Greater Platte River Basins and Northern Plains Geologic Framework Studies

Science Center Objects

Primary objectives of the project are to conduct surficial geologic mapping studies in the central and northern Great Plains in support of ecosystem and climate change research. Major goals are to obtain a better understanding of (1) past climate information recorded in the geologic record, and (2) geomorphic or climatic thresholds that may have triggered major changes in the ecosystems in the past. This information will be vital to regional land-use decision makers and managers trying to anticipate effects of future climate change and make informed choices among competing land uses.

The project directly supports several themes of the USGS Science Strategy:

  • Climate and Land Use Change, Ecosystems, and Environmental Health: by studying past interactions between climate, earth surface processes, and ecosystems for evaluating:
    • Future interactions as climate changes
    • Ecosystem sustainability
    • Wildlife and human health
  • Water: by generating new information for managing water resources.
  • Natural Hazards: by identifying past flood and wildfire events recorded in the geologic record
  • Minerals: by assessing mineral and aggregate resources.

Project Study Areas

Project locations in relation to Missouri Watershed