Cover Image

Not for Sale



View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 132


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 131
UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY ~ The United States Geological Survey was created by an Act of Con- gress, approved Starch 3, 1879. Its headquarters are in the Interior De- partment Building, Washington, D. C. About sixty offices are maintained throughout the United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES By its Organic Act the Director was given " direction of the Geological Survey and the elassific.ation of the public lands and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain." Through a half century of gradual additions and subtractions the activities of the Survey have been modified to the present functions as set forth in the series of items in the annual appropriation Acts, as follows: (a) Topographic surveys in various portions of the United States; (b) Geologic surveys in the various portions of the Ignited States, and chemical and physical researches relative thereto; (c) Fundamental research in geological science; (d) Volcanologic surveys, measurements, and observatories in Hawaii, including subordinate stations elsewhere; (e) Investigation of the mineral resources of Alaska; (f) Gaging streams and determining the water supply of the United States, the investigation of underground currents and artesian wells, and the preparation of reports upon the best. methods of utilizing, the water resources; (~) Examination and classification of lands with respect to mineral character, water resources, and agricultural utility as required by the public land laws and for related administrative operations; for the prepa- ration and publication of land cla.ssifieation maps and reports; for en- gineering supervision of power permits and grants under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior; and for performance of work of the Federal Power Commission; (h) Preparation and publication of reports, and engraving and print- ing geologic and topographic maps; (i) Enforcement of laws relating to the mining and recovery of minerals on Indian and public lands and naval petroleum reserves. * Information furnished by Julian D. Sears' Acting Director' March' 1932. 131

OCR for page 131
132 THE STATE GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS AND ORGANIZATION The Organic Act placed the office of Director of the Survey under the Department of the Interior. The l)ireetor of the Geological Survey is appointed by the President of the Ignited States " by end with the advice and consent of the Senate." The present Director, Walter C. Mendenhall, was appointed December 2l, 1931. Tenure of office is for no stated term of years. The salary is on an annual basis at a rate chosen by the Seeretary of the Interior from the rates established by law for the grade to which the position is allocated by the Personnel Classification Board. On June 30, 1931, the secretarial appointees (Civil Service employees) on the Survey rolls numbered 1,127, the larger part being employed full time. This staff included 168 geologists, 20 chemists and physicists, 181 topographic engineers, 215 hydraulic engineers, 68 mining, petroleum and other engineers, and one attorney. The rest of the staff: is made up of scientific and engineering field aids; illustrators and draftsmen; clerks engravers, lithographers, photographers, and others engaged in map reproduction work; instrument workers and other meehanies; and laborers, messengers and other miscellaneous employees. These employees are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, on the recommendation of the Director, from lists of eligibles certified by the Civil Service Com- mission, or by transfer or reinstatement of qualified employees. About 60 of the professional staff (mostly geologists, but including a few en- gineers) are on a "when actually employed" basis; most of these are connected with educational institutions or with scientific or State organ- izations; a few are students. In addition to the secretarial appointees described, hundreds of ten~po- rary employees such as rodmen, packers, and cooks are employed annually during the field season. APPROPRIATIONS The funds available for work by and under supervision of the United States Geological Survey are obtained or are derived from the following sources: ~, , ~'3-- (The ~ a) By direct Congressional appropr~ahons mace annually. greater part of the appropriations for topographic surveys and water resources investigations are available only to meet cooperation offered by States and municipalities.) (b) By transfer or repay from other Federal Bureaus for work per- formed. (e) By funds made available by cooperating States, municipalities, ete.

OCR for page 131
THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 133 The direct Federal appropriations for the past four years are given in the following table, which shows the appropriation items and the Survey divisions supported thereby. Appropriation items ~1929 | 1930 | lg31 ~1932 ~['resent Salaries ........... Geologic surveys Fundamental research Volcanologic surveys Topographic surveys Proposed National Parks .............. Gaging streams, etc... Classification of lands. Mineral leasing ....... Mineral resources of Alaska ............. Preparation of illustra- tions ............... Geologic and topo- graphic maps of the United States ...... Printing and binding.. $135,500 $134,800 $141,320 1$150,000 $355,000 $35D,000 $400,000$400,000 . ....... 100,000 100,000 . 21,000 217000 21,000 35,000 . $559,000 $635,000 $744,000 $7&0,000 60,000 45,000 100,000 . . . . . . . $270,500 $275,000 $510,000 $72D,000 $191,500 $18D,000 $180j480 $19D,000 246,000 250,000 251,820 270,000 $67,500 $67,50a $75,300 $84,500 $26,480 $20,500 $20,800 $23,240 $110,000 $107,000 $125,060 $190,000 $120,000 ~ $150,000 $1~ ,000 $190,000 _ _ _ a of which, by later Congressional authorization, 855~000 could be transferred to the `' St.r~nm gagir,g item and $20,000 to the " Mineral Leasing " item. Offices of Direc- tor and Chief Clerk, Editors, Librarians, Ac- countants, Dis- tribution of maps, messen gers, etc. Geologic Branch Topographic Branch Water Resources Branch Conservation Branch Alaskan Branch Section of Illus- trations Division of En- graving and . ~ . prlnbmg Publication In the Meal year 1931, the direct :Federal appropriation to the Ignited States Geological Survey was nearly $3,000,000; together with funds from other Federal :Bureaus and from cooperating agencies, the total funds available that year for work performed or administered by the Geological Survey severe nearly $5,000,00()

OCR for page 131
134 THE STATE GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS AND PUBLICATIONS Publications off the United States Geological Survey include: Annual Reports (most recent is the 62d). Monographs (most recent is No. Ail. Professional Papers (most recent is No. 170 Chapter D). Bulletins (most recent is No. 836 Chapter B). Water Supply Papers (most recent is No. 707~. inera.1 Resources of the United States (annual volumes from 1880 to 1923; later volumes published by Bureau of Mines). Geologic Folios of the United States (most recent is No. 225~. Topographic maps of about 3600 quadrangles, covering, about Al per cent of the United States. Miscellaneous maps of many types. The reports cover principally geology of all kinds and records of stream- Dow measurements. Occasional volumes cover such topics as bibliography, topographic instructions, results of spirit leveling, geographic boundaries, power production and water utilization. The "Mineral Resources " volumes contain statistics and discussion of mineral production. In the post-war decade serious arrears were accumulated in the publica.- tion of reports and maps. Somewhat larger appropriations in the last three years have removed the greater part of the arrearage in the reports which are now comparatively current. During the present year an in- creased appropriation has permitted both marked improvement in the output of new maps, and also the reprinting, of older maps; however, this work is still from one to two years behind. PRINCIPAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND MAIN LINES OF WORK The activities of the Geological Survey are so widespread that it is impossible to summarize individual projects in a brief statement on the accomplishments of twenty years. The growth of the work is indicated by the fact that the total funds available annually have more than doubled in that period. In 1912 the total funds from all sources was nearly $2,000- 000, of which the direct Federal appropriation constituted about eighty per cent; in 1931 the total was nearly $b,000,000, of which the direct :Federal appropriation made up less than sixty per cent. Thus while the direct appropriations nearly doubled during the period, the annual funds from other sources (from other Federal Bureaus and State agencies) were five times as great at the end of the period. The increase in coopera- tion related particularly to topographic surveys and water resources in- vestigations. Another measure of the work may be gained from the number of pub- lications and their distribution. In the twenty years there were published

OCR for page 131
THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 130 about 1,000 volumes (some containing numerous separate reports). 48 folios, and nearly 2,200 topographic and other maps. During that period the Survey distributed nearly 9,OOO,OOO copies of the reports, and more than 14,00O,OOO maps and folios (of which more than 11,000,000 were sold ~ . The water resources work was greatly expanded. On June 30, 1912, there were i,232 gaging stations in the continental United States. By the close of the fiscal year 1931, the number of gaging stations being ~nain- tained had risen to 2,663. The growth in funds, both Federal and coopera- tive, and in the resulting work testifies to the growing realization through- out the country that information about the vitally needed water supply is necessary for further well-balanced progress. The cooperative program was given encourage~nent in 1931 by Congressional recognition of the national importance of water problems and a resulting marked increase in the Federal appropriation, so that the Survey could thereafter match state cooperation on essentially a fifty-fifty basis. During that period nearly 220,000 square miles were topographically mapped, and the portion of the country covered by such mapping rose from 38 to 4o per cent. Passage of the Temple Act in 1925, authorizing completion of the task within twenty years, has given some stimulus. to the work, although the work is running far behind that schedule because appropriations have :oot been as large as contemplated by the sponsors of that Act. In the last decade aerial photography has become an increas- ingly valuable adjunct to the topographic work, particularly in adding to the accuracy of the results. with equal or less costs. Geologic work hats continued in many and varied lines. in both theo- retical and applied geology. The Survey's studies of potential oil fields played a considerable part in making the oil industry recognize the value and necessity of geologic advice, and many Survey " graduates " joined the growing stags of the companies which, during and after the war, dis- covered so many new fields that fear of an immediate oil shortage was removed. The Survey's investigations of western deposits of oil-shale showed that these shales. are a resource that can be turned to when supplies of underground petroleum dwindle. This work also led to the setting aside of oil-shale lands as a reserve, and also indirectly to studies by the Bureau of Mines of practical methods for extracting oil from the shale. Long-continued studies of potash deposits in the western States, largely brought to light through wells drilled for oil, were influential in leading Congress to appropriate funds for a 3-year program of drilling test wells to obtain more definite information on such deposits. This program, carried out jointly by the Bureau of Mines and the Geological Survey, brought valuable information on the deposits in a la.r~e area in

OCR for page 131
136 THE STATE GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS AND western Texas and eastern New Mexico, and one mine has now begun com- mercial production as a step towards making the United States inde- pendent of imports. In 1931 the geologic work was given new impetus by an increase in the appropriation for " geologic surveys " and the granting of a new fund " for fundamental research in geologic science." The in- crease in funds permitted in the fiscal years 1931 and 1932 a building up of the scientific force and an expansion of activities with the beginning of a number of research projects which had long awaited attention. Although results thus far have been very satisfactory, the program faces a serious set-back because the funds for geologic work will be dras- tically curtailed in the fiscal year 1933. The Conservation Branch is responsible for two of the Survey's func- tions the examination and classification of lands and the enforcement of laws relating to mineral development on the public lands. The first of these functions, examination and classification of lands (which was among those given to the Survey by its Organic Act), has been pursued with greater vigor in the last twenty-five years and took on new aspects with the passing of the mineral leasing act in 1920. The second function, that of supervising the development operations on public lands under leases, or prospecting permits, was taken over from the Bureau of Mines in 1925. Its significance and value have become even better understood with the growing appreciation of the need for conservation of nationa resources. The Geological Survey has played an important part in carry- ing out the conservation policies of the Government. Detailed information about the organization, activities, and accomplish- ments of the Geological Survey, and about its published reports and maps may be found in its series of annual reports, in the list of its publications, and in the indexes of available maps.