent to 40,735. As demand for construction and...

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