The High Plains/Ogallala Aquifer (HPA), which offers a compelling yet complex illustration of how geoscience vitally intersects society, is the subject of a new report from the American Geosciences Institute. This report outlines the findings of the 2016 Critical Issues Forum, which examined state approaches to the HPA's regional groundwater challenges.
The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey provides an interactive map of geothermal resources in the state. The map shows temperatures at specific depths underground, as well as the depth required to reach specific temperatures. In addition, a large amount of related information is also provided, including:
The Kentucky Mine Mapping Information System is produced by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to allow users to access maps of coal mines and mined out areas in Kentucky. Users can search by company name, seam name, or state file number (SFN). For each map, overview information is provided where available (map year, mine status, mine owner, mine type, seam thickness, etc.), and users are directed to the map. Users can also overlay information on oil and gas activity on the map.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides an interactive map of hazardous waste cleanups across the United States. The "Cleanups in My Community" map provides a huge amount of information on thousands of cleanups of many kinds. For every cleanup, users can access and download reports, assessments, compliance actions, and the EPA's assessment of the potential for any contaminated land to be used for renewable energy development.
The South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources provides an interactive map of reported spills in the state (yellow triangles in picture above). Spills are reported for hazardous or environmentally harmful materials such as oil, gasoline, pesticides, solvents, acids, and other industrial chemicals. Spill information is provided from the early 1970s to the present and include information on the source, material, location, and date of the spill.
Less than one-third of the U.S. is mapped at the level of detail necessary to make informed planning decisions on a local scale concerning natural resources, natural hazards, infrastructure planning, and environmental stewardship. In the Great Lakes region, the Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (GLGMC), a group including U.S. and Canadian state and provincial geological surveys, is producing detailed 3D geologic maps that are helping to provide decision-relevant information to Great Lakes state communities. Due to similar regional geology, these state surveys can work together, sharing their expertise and resources so that each can better address geologic issues in their area. Working with the communities, the GLGMC provides and makes maps that solve problems such as groundwater contamination and resource development.