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U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 424

In Cooperation with the Geological Society of America

Database of the Geologic Map of North America—Adapted from the Map by J.C. Reed, Jr. and others (2005)

By Christopher P. Garrity and David R. Soller


Map and link to PDF (96 kB)


     The Geological Society of America’s (GSA) Geologic Map of North America (Reed and others, 2005; 1:5,000,000) shows the geology of a significantly large area of the Earth, centered on North and Central America and including the submarine geology of parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This map is now converted to a Geographic Information System (GIS) database that contains all geologic and base-map information shown on the two printed map sheets and the accompanying explanation sheet. We anticipate this map database will be revised at some unspecified time in the future, likely through the actions of a steering committee managed by the Geological Society of America (GSA) and staffed by scientists from agencies including, but not limited to, those responsible for the original map compilation (U.S. Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute).

     Regarding the use of this product, as noted by the map’s compilers:
     “The Geologic Map of North America is an essential educational tool for teaching the geology of North America to university students and for the continuing education of professional geologists in North America and elsewhere. In addition, simplified maps derived from the Geologic Map of North America are useful for enlightening younger students and the general public about the geology of the continent.”

     With publication of this database, the preparation of any type of simplified map is made significantly easier. More important perhaps, the database provides a more accessible means to explore the map information and to compare and analyze it in conjunction with other types of information (for example, land use, soils, biology) to better understand the complex interrelations among factors that affect Earth resources, hazards, ecosystems, and climate.

Version 1.0

First posted June 2, 2009
Modified July 8, 2010

This report is also available on CD-ROM from:

USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
telephone: 888 ASK-USGS; e-mail:

For additional information, Web links, and data formats, please see the Resources Page

National Geologic Map Database

Part of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); at least version 7 of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Garrity, C.P., and Soller, D.R., 2009, Database of the Geologic Map of North America; adapted from the map by J.C. Reed, Jr. and others (2005): U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 424 [].

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