Lab 8: Geologic Maps - Geology of the United States

 

For the main part of this lab we will use a nice map from the United States Geologic Survey (USGS):

 

Physiographic Regions of the United States - Geology

 

This map has the conterminous United States divided into regions based on "lay of the land," or physiography. The physiographic regions are based on landscape features, which are mostly controlled by the geology of the regions. The map below shows the same regions on a shaded relief map:

 

Physiographic Regions of the United States - Shaded Relief

 

For a listing of basic information about the regions study this table . Here are the 25 regions posted on the map:

 

LAURENTIAN UPLAND

 

1. Superior Upland (This is the edge of the huge Canadian Shield).

 

ATLANTIC PLAIN

 

2. Continental Shelf (around the margin of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic margin)

 

3. Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plain

 

APPALACHIAN HIGHLANDS

 

4. Piedmont province

 

5. Blue Ridge province

 

6. Valley and Ridge province and also here

 

7. St. Lawrence Valley and maps of bedrock geology and surface geology (The part in the US is just the edge of this mostly Canadian province).

 

8. Appalachian Plateaus province

 

9. New England Province , which is the continuation of the Appalachian Mountain provinces into states like New Hampshire

 

10. Adirondack province

 

INTERIOR PLAINS

 

11. Interior Low Plateaus

 

"12. Central Lowlands": This broad area includes broad areas affected by Pleistocene glaciation, such as the driftless area , and there are many uplifts and sedimentary basins, such as the Michigan Basin

 

13. Great Plains province and here

 

INTERIOR HIGHLANDS

 

14. Ozark Plateaus

 

15. Ouachita province

 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SYSTEM

 

16 - 19. Rocky Mountains

 

INTERMONTANE PLATEAUS

 

20. Columbia Plateau

 

21. Colorado Plateau

 

22. Basin and Range province and here

 

PACIFIC MOUNTAIN SYSTEM

 

23. Cascade Mountains / Sierra Nevada Mountains

 

24. Pacific Border province

 

25. Lower California province (Chaparral Area)

 

ALASKA

 

Learn about these three mountain ranges: 26. Alaska Range , 27. Brooks Range , 28. Aleutian Range (Islands) .

 

Physiographic Map of Alaska

 

Geologic Map of Alaska (Use the legend below for identifying geologic age of areas).

 

 

For another colored geologic map of Alaska, look here.

 

Resources

 

USGS Tapestry of Time

 

Geology of the Conterminous United States at 1:2,500,000 Scale - A Digital Representation of the 1974 P.B. King and H.M. Beikman Map: publication page

 

Wikipedia also has a page with links to areas on the map used here.

 

GROUND WATER ATLAS of the UNITED STATES Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands HA 730-N

 

Thelin, G.P., and Pike, R.J., 1991, Landforms of the conterminous United States; A digital shaded-relief portrayal: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Map I-2206 scale 1:3,500,000. , and the actual full-size (11.8 megabytes) tiff file .