Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)

Topographic Lidar Surveys

The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Provides Detailed Topographic Information for EarthMRI

Topographic maps define the shape of the Earth’s surface. The USGS leads the interagency 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), which has the goal to complete acquisition of nationwide lidar (IfSAR in AK) to provide the first-ever national baseline of consistent high-resolution elevation data – both bare earth and 3D point clouds – collected in a timeframe of less than a decade. These data serve many purposes, including ensuring that geological and geophysical surveys are accurate. Lidar data are critical for:

 

  • Mapping young deposits and landforms, which are those most essential to understanding Earth resources

  • Underpinning geologic mapping that guides assessment and development of solid-Earth resources:  base and precious metals, sand and gravel, coal, oil, and natural gas

  • Supporting site-specific engineering studies by the geotechnical industry

  • Improving the efficiency of geologic mapping, dramatically improving the spatial precision of geologic maps, and increasing the number of units that can be mapped, in some cases doubling them

3D Elevation Program

3D Elevation Program

Managed by USGS, 3DEP's goal is to acquire high-quality topographic data and other three-dimensional (3D) representations of our Nation's natural and constructed features.  

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3DEP: Earth MRI Priority Areas

3DEP: Earth MRI Priority Areas

Earth MRI is accelerating 3DEP’s collection of modern topographic data over regions of interest for subsurface critical mineral resources. An amendment to the current BAA made $1.6M in funding available in support of the Earth MRI FY19 priorities.

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LidarExplorer

LidarExplorer

The LidarExplorer is an application to enable the search, discovery, and visualization of lidar data and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) products provided by the USGS National Geospatial Program. 

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Date published: September 4, 2019
Status: Active

Earth MRI: Partnering to Map Potential Critical Mineral Deposits.

Earth MRI is accelerating 3DEP’s collection of modern topographic data over regions of interest for subsurface critical mineral resources.

Date published: June 24, 2019
Status: Active

Systems Approach to Critical Minerals Inventory, Research, and Assessment

This project supports the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (EarthMRI) by developing a mineral systems approach for defining focus areas. This project is investigating domestic sources of critical minerals in three sequential stages: inventory, research, and assessment.

1) Inventory the abundance of critical minerals in ore, minerals, and processed materials from major deposits in each...