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News Releases in 2015

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11.16.2015

Sniff out vineyards, wineries & tasting rooms with the Arizona Wine Trail Map

Click to view a larger imagine of the Wine Trail Map

Tucson, Arizona. Wine connoisseurs and aficionados alike have a new online tool for unearthing the vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms of Arizona’s burgeoning, multimillion dollar wine industry.

The new Arizona Wine Trails Map (http://winemap.arizonaexperience.org/), created by the Arizona Experience team at the Arizona Geological Survey, is an interactive and mobile-friendly resource that opens the door to Arizona's unique wine culture. (See the graphic below.)

"Arizona's wine experience is fast becoming one of our state's most popular tourism assets and contributes more than $40 million dollars to the state's economy," said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.  "The Arizona Wine Trails Map is a wonderful and innovative online tool that can help us further promote this authentic Arizona visitor experience."

The map includes 65 locations, capturing tasting opportunities in Arizona’s three winegrowing regions - Sonoita, Willcox, and the Verde Valley - and urban areas. Colorful icons illustrate whether a location is a tasting room, winery, vineyard, or all three attractions in one. Site popups provide hours, location, website URL, and a directions function that displays the most direct route.

An “Open Now” feature shows all businesses open in real time to facilitate Arizona wine enjoyment whenever the mood hits.  

Wine tourism is a growth industry in Arizona that entices guests and supports local ‘cottage industries’ such as restaurants and hotels. Arizona’s rugged climate and mineral-rich soil produces flavorful grapes and distinctive wines with a character as varied as the terrain.

Winemakers embrace innovation with unique varietals and blends, resulting in a spectrum of tastes from region to region and even vineyard to vineyard. Novice tasters and connoisseurs alike will appreciate the ease with which the Wine Trails Map helps them find a tasting room that suits their fancy. Both residents and visitors will delight in clear directions and easily marked routes to their destinations.

The Wine Trails map is hosted at the Arizona Experience “Arizona Wine Country” page and at the Arizona Office of Tourism’s VisitArizona.com site. The map is complemented by a brief story of Arizona’s wine country and a description of each of the three winegrowing regions.

This is the second interactive map produced by the Arizona Experience (arizonaexperience.org) to promote agritourism in Arizona. The U Pick Farms Map, released in June 2014, showcases farms and orchards growing specialty crops – apples, honey, grapes, lemons, chili peppers, olives, sweet corn, pumpkins, and more - that allow the public to select their own fresh, locally grown produce.  

Arizona Experience – Arizona Wine Country  | 30-second Traveling the Arizona wine trail video

Funds for this program provided by the Arizona Office of Agriculture.

About the Arizona Experience
The Arizona Experience is a product of the Arizona Geological Survey and over 300 partners in business, industry, agriculture, education and government. Each month over 21,000 people visit the pages of the Arizona Experience. Launched in 2012 to celebrate Arizona’s Centennial, the site has become a platform to showcase the best Arizona has to offer in cultural features, education, innovation, science, agriculture and landscapes.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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11.2.2015

Arizona Geological Survey News Advisory: Earthquakes rattle central Arizona - Black Canyon City, Phoenix and environs

Locations of Sunday evening earthquakes - Click to enlarge

Figure: Locations of Sunday evening earthquakes.

Tucson, AZ - Late Sunday night, three earthquakes rattled central Arizona, including Phoenix and environs. The three temblors, magnitude (Mw) 3.2, Mw 4.1 and Mw 4.0, occurred approximately 3- to 11- miles north of Black Canyon City (see figure). The largest event, an Mw 4.1, occurred at 11:20 p.m. The earthquake(s) were felt from north of Flagstaff to south of Casa Grande, including most of central Arizona.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially located the epicenters and depth to focus. Using 15 Arizona-based seismometers from the Arizona Broadband Seismic Network and the Arizona Earthquake Information Center, Flagstaff, Arizona, Dr. Jeri Young (Research Geologist), refined the locations for the foreshock, mainshock, and the large aftershock from the November 1st  Black Canyon City sequence of quakes (table below). 

The Mw 3.2 foreshock was located at approximately 3 miles north of Black Canyon City at a very shallow depth, between 0.6 and 3 miles. The mainshock was located approximately 11 miles NNE of Black Canyon City and occurred at approximately 7 mile depth. The largest aftershock an Mw 4.0 occurred only 20 minutes following the mainshock at a depth of approximately 3 miles. 

There have been multiple smaller aftershocks, but there are not enough seismometers close enough to the area to accurately locate them. The closest station is located near Payson at about 40 miles, with the Wickenburg station being 55 miles away. 

The closest known active fault is the Horseshoe Fault, located 22 miles SSE of the mainshock. The Black Canyon City Sequence has not generated a quake large enough to break the surface. Aftershocks will continue for several months or more. Most aftershocks will go unfelt, but residents of Black Canyon City and environs should potentially anticipate small felt aftershocks.

Mw Time -UTC Date Lat Long Depth (km)
3.2 03:59.33 11-02-15 34.11016 -112.1460 <1.0
4.1 06:29.66 11-02-15 34.23350 -112.12366 11.2
4.0 06:49.32 11-02-15 34.17950 -112.08633 5.19

From a report by Dr. Jeri Young, AZGS Research Geologist. Note that all times are reported in UTC.

Online Resources from the Arizona Geological Survey
Natural Hazards in Arizona – showing historic earthquake epicenters and young, active faults.
Geologic Map of Arizona – showing major geologic features and rock units.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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9.9.2015

New Interactive Map of Gold King Mine water sampling in CO, NM, UT and AZ

Graphic example of the Gold King Mine Spill interactive map.

Tucson, Arizona. The 3-million gallon Colorado Gold King Mine spill of August 5, 2015, spurred water sampling along the Animas and San Juan Rivers, Lake Powell, and from nearby wells and irrigation canals in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, and Navajo Nation lands. 

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has launched an interactive map, Gold King Mine Spill Water & Sediment Sample Locations, showing more than 200 water and/or sediment sampling sites that represent more than 1,000 water analyses from: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, New Mexico Environmental Department, and the Utah and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Additional sample sites and data from the US Geological Survey, the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, and the Arizona Game & Fish Dept., will also be included if made available.

The chief objective of AZGS interactive map is to show the scope of the state, tribal, and federal response to the spill; to provide cooperating agencies and the public with access to the sample results; to assist responding agencies in coordinating, collaborating, and communicating who is sampling, where they are sampling, and when samples are being taken.

The map displays 115 sample sites in Colorado, nearly 80 in New Mexico, 20 in Utah, and 5 sample sites in Arizona. Map features include: sample date and location, links to data sources reporting water analyses, sample type (water or sediment), time slider, and toggling sample sites reporting concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead and/or mercury in exceedance of the federal safe drinking water standard.  These four elements were identified by the US EPA as the primary contaminants of concern due to their potential to pose significant health risks. 

To access the map and other related information, please visit the Arizona cooperating agencies Gold King Mind spill information page at https://ein.az.gov/gold-king-mine-spill-response or http://maps.azgs.az.gov/gold-king-mine-spill/ .

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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7.8.2015

State Survey and McDowell Sonoran Field Institute collaborate on geologic study of Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve

AZGS geologist Brian Gootee (left) and Melanie Tluczek (McDowell Sonoran Field Institute Manager) examining quartz vein deposits with volunteer citizen scientists.

Tucson, AZ - The Arizona Geological Survey is releasing a new collaborative study involving staff and citizen science volunteers of the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute (MSFI) documenting the origin and history of milky quartz veins in the Fraesfield Mountain and Paraiso sites from the central part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

The Preserve hosts hundreds of milky quartz veins, a geologic feature commonly associated with mineralization of gold, silver, copper, hematite, tourmaline and a wide variety of other assorted minerals.

MFSI volunteers participated in the program from the earliest planning stages, through site selection, data collection, mapping and digitizing, to the final report writing. "Citizen scientists are the backbone of the Field Institute; we could not conduct the research that we do without them," said Melanie Tluczek, MSFI Manager. The quartz vein research is part of an Ecological Resource Plan to inform conservation planning of natural resources at the Preserve.

Under the guidance of Dan Gruber (MSFI), with oversight by Brian Gootee (Research Geologist, Arizona Geological Survey), citizen science volunteers reconnoitered dozens of quartz vein sites initially identified using Google Earth imagery followed by reconnaissance site visits. Twelve quartz vein sites were narrowed down to two sites for detailed investigation. Geologic mapping involved trained volunteers examining, describing and mapping both milky quartz sites and the surrounding rock units.

Co-author Brian Gootee tethered to ASU's balloon photography rig.

Using Aerial balloon photography equipment loaned from Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, the team collected high resolution, overlapping photographs to create a three-dimensional spatial map – with resolution on the order of several centimeters – to aid in their geologic mapping efforts.

The 70-page report, "Quartz Vein Investigation, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona," includes: site and geologic maps, aerial and color photographs, data tables, and photomicrographs of quartz. The conclusion details the chronology of geologic events responsible for deposition and later deformation of quartz veins beginning at about 1,750 million years before the present through geologic time to about 10 million years ago.

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is situated north of central Scottsdale. The Gateway Trailhead is reached via the Thompson Peak Parkway.

For information on the Preserve–hours, events, education, volunteering, maps and trails, visit http://www.mcdowellsonoran.org/home

Citation:  Gootee, B.F. and Gruber, D.G., 2015, Quartz vein investigation, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Open File Report, OFR-15-03, 69 p.

 

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

Melanie Tluczek
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy
Scottsdale, AZ
PH: 480-998-7971 Ext. 105
melanie@mcdowellsonoran.org

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7.6.2015

New geologic map of Page Springs 7.5 minute quadrangle, Yavapai County, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona. The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) is releasing a new contributed geologic map of the Page Springs quadrangle by Dr. Richard F. Holm, Associate Professor Emeritus, Northern Arizona University. Page Springs is situated in the northern part of the Verde Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona.

Dr. Holm brings more than 40 years mapping experience in central and northern Arizona to the project.

The western half of the quadrangle displays a cover of fluvial and lacustrine rocks of the Miocene and Pliocene Verde Formation. Miocene volcanic rocks occupy the eastern half, and Permian sedimentary rocks underlie the northeast area of the quadrangle.  The geologic map includes 49 volcanic vent structures and intrusions.

The House Mountain shield volcano, the largest volcanic vent in Verde Valley, is situated on the adjacent quadrangle to the east.  The most prominent volcano in Page Springs is Windmill Mountain. Most of the vents in the map area are lava cones.

The map product includes a16 page report with rock descriptions, a correlation sheet, and 4 map plates showing the distribution of rocks, volcanic vents and specimen samples in Page Springs.  All are freely available online as high resolution PDF files: http://repository.azgs.az.gov/uri_gin/azgs/dlio/1637

Citation:  Holm, R.F., 2015, Geologic map of the Page Springs 7.5-Minute Quadrangle, Yavapai County, Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Map CM-15-A, 1:24,000 map scale, 16 p, four map sheets.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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6.29.2015

Protecting the public and property from post-wildfire debris flows

Tucson, AZ - Across the western U.S., wildfires are increasing in size and severity. Couple this with growing human encroachment into the wildland-urban interface, and the result is that people and property are at greater risks from wildfires and from the aftermath of fires than ever before.

Click to view a larger imageA new report by the Arizona Geological Survey, Geodatabase of Post-Wildfire Study Basins, presents rainfall and post-fire debris-flow data from six recent and two older wildfires.  Debris flows constitute a potentially severe threat to people and property in and around mountain ranges and areas of high relief (e.g., the Mogollon Rim) in Arizona.

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) worked together to assess how well three USGS models predicted post-wildfire debris flows in Arizona. Results from this and other studies around the intermountain west are being used to update model A, the best performing model. The AZGS and the USGS are currently working to and to define rainfall intensity-duration thresholds that trigger post-fire debris flows in Arizona. These tools can be used to rapidly assess potential post-fire debris-flow hazards, to evaluate mitigation strategies, and to provide early warnings to protect people and property.

Author Dr. Ann Youberg is a research scientist at the Survey and has worked with National Forest Service as a member of Burned Area Emergency Response team (BAER) team charged with evaluating post-fire hazards and recommending emergency measures to treat and mitigate burned areas. With support from the USGS, she continues to collect data from new wildfires to better understand the triggering mechanisms and thresholds for generating post-fire debris flows.

Included in this report: geospatial data from the study - study basins and outlet locations, wildfire perimeters and final soil burn severity data, rain gauge locations, and 10 m digital elevation models with associated hill shaded models; and an excel spreadsheet with post-wildfire rain precipitation data for the six recent wildfires. Data from new wildfires will be added as they become available.

The report and data are available free at the AZGS Document Repository.

Citation: Youberg A., 2015, Geodatabase of Post-Wildfire Study Basins: Assessing the predictive strengths of post-wildfire debris-flow models in Arizona, and defining rainfall intensity-duration thresholds for initiation of post-fire debris flow. Arizona Geological Survey Digital Information, DI-44, 10 p., geodatabase, and Excel workbook.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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6.24.2015

New compilation of breccia pipe distribution in northwestern Arizona

Click to view larger

Cross sectional view of a breccia pipe (from Wenrich and Sutphin, 1988) - click to enlarge

Tucson, Arizona. The Arizona Geological Survey is releasing a new map compilation of known or suspected breccia pipe locations in northwestern Arizona: Partial database for breccia pipes and collapse features on the Colorado Plateau, northwestern Arizona. It appears from this work that the number of suspected breccia pipes is one to two orders of magnitude greater than previously recognized. The study raises the possibility that the higher concentration of breccia pipes is likely to extend across the entire region.

Mineralized breccia pipes—pipe-like masses of broken rock—may contain high-grade uranium ore and variable amounts of copper, gold, silver, vanadium and other mineral ore. More than 71 mineralized breccia pipes have been discovered in the region, and as of 2010, nine of these pipes yielded more than 10,500 metric tons of uranium.

Breccia pipes are vertical formations, typically a few tens to hundreds of feet across and hundreds to thousands of feet in vertical extent. The pipes formed more than 200 million years ago within Paleozoic and Triassic rocks over a broad area around Grand Canyon. The pipes formed as groundwater, flowing through Redwall Limestone dissolution breccias and along fracture zones, dissolved more limestone, causing collapse of overlying rocks and possibly creating sink holes.

This new map is accompanied by an Excel Workbook database with three datasets. The datasets are drawn from geologic maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey and from mapping by geologic consultant and co-author Karen Wenrich. The datasets include point locations and comments on features identified as 1) breccia pipes, 2) collapse structures that might be breccia pipes, and 3) circular features that might be collapse features or breccia pipes.

Arizona Mining Review e-video magazine Lee Allison, AZGS Director, interviewing Jon Spencer on the nature and scope of breccia pipes in northwestern Arizona. Released 24 June 2015.

Some features occur in more than one dataset, so the total number of features is less than the 3,286 features comprising the three datasets. GIS data as ArcGIS shapefiles built from the three datasets are included with this publication.

US Geological Survey geoscientists estimated that roughly 8% of breccia pipes contain some mineralization (Wenrich and Sutphin, 1988). A fraction of those are likely to host economic concentrations of minerals. 

In 2012, the U.S. Department of the Interior withdrew from mining 1,006,545 acres of federal lands in northern Arizona for a 20-year period to prevent further exploration or development of uranium on those lands. Withdrawal curtails new exploration of breccia pipes and limits production to those pipes with valid existing mineral rights.

Citations: 

Spencer J.E., Wenrich, K. and Cole, T., 2015, Partial database for breccia pipes and collapse features on the Colorado Plateau, northwestern Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Digital Information, DI-42, 5 p., 1 map plate, shapefiles, and Excel Workbook.

Wenrich, K.J. and Sutphin, H.B., 1988, Recognition of Breccia Pipes in Northern Arizona. Arizona Bureau of Geology and Mineral Technology, Fieldnotes, v18, #1, p1-5.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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6.12.2015

One hundred State and Federal Geologists Descend on Flagstaff, Arizona

Tucson, AZ - On 15 June 2015, 100 state and federal geologists kick off the 107th Annual Meeting of the Association of American State Geologists at Flagstaff’s High Country Conference Center. Representatives from state geological surveys across the country and a variety of federal earth science agencies, professional associations, and industry meet for 5 days to discuss geologic issues and policies of local, regional and national significance.

Speakers include prominent scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, State Geological Surveys, and the American Geosciences Institute (a federation of geoscientific and professional associations representing more than 250,000 geoscientists).

Dr. Suzette Kimball, Acting Director, US Geological Survey, is a keynote speaker at the opening session.

Breakout sessions on Monday and Wednesday focus on topical issues of regional and national importance: natural hazards – catastrophic ground collapse, induced seismicity, and coastal and offshore issues – all of which have featured prominently in news stories over the past several years. Another hot topic is groundwater monitoring – a matter of great significance to the drought-stricken Southwestern U.S. The meeting will also address education and outreach, preserving historic geologic data, and mineral assessment.

As part of the conference, attendees will visit the San Francisco volcanic field, Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Park.
For additional information and a schedule of events, see the AASG Annual Meeting 2015 site. To schedule interviews please contact Michael Conway.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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5.29.2015

Arizona's San Pedro River – where geology and water meet

Tucson, Arizona. Arizona’s San Pedro River is one of largest undammed rivers in the Southwestern United States. A new Special Paper by the Arizona Geological Survey details the geology and geomorphology of the river providing the context for understanding its present configuration and the role that associated young sedimentary deposits play in the hydrology of the river and surrounding floodplains.

The report’s 15 illustrations include annotated photographs, geologic maps and cross sections, and comparative photographs that evince changes in river channel morphology over the past years and decades.

Pearthree and Cook summarize the local geology and the geomorphic evolution of San Pedro River during the middle and late Quaternary (from 780 ka to the recent). This is essential for understanding the physical setting of Holocene San Pedro River deposits and for delineating areas associated with river subflow in the San Pedro River Watershed; a matter of great concern to water managers and nearby communities.

The perennial San Pedro flows over one-hundred miles north-northwest from the US-Mexico frontier (elevation 4,260 ft.) to its confluence with the Gila River (elevation 1920 ft.) near Winkelman, Arizona. Babocomari River and Aravaipa Creek are its two major tributaries. The San Pedro drains an area of about 4,720 sq. miles – nearly the size of Connecticut – in parts of Cochise, Graham, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the San Pedro River downcut dramatically, leaving the former floodplain 5 to 30 feet above the modern channel.

This work was jointly supported by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Geological Survey.

The report is available in PDF format online. Printed copies are available at the AZGS Map & Book Store at 416 W. Congress, Tucson. To order by phone call 520-770-3500.

Citation: Pearthree, P.A. and Cook, J.P., Geology and Geomorphology of the San Pedro River, Southeastern Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Special Paper 10, 24 p.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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5.21.2015

Release of revised Wintersburg Earth Fissure Map, Maricopa County, Arizona

Tucson, AZ - The Arizona Geological Survey has released an updated map of Earth fissures in the Wintersburg area, west of Phoenix. The map incorporates new earth fissures and renewed activity on existing fissures resulting from heavy rains last fall.

The Wintersburg Earth Fissure map and data are freely available online in a variety of formats:

Background Information

Earth fissures are cracks, seams, or separations in the ground caused by tensional forces related to differential land subsidence that accompanies extensive groundwater pumping. The earliest appearance of fissures in Arizona was near Eloy in 1927. Individual fissures range in length from hundreds of feet to miles, and in width from inches to tens of feet. Currently, geoscientists believe that fissures initially form at the groundwater table and then propagate upwards hundreds of feet to the surface. Because fissures are commonly oriented perpendicular to local drainages, they are capable of capturing surface runoff. Inrushing waters may cause dramatic changes in fissure geometry, both length and width, leading to erosion of sidewalls and gully development.   

Earth fissures are a geologic hazard in the arid valleys of central and south-central Arizona. As population centers expand into subsiding areas of basins/valleys, residents and structures are placed in closer proximity to fissures. Property owners are encouraged to 1) set structures as far away from fissures as possible, and 2) prevent water from entering them.

Reports of earth fissures are limited to Cochise, Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties in central and south-central Arizona. 

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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4.17.2015

NGDS ATLAS – Your window into the National Geothermal Data System

Tucson, Arizona. The 60-page (10 Mb) National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) Atlas conveys the nature, quality and quantity of geothermal-related data available for all 50 U.S. states through the NGDS Catalog.

Each U.S. state is portrayed in the Atlas in a succinct summary that includes that state’s contribution to the NGDS Catalog and an at-a-glance data wheel to characterize the types and volumes of data available.

NGDS CATALOG - The NGDS catalog exposes over 10 million data records and will grow as our contributors from industry, state surveys, and Department of Energy funded repositories continue to collect and add data. The Atlas illustrates the breadth and diversity of NGDS holdings, which range broadly from legacy data PDF documents to Excel data tables, to geologic map services, to well log data, to geochemical analyses and more.

NGDS Atlas

Catalog data, summarized here, are exposed, discoverable, retrievable, and free.

  • Aqueous chemistry—water chemistry parameters (~387,800)
  • Borehole lithology—intervals and intercepts (~2 million) 
  • Borehole temperatures—down-hole temperature values (~538,800)
  • Direct use & heat pump facilities (~14,000)
  • Geochemistry—major- & trace-element analyses (~53,800)
  • Geologic maps (~6,300 w/ ~815,600 geologic features)
  • Southern Methodist University (~3 million geothermal data records)
  • Water wells—supply, monitoring & irrigation (~520,000)
  • Web Map Services—access to digital maps
  • Well headers—location and elevation of wells (~1.85 million) 
  • Well logs—geophysical logs (~666,800)

NGDS – Remaking America’s Energy Landscape

The goal of NGDS is to accelerate geothermal deployment by driving down risks and costs that have historically deterred investment in geothermal energy production. The interoperable framework aids discovery of geology, faults and seismicity, heat flow, geochemistry, temperature, and drilling data from thousands of databases, geologic maps, and reports, and from millions of digitized records that were previously unavailable. NGDS conforms to the U.S. Geosciences Information Network (USGIN) specifications, a joint undertaking of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Association of American State Geologists (AASG).

USGIN meets all the requirements of the White House Open Data Policy and uses the same free, open-source content management system as Data.gov, making all NGDS data fully accessible. To continue growing this catalog, all DOE-funded geothermal projects will submit cutting-edge research onto the network through a dedicated node called the Geothermal Data Repository (GDR). Raw data, in turn, is modeled for data visualization of the subsurface by the private sector and research facilities.

To commercialize the enterprise for sustainability, the design team has transferred the NGDS to the newly formed non-profit USGIN Foundation, Inc., where staff will continue to input data and applications that can be easily deployed by the private sector to accelerate deployment of geothermal development.

Acknowledgments

Support for NGDS was provided by the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program, an Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy program under Award No. DE-E0002850. Major coordination provided by Association of American State Geologists (AASG).

Citation: Davis, R. and Conway, M, (eds.), 2015, National Geothermal Data System Atlas. Arizona Geological Survey, 60p.

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Please let us know if you have any questions regarding either the NGDS ATLAS or CATALOG.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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4.13.2015

Arizona Geological Survey receives $170,940 award for geologic mapping in western and eastern Arizona

Tucson, AZ - Geologic mapping remains a core function of the Arizona Geological Survey and a primary mineral exploration tool. The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) just awarded the AZGS $170,940 to support mapping near Oatman in Mohave County, Quartzsite in La Paz County, and northwest of Safford in Graham County.

“Geologic mapping is one of the primary functions of the AZGS.  For the past 23 years, we have been aggressive participants in the USGS-run National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, especially in the Statemap component that matches state and federal funds,” said AZGS Director Lee Allison.

Since 1992, the AZGS has been awarded $3,943,335 in StateMap funds; because these funds are matched dollar for dollar by State funds, nearly $8 million has been invested in geologic mapping in Arizona over the past 23 years. The result: more than 161 geologic map products (nine of which are still pending publication), most at the 1:24,000 map scale, comprising about 8000 square miles (see the accompanying figure).

Senior geologist Dr. Jon Spencer and Dr. Phil Pearthree, chief of the Environmental Geology, oversee a staff of five geologists that engage in mapping. Geologic map products are released in the fall of each year at the online Arizona Document Repository as free, PDF downloads.

For more information on geologic mapping in Arizona, see “Index of geologic maps available from the Arizona Geological Survey v 1.1” (2015).

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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4.8.2015

Interactive Map Blazes Trail to Arizona's U-Pick Farms

Freeman Corn Patch. Image courtesy of Freeman Farms.

Tucson, Arizona. As Arizonans celebrate our unique outdoor opportunities approaching Earth Day, a new online map will reveal opportunities for urban adventurers to spend “a day at the farm” harvesting fresh produce or experiencing Arizona’s fresh agricultural products.

Developed by the Arizona Experience team at the Arizona Geological Survey, the interactive Agritourism Experience map features 37 locations where the public can explore the grounds, buy products at a farm stand, or pick their own fresh produce. Featured crops include sweet corn, apples, chili-type peppers, pumpkins, Medjool dates, olives, lemons, Romaine lettuce, honey, and lavender. Visit the map.

As interest in how our food is produced and delivered increases, visits to “U-Pick” farms are becoming an increasingly popular leisure activity around the country. The Agritourism Experience map will expose Arizona tourists, educators, and residents to these fun and educational field trip opportunities.

Typically small and privately owned, U-Pick farms invite the public to collect their own produce from the field, grove, or orchard. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, U-pick farms can offer educational or entertaining sideshows such as kiddie rides, petting zoos, field tours, restaurants, or cooking demonstrations. Beyond selling produce, a top priority for many of these operations is teaching people how and where crops are grown.

The Agritourism Experience map will profile specialty crops, local growers, and agritourism opportunities. Users can search for one crop or browse the map to find opportunities closest to them, then click on a location for more information about hours and offerings.  A seasonal filter can show the produce ready to harvest in a given season. The map also works on most mobile devices, enabling a search on the go and driving directions from your location.

"Agritourism's popularity has grown exponentially over the last several years and Arizona has wonderful locations throughout the state where visitors can experience authentically grown food," said Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. "We're thrilled about the new Agritourism Experience Map, which will highlight all of these wonderful locations and will become a valuable resource for our visitors."

Most of the farms in the map were harvested from the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate Farm locator and Local First Arizona’s Good Food Finder. The Fill Your Plate website hosts three searchable databases that allow a statewide for farmers’ markets, Arizona-family recipes and farm products for sale from our Arizona farm and ranch families. Local First Arizona’s Good Food Finder is a searchable database of Arizona’s farms and farm products.

The “Agritourism Experience” map is part of a national effort to support the growers of specialty crops through grants administered by state Departments of Agriculture. Specialty crops are considered to be anything that is not a commodity crop for livestock.

About the Arizona Experience

The Arizona Experience is an educational and collaborative website that specializes in interactive features that showcase the people, places, culture, and events of Arizona. Thousands of multimedia assets—including current and historic photographs, audio and video samples, and interactive timelines—engross users of all ages. Materials from archives, museums, and special collections appear in interactive features designed especially for the site. Among the site's most popular features are original interactive maps that show the location of iconic landscapes, historic and active mines and mineral districts, festival locations, and more. The Recreational and Cultural Sites map, released in 2012 in partnership with the Arizona Office of Tourism, contains more than 400 points for outdoor recreation, museums, and scenic routes.

Contact:
Rowena Davis
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4156 (office)
Rowena.Davis@azgs.az.gov

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4.3.2015

Arizona County Geologic Map Series goes digital

Coconino County Geologic Map

Tucson, AZ - In 1959 and 1960, our predecessor, The Arizona Bureau of Mines - University of Arizona, published the popular Arizona county geologic map series. Until now, these important maps were only available in printed form; we are going digital.

Over the next two weeks, we'll publish the entire series of county maps online, starting with the geologic map of Apache and Navajo counties. All maps will be available free at the AZGS online document repository. The map scale is 1:375,000 and the contour interval is 500 feet.

Follow our Facebook and twitter feeds for posts announcing the release of individual maps.

Released to date

The entire suite will reside at the Arizona Geological Survey Map Series collection at our AZGS Online Document Repository.

Coming soon

  • Gila County
  • Graham and Greenlee Counties
  • Maricopa County
  • Mohave County
  • Pima and Santa Cruz Counties
  • Pinal County
  • Yavapai County
  • Yuma County (La Paz County)

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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3.24.2015

Landslides in Arizona: Building a statewide landslide inventory and hazard assessment tool to make Arizona safer

Rotational landslide, SR 87 in March 2008Tucson, Arizona. Over the past decade, landslides in Arizona have damaged roadways and buildings costing 10s of millions of dollars in repairs and adjustments.

On 20 February 2013, a landslide along the Echo Cliffs south of Page, Arizona, sliced through several hundred feet of US Route 89. No one was injured but the Arizona Dept. of Transportation (ADOT) closed the 23-mile section of road between Bitter Springs and Page. Two years and $25 million in repairs later, the highway is set to reopen.

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) is beginning a two-year project to inventory landslide sites throughout Arizona. According to AZGS research geologist, Dr. Ann Youberg, the project manager, “Our current understanding of the nature and extent of landslide activity in Arizona is rudimentary, and thus it is very difficult to assess the hazards associated with landslides.”

As part of this program, AZGS will inventory historic and prehistoric landslides, focusing initially on highly populated areas and transportation corridors where hazards and risks are greatest. But landslide hazards are on the increase as development expands into mountainous terrain and as record wildfires and monsoon rains fuel dangerous, fast moving debris flows, a type of landslide activity.

The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) is awarding $150,656 through the federal Pre-Disaster Mitigation program, to the AZGS to start compiling data on landslides, while AZGS provides a $50,219 match of non-federal funds.

The landslide database will be a useful tool for emergency managers throughout the state,” said Wendy Smith-Reeve, DEMA Deputy Director.  “By understanding which communities are at risk, we can take steps to mitigate the threat.”

This program will create an online interactive Arizona Statewide Landslide Inventory Database (AzSLID) of known and newly identified landslides; and an outreach and education program to inform local, tribal, county, state and federal stakeholders and the general public regarding the distribution, nature and scope of landslides and landslide hazards in Arizona. 

According to Phil Pearthree, Chief of the Environmental Geology section of the AZGS, “For the first time, AZGS will begin to systematically assess the distribution of landslides in Arizona. With this catalog in hand, we will be able to identify existing and potential landslides that may impact infrastructure and pose a threat/risk to people and property.”

Last year’s Oso, Washington, landslide, claimed 43 lives and reignited nationwide concern regarding our national and local vulnerability to a geological hazard common to all 50 states and responsible for upwards of 50 deaths and $2 billion in damages annually.

The data will be available in a variety of formats, including GIS formats, and freely accessible to land management authorities, policy makers and the public, online at the interactive Natural Hazards in Arizona site. 

Inventorying landslides and developing hazard and risk map assessments now will make Arizonans, their property and infrastructure safer in the years ahead.

Additional online landslide resources:

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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1.29.2015

New Earth Fissure Maps for Maricopa and Pima Counties

McMullen Valley, Maricopa County. Photograph of an apparently active fissure, about 1,900 feet in length, displaying well-defined sidewalls. It appeared sometime between 1997 and 2003. In the background are the Harcuvar Mountains of west-central Arizona.

Tucson, AZ - The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) continues to map, monitor, and inform the public regarding earth fissures in south-central and southeastern Arizona. New earth fissure maps are available for McMullen Valley, Maricopa County, and Avra Valley, Pima County. Updated earth fissure maps for Chandler Heights and Luke in Maricopa County are also being released.

The maps can be viewed online at the AZGS Earth Fissure Viewer; at the Arizona Geological Repository; or via the Earth Fissure Viewer for Google Earth

These new earth fissure maps employ a base map of National Agriculture Imagery Program aerial photography. The Luke and McMullen fissure maps are accompanied by subsidence maps courtesy of the Arizona Dept. of Water Resources ground subsidence monitoring program. 

AZGS geologists mapped five earth fissures in McMullen Valley, including approximately 4,800 feet of continuous and 4,000 feet of discontinuous fissures. (See the photograph below.) Several fissures appear to have formed in the 1970s, while others date to between 1997 and 2003; possibly forming in late 1997 concurrent with heavy rains that accompanied Hurricane Nora.

Four earth fissures crop out in Avra Valley, several miles south and southwest of Marana in Pima County. One fissure opened in fall 1988, intersecting and cracking the Central Arizona Project Canal (CAP). (CAP engineers repaired the cracked structure, which was constructed to accommodate 50 years of projected subsidence.) Avra Valley fissures generally appear to be older and inactive and are partially filled by sediments that have washed in during sheet flooding.

Besides posing a threat to infrastructure, fissures are frequently used as an illegal dumping ground for tires, appliances, construction debris, manure and other sundry items.  Because fissures extend downward to the water table they represent a potential conduit for surface runoff to contaminate groundwater resources.

The AZGS Earth Fissure Mapping Program will continue to monitor existing earth fissures and map new ones as they form. AZGS geologists are working with hydrologists from the Arizona Dept. of Water Resources to better understand where and when fissures will appear, and with local environmental and geological engineers on ways to mitigate and minimize the impact of earth fissures.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Earth fissures are cracks, seams, or separations in the ground produced during differential land subsidence that accompanies extensive groundwater harvesting. The earliest appearance of fissures in Arizona was near Eloy in 1927. Individual fissures range in length from hundreds of feet to miles, and in width from inches to tens of feet. Currently, geoscientists believe that fissures initially form at the groundwater table and then propagate upwards hundreds of feet to the surface. Because fissures are commonly oriented perpendicular to local drainages, they are capable of capturing surface runoff.  In-rushing waters may result in rapid erosion of sidewalls and gully development causing dramatic and sudden changes in fissure geometry -- length, depth, and width.   

Earth fissures are a geologic hazard in the arid valleys of central and south-central Arizona. As population centers expand into subsiding areas of basins/valleys, residents and structures are placed in closer proximity to fissures. Property owners are encouraged to 1) set structures as far away from fissures as possible, and 2) prevent water from entering fissures.

Reports of earth fissures are confined to Cochise, Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties in central and south-central Arizona. In 2007, AZGS released 1:250,000-scale planning maps of the four counties showing the approximate locations of earlier reported earth fissures. These earth fissure planning maps are available free, online at the Earth Fissure Center. AZGS is charged by state statute with mapping earth fissures in Arizona. 

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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1.9.2015

Arizona Geological Survey appoints a Deputy Director

Tucson, Arizona. The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) recently hired Chris Hanson as its first ever Deputy Director. Chris joins the AZGS with more than 17 years leadership experience, including senior positions with the American Society of Civil Engineers as Director of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute, and also with the National Society of Professional Engineers, International Dark Skies Association, and the Critical Path Institute. Chris' experience also includes working in state government earth science and environmental programs, having served previously with AZGS to help develop its successful $21 million grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy to populate and deploy the National Geothermal Data System, and with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in both field operations and in its planning office. Chris has earned the Certified Association Executive designation through the American Society of Association Executives.

"The Arizona Geological Survey's accomplishments are truly impressive and reflects the caliber of the team. I am looking forward to helping further enhance AZGS' growth and achievements," said Chris.

AZGS Director and State Geologist, Lee Allison, said, "Over the past 15 years, Chris has focused on developing, implementing, and managing complex scientific and technical programs across diverse disciplines. This makes him the ideal selection as deputy director." AZGS operates in an entrepreneurial model where grants and contracts account for 90% of its funding to support AZGS's mission to make the state safer from natural hazards and to support the wise use of Arizona's natural resources. AZGS is also increasingly a leader in national and international cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences.

Contact:
Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.209.4146 (office)
520.971.3688 (cell)
Michael.Conway@azgs.az.gov

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