Don't Panic Geocast

Episode 8 - "Canal Side Geologist" Making Maps

March 13th, 2015

What is a geologic map?

  • Conveys many sorts of geologic information
  • The whole basis of field geology
  • Can be a surface,bedrock, subsurface, resource, soil, etc. map

Making the Map

  • Start off with your field gear…like we talked about in episode 2. We said episode 1 in the show, but that was wrong!
  • Have a base map (Geomorphologic map—we call these topos)…you need to know where you are at
  • You can use an iPad/GPS with pre-loaded topo maps, or you just have your paper basemap.
  • John likes the Garmin 62S GPS unit
  • You don’t want to become too reliant technology in the field because it could be a life or death situation
  • You need to have done your research before you go

History of geologic maps

  • Book: The map that changed the world, by Simon Winchester
  • 1793 [William Smith](, who was a surveyor working for canal builders, was paying attention to all the layers of rock that he was digging through
  • He noticed that he could trace the different layers of rock that were stacked on each other
  • He also noticed the different fossils inside them meant that the rocks were the same age and could be traced all over
  • Would study coal seams, which could be easily traced and spent much time in coal mines all over England
  • His work was highly plagiarized, causing him to go bankrupt and into debtor’s prison
  • Bestowed the Wollaston Medal by the Geological Society of London in 1831
  • Known as the father of English geology

Modern Tools

Fun Paper Friday

This week we go over a paper that discusses one of Shannon’s favorite sayings: All Models Are Wrong, but Some Are Useful, Field (2015)

Three main points:

1) “Given all models are wrong, what we really hope is that any new model is more useful than its predecessors and that the value added exceeds the total development costs.”

2) “It still remains to be seen how long we will need to wait for definitive results on usefulness under various conditions.”

3) “Not only are all models wrong, but their relative usefulness varies depending on location and the specific loss metric of interest.”

Contact us:

Show - - @dontpanicgeo -

John Leeman - - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin