OFR12-01, Geologic Atlas User's Guide: Using Geologic Maps and Databases for Resource Management and Planning


OFR12-01, Geologic Atlas User's Guide: Using Geologic Maps and Databases for Resource Management and Planning

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Minnesota Geological Survey




A geologic atlas is intended to describe the geologic framework of our home and how the subsurface environment provides the resources we need. It describes the materials and features that begin just beneath the soil and it continues down to the bedrock surface and beyond. This User’s Guide is intended for people that don’t have training in geology or hydrology- most people. Every Minnesotan uses water, and every Minnesotan has an effect on water, so we all have a role and a stake in how that resource is distributed, how it is used, and how we affect its quality and availability. The purpose of the Guide is to explain in simple terms where our water comes from, how geology and climate control its distribution, and how we can manage water to maximize the availability of high quality water for ourselves and the habitat we live in. The atlases can provide very practical information such as what aquifers are available to a homeowner that needs to drill a well. The atlases also work at larger scales answering questions such as “where is the largest or most productive aquifer in this county”, or conversely, “where is the best place in this county to isolate potential contaminants from our water system?”. The atlases document existing hydrologic conditions, such as water levels in aquifers, so that we can recognize and respond to changes in those levels if necessary.


The User's Guide will be updated periodically, but not on a fixed schedule.

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