National Earth Science Week (October 14-19) concludes today with a special focus on geologic mapping and its importance to society. Geologic Map Day aims to put the spotlight on the uses of geologic maps for education, science, business, and a variety of public policy concerns. For example, DNR’s Geology and Earth Resources Division maps areas in Washington susceptible to soil liquefaction and other hazards. These maps help planners, builders and citizens to better understand the potential risks that earthquakes may post to buildings, roads, utilities and other human-constructed features.
Another map — the online Shallow Landslide Hazard Map shows the latest risk levels for mudslide by county. Still in beta testing but available to view, this online map is a joint project between DNR, the National Weather Service/NOAA.
Or you can really dig down (sorry, pun intended) with DNR’s Washington State Geologic Information Portal. These interactive maps allow you to create, save, and print custom geologic maps for almost any location in the state. You can even search by street address if you want. You also can download map data for use in a geographic information system (GIS) from the portal, which features several ‘pre-loaded’ maps focusing on landslides, tsunami evacuation, geothermal resources, subsurface geology, Mount Rainier lahar hazards and more. Here’s a 2-page fact sheet explaining how to get the most out of the Washington State Geologic Information Portal.