Ohio's glacial deposits (or "drift") cover about two thirds of the state and consist of unconsolidated deposits from a few inches to hundreds of feet thick. Mapping these deposits and other aspects of surficial geology provides framework information to aid land use decisions, such as building highways and other structures; safeguarding drinking water; preparing for natural disasters; protecting wildlife and their habitats; locating fuel sources; and mitigating the effects of geologic hazards. Such information benefits every Ohio citizen and industry.
As part of its mission, the Division of Geological Survey continuously researches and conducts three-dimensional (3-D) mapping of surficial geology throughout Ohio. This mapping includes the surficial geology (SG-2) "stack" maps for every 30 X 60-minute quadrangle spanning the state and their related derivative maps, which identify specific areas of potentially mineable industrial minerals. These efforts help to ensure the wise use and development of surficial materials and resources.
The following lists identify some of the division's more recent projects as well as ongoing programs that are part of the surficial geology program.
Recent Surficial Geology Research & Mapping
News and Publications
Surficial Geology (SG-2) Map Series—Completed 30 X 60 quadrangles. Funded through USGS STATEMAP program; learn more here.
Surficial Geology Derivative Maps:
Downloadable Maps & Documents
History of the Survey's Surficial Mapping Program
- The Land Beneath the Land—Top-of-Rock and Drift-Thickness Maps, Ohio Geology, Winter 1988 [2.3 MB PDF]
- Catch Our Drift—The Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition, Ohio Geology, 2000, Nos. 2,3,4 [2.3 MB PDF]
- What the Glaciers Left Behind—The Drift-Thickness Map of Ohio, Ohio Geology, 2004, No. 1 [1.0 MB PDF]
The Division of Geological Survey's research and mapping of Ohio's glacial materials is funded in part through the U.S. Geological Survey via the Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition. The division has received Coalition funding continuously since 2002. Learn more about the Coalition here.
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