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Database of the "North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain" map

March 24, 2022

In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey published a distinctive map, entitled “A Tapestry of Time and Terrain,” which showed a generalized depiction of the geology in the conterminous United States, draped over shaded-relief topography. In 2003, that map concept was extended geographically, and the resulting new map was published at 1:8,000,000 scale as “The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain” (NATTT).

The NATTT map showed the wide range of ages of the bedrock that underlies North America, as well as the distribution of the principal rock types— sedimentary, igneous (as two subtypes, volcanic and plutonic), and metamorphic. Regional processes active at the land surface, as well as continental-scale tectonic events, are exposed on the maps, in the three dimensions of space and in the fourth dimension, geologic time.

This new publication contains the geographic information system (GIS) data from the NATTT map, which, in turn, includes map data from the earlier Tapestry map. The GIS files contain over 20,000 polygons that represent geologic age and rock class. In addition, layer files are provided to facilitate a symbolized display of the map that is similar to that of the original NATTT map publication. The data are intended to be used at the scale of the published source map (1:8,000,000).