Scientific Investigations Map 2948

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management

Color Shaded-Relief and Surface-Classification Maps of the Fish Creek Area, Harrison Bay Quadrangle, Northern Alaska

By John C. Mars, Christopher P. Garrity, David W. Houseknecht, Lee Amoroso, and Donald C. Meares

Scale 1:63,360
Online only


The northeastern part of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA) has become an area of active petroleum exploration during the past five years. Recent leasing and exploration drilling in the NPRA requires the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage and monitor a variety of surface activities that include seismic surveying, exploration drilling, oil-field development drilling, construction of oil-production facilities, and construction of pipelines and access roads. BLM evaluates a variety of permit applications, environmental impact studies, and other documents that require rapid compilation and analysis of data pertaining to surface and subsurface geology, hydrology, and biology. In addition, BLM must monitor these activities and assess their impacts on the natural environment. Timely and accurate completion of these land-management tasks requires elevation, hydrologic, geologic, petroleum-activity, and cadastral data, all integrated in digital formats at a higher resolution than is currently available in nondigital (paper) formats.

To support these land-management tasks, a series of maps was generated from remotely sensed data in an area of high petroleum-industry activity (fig. 1). The maps cover an area from approximately latitude 7000' N. to 7030' N. and from longitude 15100' W. to 15310' W. The area includes the Alpine oil field in the east, the Husky Inigok exploration well (site of a landing strip) in the west, many of the exploration wells drilled in NPRA since 2000, and the route of a proposed pipeline to carry oil from discovery wells in NPRA to the Alpine oil field. This map area is referred to as the "Fish Creek area" after a creek that flows through the region.

The map series includes (1) a color shaded-relief map based on 5-m-resolution data (sheet 1), (2) a surface-classification map based on 30-m-resolution data (sheet 2), and (3) a 5-m-resolution shaded relief-surface classification map that combines the shaded-relief and surface-classification data (sheet 3). Remote sensing datasets that were used to compile the maps include Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper+ (ETM+), and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) data. In addition, a 1:250,000-scale geologic map of the Harrison Bay quadrangle, Alaska (Carter and Galloway, 1985, 2005) was used in conjunction with ETM+ and IFSAR data.

thumbnail image from map

Thumbnail depicting a portion of the southwestern study area. This set of 1:63,360-scale maps consists of a surface classification map (right), a color shaded-relief map (middle), and a shaded relief-surface classification map generated by fusing the two datasets (left).

Report Availability

These three map sheets, measuring 58x41 inches and at a scale of 1:63,360, are available online in PDF format, as is the explanatory text. To download the PDF files, right-click (PC) or control-click (Macintosh) the following links.

Explanatory text to accompany Scientific Investigations Map 2948 [37.5-MB PDF file; 19 pages]
Sheet 1: Color shaded-relief map [31-MB PDF file]
Sheet 2: Surface classification map [80-MB PDF file]
Sheet 3: Combined shaded-relief and surface classification map [23-MB PDF file]

Download Adobe Reader free of charge.

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Suggested citation: Mars, J.C., Garrity, C.P., Houseknecht, D.W., Amoroso, Lee, and Meares, D.C., 2007, Color shaded-relief and surface-classification maps of the Fish Creek area, Harrison Bay quadrangle, northern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 2948, available only online at

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