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Implementation plan of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program strategy—Great Lakes (Central Lowland and Superior Upland Physiographic Provinces)

January 14, 2022


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) has published a strategic plan entitled “Renewing the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program as the Nation’s Authoritative Source for Modern Geologic Knowledge”. This plan provides the following vision, mission, and goals for the program for the years 2020–30:

  • Vision: create an integrated, three-dimensional (3D), digital geologic map of the United States.
  • Mission: characterize, interpret, and disseminate a national geologic framework model of the Earth through geologic mapping.
  • Goal: focus on geological mapping as a core function of the USGS within the long-term vision and mission of creating a digital geologic map and geologic framework model of the Nation.

To achieve the goal outlined in the strategic plan, the NCGMP has developed an Implementation Plan. This Implementation Plan will guide annual reviews of the FEDMAP component (that is, the component of the USGS NCGMP that funds geologic mapping by USGS geologists) of the NCGMP projects described in the plan and the development of the annual FEDMAP prospectus, which will ensure the application of the NCGMP strategy.

This publication is part of the Implementation Plan of the NCGMP strategy and addresses the following three major topics:

  1. continued development of a consistent National geologic map and database;
  2. the major unanswered geologic questions in the region; and
  3. the societal concerns associated with these geologic questions, such as hazards, geologic and hydrologic resources, and environmental issues.

The regions used in this chapter correspond with physiographic divisions of the United States as defined by Fenneman. Physiographic divisions are delineated on the basis of topography, and to a lesser extent, the geologic structure and history. The physiographic divisions are subdivided into physiographic provinces, and the physiographic provinces are subdivided into physiographic sections. Fenneman’s physiographic divisions of the United States provide a robust and useful spatial organization for delineating large geographic regions of the United States for various scientific and industrial applications.