Contract Report for FY 2019 & FY 2020 National Geological & Geophysical Data Preservation Project

Abstract

The Bureau of Economic Geology has a rich history of mineral exploration and mining that predates its role as the Geological Survey of Texas, established in 1858. Many publications from the United States Geological Survey, United States Bureau of Mines, and Bureau of Economic Geology addressing mineral resources were published before the digital age and the development of the internet. Most of this valuable information is preserved and archived as annual mineral reports, reports of investigations, mineral circulars, and other products published between 1858 and 1990.

As part of the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Project funded through the United States Geological Survey, two project goals were developed to assist in the identification of critical minerals in Texas.

Project Goal 1 for 2019 and 2020 aimed to acquire and review all publications, materials, and data that reference and describe mineral information, mineral deposits, and occurrences hosting critical minerals. This data was transcribed into provided spreadsheets and information templates, including details such as name, location, geology, resource information on contained commodities, production information, resource or reserve estimations, ore grade, deposit type, mining history, reference citations, and other relevant information.

Project Goal 2 aimed to develop a statewide depth to Precambrian basement map in common geospatial digital data format using the national Geologic Map Schema (GeMS) and available seismic and drill core data. Although Precambrian basement has been mapped and interpolated in oil and gas basins, and identified as surface (and near-surface) exposure in central and western Texas, there had not been an effort to compile all of these data into a complete and distributable geospatial dataset and published basement map. The state of Texas boasts abundant well log data, and the Bureau of Economic Geology, functioning as the state geological survey, possesses numerous seismic and geophysical surveys, as well as thousands of cross-sections and drill core data. This project aimed to leverage these resources to create a comprehensive and accessible dataset and map of Precambrian basement depths across the state.

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