Are there geologic maps or publications for where I live?

Detailed geologic mapping has not been completed for the entire United States, but maps are available for most locations.

  • Geologic maps at many scales and from many sources are listed in the National Geologic Map Database.
  • Some geologic maps can be purchased in hard copy through the USGS Store.
  • Download digital geologic maps for entire states from the USGS Mineral Resources Online Geospatial Data (MRDATA) website. Scroll down to the "Geologic Data" section.
  • Contact your state geological survey. Many state geological surveys have detailed maps that can be downloaded or purchased.
  • Another USGS source for publications about a specific area is the USGS Publications Warehouse. Try searching on place names, county names, and (if you know it) topographic quadrangle names, as USGS data is often referenced to those localities.
  • Your public library might also have good resources.

Related Content

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Can the USGS do a survey or study of my private property?

No. The USGS Organic Act (43 U.S. Code § 31) prohibits the USGS from making surveys or examinations for private parties or corporations. On rare occasion, however, the USGS might request access to private property as part of a larger study. If you need to engage a professional land surveyor, hydrologist, geologist, or geotechnical engineer, the...

How do I find, download, or order topographic maps?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States since 1879. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. Download all dates and scales of USGS topographic maps free of charge from the following applications or order paper copies of all...

How are U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps named?

A USGS topographic map is usually named for the most prominent feature within the bounds of the map, which is frequently a community. Most topographic maps are named for the most centrally located, well-known, and/or largest community identified on the map. If the community for which the map should be named falls on two or more maps, a directional...

Will I be able to see my house in an aerial photograph? Will enlarging the image let me see more detail?

The ability to see specific items in an aerial image is mostly a function of scale and resolution. The following aerial photography products all have a resolution of 1 meter or better, so you should be able to see an object the size of a house: High Resolution Orthoimagery (HRO) National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery Digital...

What is the National Geologic Map Database?

The National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB) is an archive of geoscience maps (including geology maps), reports, and stratigraphic information for the United States. The NGMDB contains information on more than 90,000 maps and related geoscience reports published from the early 1800s to the present day, by more than 630 agencies, universities,...

What are the earthquake hazards/risks where I live?

Determining your risk with regard to earthquakes, or more precisely shaking from earthquakes, isn't as simple as finding the nearest fault. The chances of experiencing shaking from an earthquake and/or having property damage is dependent on many different factors. The National Hazard Maps use all available data to estimate the chances of shaking (...
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Date published: March 15, 2016

The National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB)

The U.S. National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB) serves as the authoritative, comprehensive resource for information about paper and digital geoscience maps and reports on the Nation's geology and stratigraphy, by all publishers. 

Date published: March 15, 2016

Publications Warehouse

Gain access to over 100,000 publications written by USGS scientists over the century-plus history of the bureau.

Date published: March 12, 2016

Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data

Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Mineral Resources.

Filter Total Items: 3
Date published: August 21, 2017

Stitching Together the New Digital Geologic Quilt of the United States

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

Date published: January 5, 2016

First Ever Digital Geologic Map of Alaska Published

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation.

Date published: May 2, 2000

Tapestry of Time and Terrain Not Just Another Map

By combining techniques developed by Leonardo da Vinci with today’s computer applications, an artist and two scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., have produced one of the most dramatic and beautiful maps of the United States, ever published.

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Geologic map of the conterminous United States
April 25, 2016

Geologic map of the conterminous United States

Geologic map of the conterminous United States at 1:2,500,000 scale.

Image: Geologic Map of North America
February 1, 2005

Geologic Map of North America

This map was produced from Geographic Information System (GIS) files prepared by the USGS National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB).  The GMNA Resources Site has the geospatial files, map images, publication documentation, and informational resources.


Geologic Map of Big Bend National Park, Texas
November 30, 2000

Detail of the Geologic Map of Big Bend National Park

Zoomed in detail of the Geologic Map of Big Bend National Park

The Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state, each color representing a different type or age of rock

Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state

The Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state, each color representing a different type or age of rock, from USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3340 - Geologic map of Alaska.