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News Release: AZGS releases geologic strip maps for Arizona's Verde River

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) is releasing five new geologic map sheets showing the extent and age relationships of Holocene channel and floodplain deposits along the Verde River of north-central Arizona. A 51-page report accompanies the maps.

Arizona's rivers are an integral part of the State's water resources. In an ongoing effort to understand the water resources associated with Arizona's rivers, the Arizona Department of Water Resources engaged AZGS to map Holocene-age deposits of the Verde River as part of the Gila River stream adjudication program.

The Verde River winds 178 miles from its headwaters in the Chino Valley to its confluence with the Salt River, east of Phoenix. Draining parts of Coconino, Gila, Maricopa and Yavapai Counties, the Verde River watershed covers more than 6,500 square miles.

AZGS's mapping team constructed geologic strip maps of a two-mile wide swath centered on the river's active channel and running the length of the river. Geologic mapping was overlain on USGS 7.5 minute, 1:24,000-scale topographic maps. The team used earlier mapping, aerial photography, and extensive field work – establishing GPS stations on approximately one-mile centers along the course of the river – to map modern and recently active channel and floodplain deposits, river terraces and adjacent tributary deposits, eroded older basin deposits, and bedrock.

The geologic maps provide foundational geologic data for deciphering the recent history of the Verde River system. Young Verde River sediments – those deposited over the past 10,000-years -- are subdivided by age and broadly grouped into two classes: channel deposits that comprise mostly sand and gravel; and, overbank floodplain and terrace deposits that consist of sand, silt, and clay with minor gravel.

Stakeholders – water managers, civil authorities, ranchers, wildlife biologists, archeologists, environmentalists, and the Arizona public – should find these maps indispensible for physical and biological studies of the Verde River riparian corridor.

The geologic maps and technical report are available in PDF format at

Printed copies and the GIS data are available at the AZGS Map & Book Store at 416 W. Congress, Ste 100, Tucson, 85701. To order call 520-770-3500 or fax 520-770-3505.

Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701

Citation: Cook, J.P., Pearthree, P.A., Onken, J.A., Youberg, A. and Bigio, E.R., 2010, Mapping of Holocene River Alluvium along the Verde River, Central Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Digital Map DM-RM-2, 51 p., 5 sheets, scale 1:24,000.




News Release: State Geological Surveys Kick Off 18 Million Dollar Geothermal Program

America is doubling down on renewable geothermal energy with an 18 million dollar U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to the Arizona Geological Survey as the leader of a national coalition of state geological surveys to fill the recently established National Geothermal Data System with online digital data from every state. Funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Members of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and their partners will digitize and serve geothermal-relevant data for exploration and development of the nation's diverse and abundant geothermal energy resources.

State geological surveys have for decades collected, gathered, and archived large volumes of data that will help identify and characterize geothermal energy resources. The bulk of that data exists in paper form, limiting accessibility and frustrating data mining. A key goal of the NGDS is interoperability, or seamless data integration across all the data bases and computer servers in the system.

Dr. Lee Allison, State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey, and Principal Investigator on the project, said, "There is a tremendous renewed interest in geothermal energy nationwide for electricity, space heating, and heat pump use. We envision an almost endless frontier of new renewable energy opportunities when these data are delivered seamlessly to the computer desktop."

NGDS is being designed and built by a coalition of geothermal organizations, universities and government partners under a DOE grant through Boise State University in Idaho. The new project will set up digital archives in every state and make those data available through the online NGDS network at no cost to users.

Each state geological survey possesses a diverse suite of geothermal data for populating NGDS. A partial aggregate list of that data includes:

  • Well data – aggregate of 2 million water, oil & gas and geothermal wells; •
  • Well cores and cuttings – for over 17 million feet from 540,000+ wells;
  • Bottom-hole temperatures – from more than 750,000 wells;
  • Geologic maps – more than 82,000 maps nationwide;
  • Existing digital databases – over 6 terabytes of data; and
  • Over 75,000 geothermal-related publications.

About 85% of the 18-million dollars is allocated among the 46 participating states for digitizing and documenting data for populating NGDS.

Partners in the new project are the U.S. Geological Survey, Microsoft External Research, and Energistics, Inc. a non-profit consortium that works on data standards in the energy industry.

Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey
416 W. Congress, Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85701