GEOL/METR 309: Investigating
Land, Sea and Air Interactions

Fall 2005, SFSU

Questions about Geologic Maps

Dr. Dave Dempsey
Dr. Lisa White
(Dept. of Geosciences)

For this exercise, refer to the Web page called "Geologic Maps" published by the National Park Service and the United States Geologic Survey (USGS), at Your group should read through the document and address each of the questions below. We will appoint a spokesperson from your group who should be prepared to report your group's responses to any of the questions.

  1. How are geologic maps different from topographic maps?

  2. When might one use a geologic map instead of a topographic map?

  3. How are geologic rock units represented on a geologic map?

  4. How do geologists distinguish among rock units?

  5. What do the letter symbols mean on a geologic map? What symbol would you use for rocks of the Tertiary Briones sandstone unit?

  6. What are "strike" and "dip", and how are they represented on a geologic map?

  7. What is a map key? Make your own map key from the map shown in the section "Colored Areas".

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