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This report presents geologic information to supplement the Geologic Map of Kentucky (McDowell and others, 1981), published by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Kentucky Geological Survey. The report is intended to accompany the map and to present background and descriptive material that may be of use in reading and interpreting it.

The Geologic Map of Kentucky, published at a scale of 1:250,000, was compiled from 707 U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Quadrangle Maps (scale 1:24,000). These maps were produced during the cooperative mapping program with the Kentucky Geological Survey, described by Cressman and Noger (1981), which provided detailed geologic map coverage of the entire State during the years 1960 to 1978. The Geologic Map of Kentucky is thus the only statewide geologic map in the United States that is based entirely on published detailed mapping.

The new State map replaces the Geologic Map of Kentucky by Jillson (1929), which was published at a scale of 1:500,000. Earlier State maps were published at a scale of 1:633,600 or smaller. The new map comprises four sheets, three map sheets and a title sheet. The map sheets are divided to encompass natural geologic regions insofar as possible: "Western Kentucky" (sheet 1) includes the western coal basin (Illinois basin) and the Jackson Purchase, "Central Kentucky" (sheet 2) shows the Cincinnati arch region, and "Eastern Kentucky" (sheet 3) contains the eastern coal basin (Appalachian basin). Each map sheet includes sufficient explanatory material for use independently of the others; when the four sheets are joined for mounting as a single map, all repeated material is trimmed off at the margins. When mounted, the map includes eight cross sections, seven columnar sections, eight stratigraphic diagrams, four correlation charts, and a physiographic diagram.

This report is based largely on information obtained during the cooperative mapping program and describes the method of compilation, provides lithologic descriptions of the map units, and includes brief discussions of the stratigraphy, structural and economic geology, and physiography of the State. The report is primarily descriptive; a number of other recent and forthcoming reports, referred to in the various sections of this report, discuss the rocks in greater detail.

The report has been prepared by geologists who were assigned to the cooperative mapping program and who have firsthand familiarity with the rocks. The editor is grateful to the authors of individual sections for their contributions, which in many cases extended beyond authorship, and to many others who gave advice or critically reviewed sections of this volume, especially G.R. Dever, M.C. Noger, E.G. Sable, WC Swadley, and G.W. Weir. George J. Grabowski, Jr., first suggested that such a work be undertaken. Finally, a special word of gratitude is owed Wallace W. Hagan, former State geologist and director of the Kentucky Geological Survey, without whose inspiration and diligent efforts the cooperative mapping program, and therefore this report, would not have been possible.


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