Geologic Mapping of Grand Canyon, 150 Years and Counting


Grand Canyon Geologic Map Section


Thursday, February 28, 2019


Memorial Union, Arizona Ballroom (Room 221)
301 E Orange St, Tempe, AZ 85281


Karl E Karlstrom, PhD

Presentation Abstract

Geologic maps are to geologists what equations are to mathematicians; they symbolically and compactly encode many layers of hard-won scientific knowledge for those who know how to read them. The best ones also are beautiful. There have been great challenges and great progress in geologic mapping of Grand Canyon over the past 150 years. Dutton era (1886) maps represent major advances in cartography and geology. The Huntoon et al., (1996) 1:62,500 “Dragon Map” of Eastern Grand Canyon is the best-selling geologic map of all time; it was produced by offset printing and is now out of print. The Timmons and Karlstrom (2012) Geologic Map of Eastern Grand Canyon at 1:24,000 is the most detailed available for large areas; it has been digitized and is being converted to GIS files. The Billingsley’s USGS maps of the entire Grand Canyon region are available at 1:100,000 as GIS files online. Next challenges are to incorporate multiple scales in Google Earth-style zooming in interactive 3-D geologic portrayals. This requires higher detail boots-on-the-ground geologic mapping than is currently available in many areas as well as innovative ideas for 3-D visualizations. Imagery and visualization technologies are available such that this “Grand Challenge” is within reach.