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critical issues

Critical Issues Monthly Roundup: May 2017

Welcome to June! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program:
  • Our next Critical Issues webinar, “Planning for Coastal Storm & Erosion Hazards”, will take place on Thursday July 6th, 1:30pm EDT/10:30am PDT. This 1.5-hour webinar will focus on efforts to anticipate, mitigate, and respond to coastal storms, erosion, and associated hazards at the federal, state, and local level. Three case studies from around the U.S. will be featured as examples of how coastal hazard planning can evolve over time, with a focus on how geoscience informs planning at all stages. Registration will open soon on our webinar page.  
  • What’s the difference between weather and climate? And what is the evidence that our present-day climate is changing? These are big questions deserving serious attention, so we’ve worked hard to bring you comprehensive, in-depth answers. We also have a new FAQ on LiDAR and its many uses (including weather and climate monitoring).
Click "Read More" to see more news.

Interactive map of water wells in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources provides an interactive map of water wells in the state based on water well completion reports. Users can search for wells by place, ownership, well type, driller, and date of completion.

By clicking on an individual well, you can access well data and the completion report. All data and reports can be downloaded for further use. The interactive map also provides a searchable database of drillers and pump installers in the state.

Interactive map of aggregate resources in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources provides an interactive map of over 6,000 sand, gravel, and construction aggregate mining operations in South Dakota.

The map shows reclaimed (green) and active (red) mines. Users can click on individual sites to find detailed information, including location, operator, material mined, mining dates, total area mined and reclaimed, and links to photographs.

Click here to access the interactive map.

What is Lidar and what is it used for?

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

"LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.

Interactive map of coal resources in the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Coal Resources Data System comes with an interactive map that provides a huge amount of information on the distribution, thickness, and classification of coal in the United States.

The interactive map contains over 250,000 data points, each typically representing a core sample, drill hole, or driller's log in a specific location. You can use the "Filter" tool to focus in on specific areas, or on data collected by specific organizations. Commonly available data include:


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