FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 3, 2022
Ben DeJong, State Geologist
Department of Environmental Conservation, Agency of Natural Resources
Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Geological Survey (VGS) released five new geologic maps to help address issues like groundwater contamination, landslide hazards, and geologic resource planning. The new surficial geologic maps show the types of glacial and other loose materials above the state’s bedrock like clay, sand, gravel, and till.
“Our state is well known for strong environmental programs and careful, planned growth. We focus on proactive assistance, planning, and protection rather than clean-up and after-the-fact fixes,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner John Beling. “We work to make it easy for Vermonters to find and view new information like geologic maps. With new information, we can better balance the impact of human activity with environmental protection.”
Each year, the VGS (bit.ly/VT-VGS) works with universities to release new maps of Vermont towns, watersheds, and areas called quadrangles. This year, the VGS worked with George Springston of Norwich University and Stephen Wright of the University of Vermont.
Together, the group mapped the Woodsville, Barnet, Lincoln, Mount Ellen, and Brookfield quadrangles. The quadrangles are within a 1600+ square mile area called the Montpelier “one-degree sheet” or 1-D sheet. From 2022 to 2024, the VGS plans to map the rest of the areas in the Montpelier 1-D sheet. Then, the VGS can compile all the areas into the state’s first complete, seamless, and high-resolution 1-D map.
“This comes at a time when our country and our state are heavily focused on infrastructure,” said State Geologist Ben DeJong. “All of our infrastructure is built over and dependent on the geologic framework. Through focused geologic mapping, we can assure a safer and more sustainable built environment. Plus, we can better define resources available to us and provide the information necessary to assess environmental and geologic hazards.”
Town planners, scientists, consultants, educators, industry professionals, and members of the public can use the geologic maps to address scientific or societal issues. For example, town planners use geologic maps to address issues like water supply and wastewater in areas with high population growth and dense development. Consultants rely on maps to figure out the transport, fate, and impact of spilled contaminants like motor oils. Property owners may use maps to learn about the type and source of materials on their properties, assess hazards like unstable slopes, and better understand their groundwater resources.
Members of the public can find all VGS maps online (bit.ly/VGS-Maps) or ask for paper copies. They can also see maps listed by town (bit.ly/VGS-Town-Maps) or learn about the many uses of maps (bit.ly/Map-Uses).
The U.S. Geological Survey funds the VGS mapping program through STATEMAP, a yearly competitive grant through the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. The VGS has received this funding for each of the last 25 years.
For more information, visit the VGS Mapping Program (bit.ly/VGS-Mapping). If Ben DeJong is not available, contact Jon Kim at 802-522-5401 or Jon.Kim@vermont.gov or Julia Boyles at 802-661-8281 or Julia.Boyles@vermont.gov.