Thursday, January 24, 2008

New geologic mapping will address mining, water issues

The USGS STATEMAP program has awarded the Arizona Geological Survey $217,761 to produce new 1:24,000 scale geologic maps starting in September:

  • three 7.5' quadrangles in the Rosemont-Helvetia-Empire-Sonoita basin area centered on the Rosemont copper prospect in the Santa Rita Mountains area.
  • the Chino Valley North 7.5' Quadrangle north-northeast of Prescott.
  • the Dolan Springs 7.5' Quadrangle northwest of Kingman.
Selection of the map areas was made by the AZGS State Mapping Advisory Committee, made up of geologists from industry, consulting, and state and federal agencies.

The decision to map around the Rosemont copper mine area was driven by the need for more accurate and detailed information to constrain groundwater models and the impacts from the proposed mine.

Maps in the Prescott area are intended to examine bedrock aquifers including structural controls on groundwater. This area is in the news this week with reports that the Salt River Project may sue over plans by Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley to pump water from the Big Chino aquifer which also feeds the Verde River.

Mapping of the Dolan Springs quad in the Kingman area is intended to help prepare for expected development and rapid population growth in this area.

Over the 15 years of the STATEMAP cooperative mapping program since 1993, AZGS has received $2.634 million for geologic mapping, the 4th largest amount among the 50 states.

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