Geologic Mapping on Cape Cod
Our understanding of the geology and geologic history of Cape Cod is largely based on field studies done to produce U.S. Geologic Survey 7 1/2-minute geologic quadrangle maps. Initial mapping was done in the late 1930's and took place in western Cape Cod. Geologic quadrangle mapping was resumed from 1964 to 1967 in response to the establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore and the final quadrangle maps were completed between 1969 and 1972. The geologic quadrangle maps of Cape Cod and geologic maps of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket were used to compile a 1/100,000 scale geologic map of the Cape and Islands (Map I-1763) published by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1986 and reprinted in 1995. Geophysical and water resource surveys, in addition to the geologic mapping, have allowed the identification and location of the natural resources of Cape Cod and how best to use them. Today, the most valuable natural resources of the Cape are related to tourism and recreation. These include beaches along the seashore and lakes and ponds and harbors for recreational boating. Cape Cod has abundant fresh water, but it is increasingly threatened by pollution, especially in western Cape Cod. Other threats to the natural environment include attempts to control shoreline erosion and retreat, the increasing population, and all the development needed to support the increase. Careful planning will be needed to preserve what is good about Cape Cod and insure that future generations will have access to the beaches, harbors, wetlands, lakes and ponds, forests and open space.