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Great Salt Lake, Jordan River, and mapping in my backyard

Adam McKean, one of our Geologists here at the Utah Geological Survey, is featured as a guest author on the blog The Traveling Geologist. Check it out!


Urban geologic mapping may sound like a mapping geologist’s nightmare with all the private property, disturbed land, and development rapidly covering up the geology. Despite these difficulties, my experience with it has been exciting and challenging. Why map geology in and near the city? The simple answer is that urban areas need surficial geologic maps to aid in geologic-hazard identification and mitigation. Additionally, a good geologic map provides the basic geologic information needed for further geologic, groundwater, geotechnical, and engineering investigations.