Geological Survey maps document hazards, wonders of St. George area

Published: Tuesday, July 10 2012 1:17 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Map fans who want to learn about ancient lava flows or potentially active earthquake faults in Washington County's St. George area have two new resources available to them.

The Utah Geological Survey has just published two new geologic maps intended primarily to identify potential hazards such as landslide or rock-fall prone areas or trouble spots where collapsible soils exist.

They are intended to guide government officials, land and resource managers, consultants and engineers and others who deal in the field of crafting resource protection plans or land management strategies.

The maps, however, are also an educational tool for anyone interested in the topography and colorful landscapes of this growing southwestern area of Utah.

The geologic map of the St. George quadrangle covers approximately 50 square miles of land in and around St. George, extending south to the Arizona border. The geologic map of the White Hills quadrangle covers 50 square miles immediately west of the St. George map and includes the suburb of Bloomington and the upper reaches of the Virgin River Gorge. 

Among the features that are exposed across mapped areas are colorful 190 milliono to 300 million-year-old sedimentary rocks and black 33,000- to 2.3 million-year-old basaltic lava flows. The maps also show rock formations that emit radon and drill holes from past oil and gas exploration activities. 

The maps can be viewed on the UGS website and geology.utah.gov/online

They also are available as either a printed map for $14.95 or on a DVD (contains GIS database and pdf of map) for $24.95 at the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City. For more information, call 801-537-3320 or 1-888-UTAHMAP, or visit mapstore.utah.gov

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com Twitter: amyjoi16

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