Arizona Geological Survey publications include several types of formal publications (maps, bulletins, and the Down-to-Earth Series), which undergo formal technical and editorial review, and informal publications (open-file reports, contributed maps, or contributed reports) which are not reviewed. More information about these publication series is included on our publications page.
Earth Science Information Center (ESIC)
When Congress established the United States Geological Survey (USGS) it gave the Director responsibility for "classification of the public lands and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain." The Arizona Legislature established the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) to investigate and describe the geological character of Arizona and inform the public. Over the years the USGS and the AZGS have released thousands of geologic maps and reports. In order to better serve the public the USGS and AZGS entered into a formal agreement to establish the Earth Science Information Center (ESIC) to serve as a distribution point for publications of both agencies. The ESIC is collocated at the AZGS.
Arizona Geology is published quarterly to summarize various aspects of the geology of Arizona, announce and describe new geologic maps and reports that have been completed, and to publicize other activities or events that pertain to "things geologic" in Arizona. Four issues are published and distributed during the year.
Arizona Geologic Information System (AGIS)
The AGIS is a computer database that was developed to store and provide access to data on Arizona geology. Data are compiled from geological investigations and maps completed by AZGS staff and other professionals. Major components of the AGIS include GENLIB, a database of AZGS library holdings; AZGEOBIB, a bibliography of Arizona geology; AZMIN, a database for metallic mineral districts and production, mine names, including primary and secondary references; and AZAGE, a compilation of radiometric age determinations. R. A. Trapp is the AGIS manager.
AZGEOBIB now has more than 11,100 citations, and new citations are added to AZGEOBIB on a continuing basis. Each citation has been key-worded by subject, stratigraphic name, and geographic area. A map showing the 555 geographic areas used in key wording was released as Open-File Report 95-2. An unindexed, alphabetical list, by author, of all citations in the database was released as Open-File Report 95-4. Bibliographic subsets can be constructed using combinations of subject and location key words.
The AZGS library contains more than 25,000 volumes, including all publications of the AZGS and its predecessors, the Arizona Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and selected publications of other governmental agencies. The library also contains theses and dissertations on Arizona geology, selected technical journal and bulletin series, textbooks, environmental impact statements and reviews, and unpublished maps and reports on the geology, water, energy, and mineral resources of Arizona. The library, supervised by T. G. McGarvin, is open to the public.
Center for Land Subsidence and Earth Fissure Information (CLASEFI)
In large portions of southern Arizona ground water has been pumped faster than natural recharge has occurred. As a result the land surface has subsided and large cracks (fissures) have formed. Subsidence and fissures may have adverse impacts on many land- and resource-management activities. To keep governmental agencies and the public informed, the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) and the Department of Water Resources collaborated to form the Center for Land-Subsidence and Earth Fissure Information (CLASEFI). The AZGS serves as a clearinghouse for pertinent information. A steering committee composed of representatives of 12 governmental agencies meets annually to discuss relevant activities.
Well Cuttings and Core Repository
The AZGS has statutory responsibility to maintain a central repository for well cuttings and cores and associated supplemental data. Companies that drill for oil, gas, helium, or geothermal resources are required by Oil and Gas Conservation statutes to save rock cuttings during drilling and submit them to the AZGS, together with logs and other pertinent information. Rock cores, primarily taken during mineral exploration, are commonly donated to the AZGS. Because of space limitations, only representative samples of cores are usually saved. Cuttings from approximately 4,000 oil and water wells and cores from many mineral tests are in the repository, which is open for use by the public.
Mapping and Geologic Investigations
AZGS staff map and describe the bedrock and surficial geology of Arizona with emphasis on the Phoenix-Tucson urban corridor, which contains 80 percent of the State's population and is experiencing rapid development. AZGS conducts geologic investigations and provide information to local, state, and federal governmental agencies that have responsibility for prudently managing Arizona's land, water, mineral, and energy resources.
Oil and Gas
The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission requires that subsurface data, including rock samples, logs, and testing results, be submitted for filing and archiving at the AZGS. These data add to the general understanding of Arizona's geologic framework and subsurface mineral and energy resources. Well files, organized by Oil and Gas Conservation Commission drilling permit number, include information about drilling depth, rock formations penetrated, casing records, and completion procedures.
Well locations and other information are plotted on a series of county and regional maps by S. L. Rauzi, Oil and Gas Program Administrator.