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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a geologic map?
How do you read a geologic map?
In addition to units, the key usually explains the map’s use of lines and symbols. Lines might show where two units meet and perhaps bend, fold, and warp up against one another. Symbols might indicate where you can find things like fossils, precious metals, or active faults.
A strike and dip symbol, for instance, is a T-shaped symbol that shows where layers of rock stack up in tilted beds. The number accompanying a strike and dip symbol indicates the angle, or tilt, of the rock bed.
How do you use a geologic map?
As we can see on the map on the other side of this poster, geologic maps are used to identify many features and phenomena, from coal resources and potential landslides to vital ecosystems and animal habitats. Geologic maps are necessary to help us navigate among the many challenges and opportunities offered by the dynamic Earth systems that surround us.
(Adapted from Geologic Maps, USGS, and Meeting Challenges With Geologic Maps, AGI.)
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