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Data Preservation

Science Base Geologic Sections Collection Map

Before curation, VDOT Geologic Sections Collection (2014). This collection is now scanned and available electronically from National Digital Catalog.

The Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (DGMR) serves as Virginia’s geological survey. The Division is responsible for gathering and disseminating geologic and mineral resources information, and encouraging the wise use and sustainable development of mineral, water, and energy resources to support a more productive economy. Since the early 1900s, DGMR (and its predecessors in name) has maintained valuable collections of geologic materials.

DGMR’s archives include extensive collections of rock, mineral, and fossil specimens, historic photographs, rock thin sections, results of petrographic analyses, geochemical laboratory results, reports on groundwater and mineral springs, historic and out-of-print publications, geophysical well logs, seismic lines, well cuttings, and drill cores.

Project history

Since 2007, the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) has awarded grants to State geological surveys to support the preservation of physical geological specimens, reports, maps and other documents in State archives. The Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (DGMR) has been the recipient of these funds for 7 of the last 8 years.

With NGGDPP support, DGMR developed a comprehensive process of inventorying, cataloging and disseminating the collections using the VGIC (Virginia Geologic Information Catalog) and our Interactive Map. This is an on-going effort.

The metadata associated with each collection is also made available in the National Digital Catalog, Science Base. To-date DGMR has uploaded 104,000 records to the National Digital Catalog.


# Records

Interactive Map


DMME Web Store

USGS Science Base

Aerial Photographs 7,622       Catalog
Borehole Data 1,800       Catalog
Carbonate Sample Analyses 5,400   View   Catalog
Clay Sample Analyses 870   View   Catalog
Coal Quality Data 375   View   Catalog
Core Repository 447   View   Catalog
Economic Geology Mineral Resources Files 9,500     Catalog
Field Notebooks 135       Catalog/Download
Geologic Sections (VDOT) 5,500       Catalog/Download
Geophysical Data 1,734 View/Download     Catalog
Historic Photographs 9,180       Catalog
Historic Uranium Exploration Information 1,500       Catalog
Historic Topographic Maps 640     View/Download Catalog/Download
Mineral Resources of Virginia (MRV) 10,442 View/Download     Catalog
Oil and Gas Well Cuttings 7,376       Catalog
Paleontological 1,100       Catalog
Publications 5,200 View/Download View View/Download Catalog/Download

Rock Repository

7,500   View   Catalog
Thin Sections 4,525       Catalog
Silica Sample Analyses 51       Catalog
Sinkhole Maps 336 View/Download     Catalog
Unpublished Geologic Maps 670   View   Catalog/Download
UVA Mineral and Rock Specimens 6,273       Catalog

Science Base Geologic Sections Collection Map

Figure 2: Science Base VDOT Geologic Sections Dataset (2015)

Current Work

For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the NGGDPP grant supported DGMR in the inventory, cataloging, scanning and metadata creation for 5,500 geologic section composite sheets. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Geologic Sections Dataset (Figure 2) consists of site-specific, large-scale geologic cross-sections (composite sheets).  These sections were acquired from VDOT in order to save them from disposal.  They are geological profiles created for highway construction projects containing extensive core, auger and split-spoon logs at scales of 1:50 and 1:100 providing a unique record of subsurface geological and geotechnical data along roadways throughout Virginia. The thousands of feet of vertical subsurface data represents millions of dollars of investment in data acquisition by VDOT.    The sections are useful as indicators of subsurface geology in large parts of Virginia.  It will aid in geologic mapping in area where outcrops are sparse. 

Each record provides information on the location (cross-roads), number of cores drilled, and in some cases, depth to bedrock, lithology and depth to water. These records are searchable using county, location, and cross-roads. 

A PDF version of each composite map is available online using our Interactive Map. A high-resolution TIFF version is available by contacting DGMR.

For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the NGGDPP grant is supporting DGMR in the inventory, cataloging, digital archiving, conservation and metadata creation for an estimated 160 unpublished open file reports, 265 unpublished field notebooks and maps, and an estimated 15 core holes with about 1,500 feet of rock core.

Web Sites:

USGS National Digital Catalog Science Base

National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP)

Access DGMR's Datasets