• Surficial Geology of Iowa

    Raster of the surficial geology of Iowa based on the parent material interpretations of the US Soil Survey. The map is built from delineations made at a 1:15,840 scale, then converted to a 10 m resolution grid. This data set is based on the spatial information in the USDA-NRCS gSSURGO database and soil series characteristics described in the official soil series descriptions (OSD).

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  • The use of soil surveys to aid in geologic mapping with an emphasis on the Eastern and Midwestern United States

    After soil science became established as a scientific discipline, there has been a continued interplay between geologists and soil scientists, both fields benefiting from advancements made by the other. There is strong agreement between preliminary geology maps created from soil maps and traditional geology maps. Despite the results obtained when using soil maps to create surficial geology maps, there is a need for more quantitative studies to assess the degree of compliment between soil-based maps and traditional geology maps, expansion of the technique into a wider range of geologic and climatic environments, and more research in locations that use classification systems other than Soil Taxonomy.

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  • Comparison of surficial geology maps based on soil survey and in depth geological survey

    Despite the widespread availability of relatively detailed soil maps in the USA, few areas have a surficial geology map published with as much spatial detail. This apparent gap between disciplines calls to question the accuracy of soil maps to represent the spatial distribution of surficial geologic materials. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to test the agreement between maps from these two sources.

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  • Pre-settlement Water Regimes of Iowa Wetlands

    This raster provides an estimate of the wetland water regimes in Iowa, prior to the implementation of drainage systems. These estimates are based on the spatial information in the USDA-NRCS gSSURGO database and soil series characteristics described in the official soil series descriptions (OSD). Soil series characteristics were matched as best as possible to the condition descriptions for the National Wetland Inventory’s defined water regimes.

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  • Physiography of the Des Moines Lobe

    This GIS package contains a pair of spatial data sets that have been generated for the purpose of studying the physiography of the Des Moines Lobe landform region. Includes a 10 m resolution grid interpreting the surficial geology from gSSURGO. Also includes a polygon shapefile that delineates the Des Moines Lobe into physiographic regions based on that surficial geology map and relief.

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  • Using Soil Surveys to Delineate Quaternary Parent Materials and Landforms (2010 Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium)

    We sought to create the best possible Quaternary geology map of the Des Moines Lobe solely using readily available National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) data. We then sought to test whether that map is comparable to Quaternary geology maps previously published by geologists. Categorization of soil map units with respect to geologic unit successfully created a detailed Quaternary geologic map for the Des Moines Lobe, showing strong agreement with the existing Quaternary geologic maps while adding a user-controlled level of scale.

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  • The need to continue improving soil survey maps

    Soil Survey maps are the preeminent data set collected about our environment. Although there are other impressive data sets that are regularly used for studying and utilizing the environment, none match the wide utility and potential of soil maps. Recent innovations create opportunities to increase both the resolution and the efficiency at which Soil Survey maps are made.

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  • Spatial distribution of historical wetland classes on the Des Moines Lobe, Iowa

    We estimated the pre-settlement density and area of different classes of palustrine wetlands on the Des Moines Lobe based on soil characteristics. Prior to drainage, wetlands covered nearly half of the Des Moines Lobe and there were differences in both the types and relative abundance of wetlands among the four geologic subdivisions of the Lobe (Bemis, Altamont, and Algona till plains and Altamont Lake).

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  • Using soil surveys to map Quaternary parent materials and landforms

    The integration of soil survey maps with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allows for an almost infinite level of collaboration across disciplines that use information related to soil databases. This study created a Quaternary geologic map by categorizing soil descriptions into a geologic context and joining the attributes with the Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database in ArcGIS®. The resulting map communicates many of the spatial intricacies of the Des Moines Lobe landform with 15 map units based on geologic units.

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