Delaware Geological Survey
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|Delaware Geological Survey|
|Motto||Geologic and hydrologic research and exploration for Delaware|
|Type||Research & Education|
|Region served||US State of Delaware|
|Director||David R. Wunsch|
The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) is a scientific agency for the State of Delaware, located at the University of Delaware (UD), that conducts geologic and hydrologic research, service, and exploration. The mission of the DGS is to provide objective earth science information, advice, and service to citizens, policy makers, industries, and educational institutions of Delaware. The DGS became formally affiliated with the university's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) in July 2008. Most DGS scientists have secondary faculty appointments in the College's Department of Geological Sciences.
The DGS is one of the 50 state geological surveys in the United States. By statute, the DGS is the state agency responsible for entering into agreements with its counterpart federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the USGS Office of Minerals Information (formerly the U.S. Bureau of Mines), and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly the U.S. Minerals Management Service), and for administering all cooperative programs of the state with these agencies.
A geologic survey of Delaware was originally authorized in 1837 for a period of four years under the direction of James C. Booth, State Geologist. A permanent state geological survey was established by the Delaware General Assembly in 1951 and is funded by direct state appropriation. The 1951 statute founding the Survey contains its fundamental charges: study the geology of Delaware, investigate mineral and water resources, advise state government, and provide the results of its studies to the citizens and agencies of Delaware through publication and consultation. Additional responsibilities have been assigned over the years as the varied applications of the Survey’s basic mission were recognized: notable among these are spatial data coordination, direct support for emergency planning, response, and recovery, and involvement in water-supply planning.
The Director of the DGS also serves as the official State Geologist and is a member of the Association of American State Geologists. The Director also has a secondary appointment with the UD Dept of Geological Sciences. Past Directors include:
- James C. Booth, 1837–1841
- Johan J. Groot, 1951–1969
- Robert R. Jordan, 1969–2003
- John H. Talley, 2003–2011
- Peter P. McLaughlin Jr., 2011–2011
- David Wunsch, 2011-present
DGS research and service activities are focused on surficial and subsurface geology, hydrology/hydrogeology, natural hazards, topographic mapping, and information dissemination. These efforts impact a wide variety of issues ranging from water resources, agriculture, environmental protection, and energy and mineral resources to economic development, land-use planning, emergency management, public health, and recreation.
Active project topics include:
- STATEMAP (surficial geologic formation identification and mapping)
- sub-surface geologic formation identification and mapping
- aquifer extent/depth and water availability
- water supply (surface water in streams, groundwater, reservoirs)
- coastal processes (tidal floods, marsh inundation, beach erosion)
- groundwater monitoring and water quality
- groundwater modeling
- natural hazards, such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, sinkholes
- topographic mapping
- wastewater and rapid infiltration basin systems (RIBS)
- state geospatial/GIS infrastructure and coordination
Data and Publications
The DGS has published over 210 publications through its own publication series. Publications represent the results of original professional research and as such are used by professionals and the public. All of the publications are free to read and download as PDF files. Many of the recent publications are accompanied by digital datasets, usually in the form of spreadsheets or GIS datasets. Most of these data are also available as Web Mapping Services.
Education and Outreach
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The Delaware DataMIL
The Delaware DataMIL (Data Mapping and Integration Laboratory) initially began as a pilot project for the USGS National Map. It serves Delaware's Spatial Data Framework, or basic map datasets, on which state agencies, local and county governments, academic GIS users, and the private sector can use for their own needs. The primary impetus was to foster collaboration among data producers at the local, county, state and federal levels and incorporate local knowledge to update digital datasets and hard-copy maps at all levels.
The Framework datasets are considered the most current and up-to-date base map information available. For each framework data set, a steward is identified to take ownership and maintain the only "official" dataset for that part of the Framework. DataMIL can be viewed as the "middle-man" between the data producing stewards and GIS data users.
Delaware's Spatial Data Framework is organized into nine dataset categories. Each category may contain several unique datasets.
- County Parcels
- Water Features
- Geodetic Control
- Surface Cover
- Geographic Names
- Aerial Imagery
The DataMIL was originally developed by Research and Data Management Services within Information Technology, University of Delaware. It is currently maintained by the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) and served via the internet through the State of Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI).