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Geologic Mapping: Future Needs
provinces are in the Basin Range-Rocky Mountains; the remaining three in the Midcontinent and Great Plains.
For future map needs, the most important province is the Central Rocky Mountain Thrust Belt. Again, six of the ten most important provinces are in the Basin Range-Rocky Mountains. The Gulf Coastal Plain is third ranked, behind Basin Range-Rocky Mountains Foreland province. The three other top-ranked provinces are the Midcontinent, Southern Great Plains, and the Appalachian Fold and Thrust Belt.
Respondents engaged in resource exploration and scientific research ranked the Basin Range-Rocky Mountain provinces as most important for future map needs. Respondents engaged in resource development ranked as most important the Great Plains-Midcontinent provinces. Respondents largely engaged in engineering ranked as most important the three southern Appalachian provinces. Respondents engaged in hazard mitigation ranked the tectonically active West Coast provinces as most in need of geologic mapping in the future.
Engineering geologists, groundwater geologists, and planners, concerned with tectonically active areas and rapidly developing areas where groundwater supplies are important, indicated almost all their needs to be in the westernmost United States.
Comparison of current map needs with future needs indicates decreasing needs in the Gulf Coastal Plain and Southern Great Plains and increasing needs in the Basin Range-Rocky Mountains. Responses suggest geoscience map needs may have peaked for the Gulf Coastal Plain, may be at the peak for the Southern Great Plains, and may be approaching the peak for the Midcontinent. Moderate to large increases in future map requirements were indicated for all other conterminous U.S. provinces. For future map requirements the Alaskan provinces showed a greater percentage increase than any other part of the United States.
Except for the Atlantic Gulf Coast, offshore provinces were ranked moderately low in their current level of importance, but responses indicated sizable future increases in map needs.
With few exceptions, respondents indicated a need for large-scale geoscience maps. The importance of smaller scales is relatively greater in Alaska, probably because large areas are still essentially unmapped and information is needed as soon as possible.