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Houston Activity: Texas Rocks
Geologic maps can tell you a lot about the rocks beneath your feet. You can use the legend with the map to figure out what rock types are in various geographic areas. The legend can also tell you in what geologic period those rocks formed. Geologists use such maps to help identify where natural resources are and where natural hazards are likely to occur. They are also critically useful in other ways, such as in making wise land use decisions.
While you may be familiar with paper geologic maps, you may not have worked with interactive online geologic maps. For this investigation, you can start with exploring the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) online version of the geologic map of Texas. The geologic time scale shown here will help you to figure out how old the rocks are in various parts of Texas. As you get familiar with how to use the USGS interactive maps, you can widen your exploration to your own geographic area.
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