Page images
PDF
EPUB

boundaries of Al Jalamid indicate that unweathered phosphatic rock is organic rich and contains dolomite, an important industrial mineral.

Geohazards Program

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has become increasingly concerned about geohazards in the Kingdom. Assessments of volcanism, earthquakes, and ground failures were assigned to the USGS by the DGMR at the start of the new 5-year agreement. Chief among the efforts in the geohazards program are studies supplementing earlier work in volcanoseismicity at the Harrat Rahat lava field in west-central Saudi Arabia where, in A.D. 1256, fissure eruptions of olivine basalt threatened the city of Al Madinah. A full color geologic map of the lava field completed by DGMR will be published in 1991. Planning is underway to develop a telemetered network of seismographs at the Harrat Rahat lava field, and detailed gravity work has begun. Evaluations of earthquake and ground-failure hazards will begin in fiscal year 1991.

Coal Resources in
Pakistan
By Peter D. Warwick

esults of an ongoing project between Ro USGS and the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) indicate that known and mined coal fields in the southern Sindh Province are not isolated coal occurrences. The project began in 1985 and is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of its Energy Planning and Development Project in Pakistan. Goals of the project are to train GSP geologists in various aspects of geology, improve GSP physical facilities, and increase the knowledge of Pakistan's coal resources. Much of southern Sindh, including the Thar Desert, appears to be underlain continuously by strata that contain coal beds. The Indus Valley Construction Company, a private drilling contractor, and the GSP drilled 68 holes as part of efforts to map and assess the quantity and quality of the coal resources of the Lakhra, Sonda-Thatta, and Indus East coal fields in Sindh. Such coal-bearing strata may have been deposited on the low-relief leading margin of the Indian subcontinent as it moved across the equator from the southern hemisphere before its collision with Asia some 20 to 25 million years ago.

More than 400 core and mine samples were collected from the same coal fields for analysis and determination of major, minor, and trace elements; also, lithologic logs were prepared from descriptions of rock cuttings and cores. Geophysical logs were obtained for the drill holes to aid in stratigraphic correlations. The coal in these fields ranges from lignite to subbituminous. Table I shows the estimates of coal-bed thickness, coal resources, and heating potential for samples from the Lakhra, Sonda-Thatta, and Indus East coal fields. Analytical results indicate that the coal beds contain an average of 33.1 percent oxygen, 28.4 percent moisture, 27.9 percent volatile matter, 25.2 percent fixed carbon, 18.3 percent ash, and 4.7 percent sulfur.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]

Makarwal and Cherat coal fields in the NorthWest Frontier Province. To supplement coal exploration work in the Salt Range-Potwar Plateau coal-bearing area, a regional framework study was begun in 1988. This study provides training to GSP geologists and technicians who work with USGS counterparts in various geologic disciplines and provides a comprehensive evaluation of the geologic framework of Pakistan's coal fields by mapping at a scale of 1:250,000. Besides continued exploratory drilling and field studies, regional framework studies are planned for the Balochistan and Sindh coal fields. The project has been extended and is scheduled for completion in 1993.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Bangladesh—Results of a 10-Year Program

By M. Dean Kleinkopf and John W. Whitney

program between the USGS and the

Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) to accelerate exploration for mineral resources and to modernize the GSB. The GSB is charged with exploring and identifying metallic and industrial mineral deposits, as well as conducting basic geologic mapping, and providing geotechnical advice for use in urban and suburban planning. The cooperative effort between the United States and Bangladesh seeks to modernize GSB facilities and initiate effective programs in systematic geologic mapping of unconsolidated sediments, mineral exploration, geophysics, geochemistry, engineering geology, biostratigraphy, neotectonics, laboratory studies, drilling, and scientific publishing and information management.

Jo 1990 marked the end of a 10-year

Coal and Mineral Potential

Bangladesh is situated on one of the great deltas of the world, formed principally by the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers that carry millions of tons of sediment yearly into Bangladesh. The surficial sediments are derived mainly from 5-millionyear-old deltaic and alluvial deposits in the Himalaya Mountains.

The main resource commodities in Bangladesh are coal, glass sand, white clay, brick clay, and aggregate. Project scientists discovered two coal fields in northwestern Bangladesh by using geophysical exploration techniques and subsequent drilling. Estimates of coal resources are as much as 500 million tons of bituminous-rank coal. The coal occurs in thin sedimentary rock overlying crystalline rock that occurs at depths of a few hundred to a few thousand feet below the surface; coal horizons were delineated by negative gravity anomalies. At least nine other negative gravity anomalies indicate possible minable coalbearing areas as revealed by seismic techniques and corehole drilling.

Training Assistance

To improve the technology for mineral

exploration and to modernize the GSB, visiting USGS scientists conducted field and laboratory studies with GSB colleagues in five study areas. Short courses were taught on the interpretation of soils, aerial photographs, and Landsat images. Seminars were presented in micropaleontology, palynology, age-dating,

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

cause of the shifting of major river drainages and related earthquake and flood hazards. Modern geoscience laboratories in geochemistry, biostratigraphy, petrology and mineralogy, engineering geology, and geophysics were equipped with new instruments and now provide capabilities for high-precision analyses in exploration and geologic studies. A new 1:1,000,000-scale geologic map of Bangladesh and companion gravity and magnetic anomaly maps were prepared. GSB personnel gained training, technology, and expertise in managing a national geological survey. Similarly, the project provided USGS scientists an opportunity to study one of the largest deltas in the world, to refine Quaternary mapping and modern dating techniques, and to improve existing models for deltaic depositional environments and mineral resources assessments.

[graphic]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

he Circum-Pacific Map Project

(CPMP) began in 1973 as a joint

endeavor of the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources and the USGS. The council is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization founded to encourage international cooperation in the study of the geology and resources of the Pacific basin and the lands that form its rim. The final 61 maps of the CPMP, when complete, will portray more than one-half of the Earth's surface.

The objectives of the CPMP are to (1) outline the distribution of resources in the Pacific basin, (2) depict the relation between the latest geologic and tectonic data and known energy and mineral resources, (3) aid in the exploration for new resources, (4) Compile new basin-wide geologic and resource data sets, (5) relate oceanic to continental geology, (6) focus on gaps in knowledge and encourage research to complete them, and (7) provide a mechanism for scientific cooperation among Pacific nations. The CPMP is directed by a Council

Map Committee. Scientific and technical

coordination, cartography, and, since 1990, publication are being carried out by the USGS. Although maps are the main products, planning, compiling, and publishing geoscience data is of equal value. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists previously published, and still distributes, the earlier map products. Data are compiled by six panels of the Council Map Committee and include international experts who live and work in the Pacific region. The CPMP has several unique and innovative aspects: • Unlike most previous compilations, the maps include geologic and resource data for both land and ocean areas and have projection points in the mid-Pacific. • A new series of equal-area, 1:10,000,000and 1:7,000,000-scale base maps depicts data with minimal distortion. • Base map information and most of the already published data sets on the thematic maps are computerized, and computer technology is being used in preparing the thematic maps. • Several new data sets have been specially prepared for the map series; among these are sea-floor sediment, manganese nodule distribution, sedimentation rates, earthquake firstmotion solutions, plate-motion vectors, Deep Sea Drilling Project borehole columns, and Oceanic crustal ages. • A new international network of voluntary and nonreimbursed scientific cooperation has been established among Pacific nations. The circum-Pacific region is divided into seven areas: the four quadrants of the Pacific basin, the Arctic Ocean basin, all of Antarctica, and the entire Pacific basin. Base maps for each region have a scale of 1:10,000,000 on a Lambert Azimuthal equalarea projection and are individually centered to minimize distortion. The base map for the entire basin is a single sheet and has a scale of 1:17,000,000. Base maps and color geographic maps are part of the published series. In addition, there are thematic maps for each region and plate-tectonic, geodynamic, geologic, energy resources, mineral resources, and tectonic maps for the entire basin. Publication of the base and geographic maps began in 1977, and thematic map publication began in 1981. Special themes of tectonostratigraphic, sea-floor materials, and natural hazards are compiled and published for the entire Pacific basin. In addition, a special map showing global change in the Pacific basin is being compiled, and color proof of a map showing sedimentary basins in the southeast quadrant is being reviewed. Thirty-six maps are now printed, and 25 more are in various stages of completion.

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

Information Sys

tems Activities

Mass Storage System for
Earth Science Data

By Joe Aquilino and Tod Huffman

or the past 25 years, the USGS has F used computer technology to help collect and store large volumes of carto

graphic, geologic, hydrologic, and other earth science data. In the past, these data were stored in mainframe computers. As data requirements and computing technology became more sophisticated, data-collection and data-base activities became more distributed, that is, centered around local or regional computer networks. Within these networks, minicomputer, microcomputer, and new high-performance workstations have become the primary means for data collection and storage.

As these distributed computer data-base environments expand, conventional approaches to data storage and archiving are inadequate. There is, therefore, an increasing need to upgrade, expand, and modernize the storage, management, and retrieval of archival data. A central USGS data storage facility of the future must consider the following:

• Global climate change, digital cartographic,
geographic information systems, water re-
Sources, and geologic data, as well as interna-
tional data exchange and Department wide
administrative and financial data, will con-
tinue to increase significantly. Present hard-
ware and software technology and physical
space are insufficient to store current data
holdings nor are they capable of handling
expansive data growth during the next
decade.
• Many data bases are constantly changing,
and the most recent updates must be available
to scientists to carry out investigations.
• Some data, such as administrative, financial,
and unpublished scientific data, are intrinsi-
cally proprietary. Access to such data is usu-
ally restricted in some way.
• As geographically dispersed data-base
developers create their own archiving meth-
ods, the resulting diversity of archival envi-
ronments makes data aggregation and sharing
difficult.
• Traditional magnetic tape archiving
requires considerable physical space for tape
storage, as well as expensive manpower to do
tape mounts, when around-the-clock availabil-
ity is necessary.
• The complexity and cost of computer com-
munications necessary to aggregate distributed

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »