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125 Years of Science for America - 1879 to 2004
U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2004-1067
Version 1.0

Digital Database of Selected Aggregate and Related Resources in Ada, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, and Owyhee Counties, Southwestern Idaho

By Phillip R. Moyle, John C. Wallis, James D. Bliss, and Karen S. Bolm


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) compiled a database of aggregate sites and geotechnical sample data for six counties - Ada, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, and Owyhee - in southwest Idaho as part of a series of studies in support of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) planning process. Emphasis is placed on sand and gravel sites in deposits of the Boise River, Snake River, and other fluvial systems and in Neogene lacustrine deposits. Data were collected primarily from unpublished Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) records and BLM site descriptions, published Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) records, and USGS sampling data. The results of this study provides important information needed by land-use planners and resource managers, particularly in the BLM, to anticipate and plan for demand and development of sand and gravel and other mineral material resources on public lands in response to the urban growth in southwestern Idaho.

The aggregate database combines two data sets - site information and geotechnical sample data - into an integrated spatial database with 82 unique fields. The material source site data set includes information on 680 sites, and the geotechnical data set consists of selected information from 2,723 laboratory analyses of samples collected from many, but not all, of the sites. The 680 aggregate sites are divided into six classes: sand & gravel (614); rock quarry (43); cinder quarry (9); placer tailings (8); talus (4); and mine waste rock (2). Most importantly, the aggregate database includes detailed location information allowing individual sites to be located at least within a section and most often within a small parcel of a section. Additional information includes, but is not limited to: lithology-mineralogy or geologic formation (if known); surface ownership; size; production; permitting; agency; and number of samples. Geotechnical data include: lab number and test date; field parameters including sample location, type of material, and size; and the results of geotechnical analyses - gradation (grain size distribution), Los Angeles (LA) Degradation, sand equivalent, absorption, density, and several other tests. Ninety-five percent of the 2,723 geotechnical sample records include gradation data, and 72 percent of the samples have sand equivalent data. However, LA Degradation, absorption, and bulk density data are reported only in about 30 percent of the sample records.

Large volumes of geotechnical data reside in a variety of accessible but little-used archives maintained by local and county highway districts, state transportation bureaus, and federal engineering, construction and transportation agencies. Integration of good quality geotechnical lithogeochemical information, particularly in digital form suitable for geospatial analysis, can produce profoundly superior databases that may allow more accurate and reliable "expert" decision making and improved land use planning. The database that accompanies this report, structured for direct import into geographic information system (GIS) software, is the first step toward producing such an integrated geologic-geotechnical spatial database.

This report consists of a 560-page manuscript PDF (text, two appendixes, ten figures, 9 of eleven tables) , a plate PDF, a database file, and metadata files

Download the 560-page manuscript as a PDF file (7.9 MB)

Download the 36x48-inch plate as a PDF file (3.1 MB)

Download the tables7_and_9 file which is an Excel spreadsheet file (of2004-1067_tables7_and_9.xls) (2.1 MB)

Download the database file which is a .dbf file (of2004-1067.dbf) (4.5 MB)

Open the metadata html file (of2004-1067_metadata.htm) (276 KB)

Open the metadata ASCII text file (of2004-1067_metadata.txt) (92 KB)

For questions about the content of this report, contact Phil Moyle

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Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Created: June 18, 2004
Last modified: June 24, 2004 (mfd)