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GIS and Mapping: Research at KGS

Quaternary Mapping along the Ohio River

KGS geologists, through the USGS STATEMAP program are mapping Quaternary deposits along and adjacent to the Ohio River to improve existing geologic mapping in the area. These sediments were originally generalized into a small number of mapping units during the geologic quadrangle (GQ) mapping program. Because of their importance for land-use development, geotechnical planning, groundwater supply, and their sensitivity to ground shaking during earthquakes, providing high quality geologic maps of these areas is a priority. KGS personnel are working with scientists from other local, state, and federal agencies to complete this mapping and share results. Mapping has thus far concentrated in Daviess, Henderson, and Hancock counties; mapping is planned in Union, McCracken counties and in northern Kentucky . GIS products will include new digital, vector geologic quadrangle data sets for these areas. Contact Drew Andrews for more information.

Karst Mapping in Kentucky

KGS geologists are cooperating with the Kentucky Division of Water to produce quadrangle maps that show the location of karst springs and the area of the groundwater basins that they drain. Groundwater tracing experiments using fluorescent dyes must be conducted to understand the subsurface drainage networks. This work requires a sustained effort to map the extensive karst areas of Kentucky. The resulting maps and GIS data are an essential tool for land-use planners, conservationists, and developers in this limestone-rich state. Other GIS maps that show the risk of sinkhole collapse and flooding hazards are planned. Contact Jim Currens for more information.

Land-Use Planning Maps

Digital geologic map data sets provide an opportunity to create derivative products that communicate information about geology to users in other fields. One example is land-use maps that were prepared for community planners, classrooms, homeowners, and other non-geologists. These county maps are based on geology, but are classified in terminology that relates to land use. Tables provide information about a variety of development issues, and diagrams and photographs illustrate the technical concepts. An interactive internet map is also available for exploring these data. For more information contact Dan Carey .

Digital Mapping Program

Kentucky is extremely fortunate to have 1:24,000-scale geologic maps for the entire state. These printed maps were prepared during a cooperative project with the U.S. Geological Survey between 1960 and 1978. KGS, with funding from the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Map Program has completed conversion of 707 geologic maps to digital GIS data sets. Products of this project, which began in 1996, are GIS data sets in ESRI shapefile format (DVGQ), new map compilations at the 1:100,000 scale, county geologic maps, and derivative map products for a variety of applications. An interactive Internet map service is available for creating custom geologic maps with overlays of KGS site data. For more information about the digital mapping program contact Warren Anderson .

Finding High-Yield Water Wells Using Remote-Sensing Techniques

KGS geologists are using remote-sensing data in a geographic information system to predict sites with high potential for subsurface groundwater in eastern Kentucky . Much of the well water in this region is associated with subvertical fracture systems. A variety of remote imagery is being used to locate lineament intersections that are potential sites for high-pressure wells. An inclined exploratory drilling method was devised to maximize results for detecting which fractures have greatest water flow. Digital lineament data are available for eastern Kentucky on CDROM. For more information contact Jim Dinger .

Carbon Sequestration

KGS is participating in three Regional Carbon Sequestration projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to provide information about long term storage opportunities for carbon dioxide emitted from electric power generating facilities. GIS data are collected at an Internet mapping site that integrates maps and databases from research partners into a single Web portal. The data and maps show information about potential geologic sequestration targets oil and gas reservoirs, coal beds, and saline aquifers, as well as carbon sources in the region. This project is using novel techniques to integrate the distributed GIS data for research purposes. Contact Dave Harris for more information.

Kentucky Landscape Maps

KGS personnel have been using GIS data to assist in developing maps of the Kentucky landscape. Visualizing the landscape in different ways is useful for different applications. A new physiographic map of Kentucky is being developed that delineates distinct areas of Kentucky 's topography, based on GIS themes of elevation, slope, relief, and geology. A derivative of this effort was incorporated into a new "Ecoregions Map of Kentucky," a cooperative effort among State and Federal agencies to identify areas of Kentucky with similar ecological management potential. Contact Drew Andrews for more information.

Geology and History

The events at numerous historical sites in Kentucky were guided or shaped by geological factors, such as terrain, water supply, stone fences, etc. Studies at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, Camp Nelson Heritage Park , and Fort Hill city park in Frankfort are examining the role geological features played in the history and management of Civil War sites. Contact Drew Andrews for more information.

GIS and Archaeology

KGS has an ongoing effort with the Kentucky Archaeological Survey/Office of State Archaeology using GIS for evaluation of the geological context of archaeological sites and surveys. Contact Drew Andrews for more information.