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North Carolina Geological Survey. Briefing to the Geological Advisory Committee September 13, 2001. Administrative Overview Staffing Budget Customers Products. N.C. Geological Survey -- 2001. N.C. Geological Survey Geological Staff

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north carolina geological survey

North Carolina Geological Survey

Briefing to the Geological Advisory Committee

September 13, 2001


N.C. Geological Survey

Geological Staff

Charles H. Gardner -- Division Director and State Geologist

Kenneth B. Taylor -- Assistant State Geologist and Chief

Senior Geologists

Rick Wooten -- Engineering Geology and Geohazards

Kathleen M. Farrell -- Stratigraphy and Geomorphology

Jeffrey Reid -- Minerals and Geographic Info. Systems

Carl Merschat -- Geologist in Charge – Mountain Province

Bill Hoffman -- Geologist in Charge – Coastal Plain Province

Tyler Clark -- Geologist in Charge – Piedmont Province


Geological Staff (continued)

John Nickerson -- Project Geologist – Coastal Plain Office

Mary Watson -- Project Geologist -- Education/Outreach Coord.

Mark Carter -- Project Geologist – Asheville

Kenny Gay -- Geologist I

Scott Williams -- Geologist I (temp)

Bob Brooks -- Geologist I (temp)

Support Staff

Tonya Merritt – Lead Section Secretary

Paula Maynor – Publications and Sales Office

Michael Medina – Digital Cartographer

Wendy Sposto – Office Assistant

Amy Keyworth – Geological Technician II

section budget


Salaries & Benefits $844,104

(14 FTEs)

Contracts $94,133

Purchase Services $57,433

Supplies $55,409

Sales Office S & B $28,065

(1 FTE)

Equipment $27,582

Other $14,440

Intergovt Tran. (Rent) $6,062

Sales Office Pur. Ser. $769


Section Budget

Fund Sources

Appropriations $744,911

Professional services $82,500

sales – maps & pub $71,000

Surplus Equipment $1,000

Rental of Real Property $28,733

Fed Funds – STATEMAP $120,324

Indirect (overhead) cost $8,830

Petty Cash $50

Transfer from DOT $49,113

Transfer from Parks $5,435

Transfer from DWQ $15,000


customers groups

General Public

Individual Citizens

Organizations (PNP, Civic , Assoc)


Customers Groups


Research and Education







Secondary Schools


Counties and Municipalities

State Agencies

Federal Agencies

products and services

Geologic Mapping

Products and Services





GIS and Digital Products

Education and Outreach

Geohazards, Environmental, and Engineering Geology Studies

Resource Evaluation


N. C. Geological Survey Activities

Geohazards, Env., and Eng. Geology Rick Wooten

Stratigraphy and Geomorphology Kathleen Farrell

Mineral Resources and GIS Jeff Reid

Public Education and Outreach Mary Watson

Mountain Province Investigations Carl Merschat

Coastal Plain Province Investigations Bill Hoffman

Piedmont Province Investigations Tyler Clark

STATEMAP (USGS/NCGS Geologic Tyler Clark

Mapping Cooperative)


Richard M. Wooten, P.G.Senior Geologist for Engineering Geology and Geohazards

Slope Instability Investigation of Gorges State ParkGeologic Hazards – Engineering /Environmental Studies (e.g. sinkholes, landslides, acidic rock)Geologic Mapping Henderson 100K in STATEMAP

recent investigations

Recent Investigations

Occoneechee Mountain Rockslide

Phoenix Mine Collapse

North State Mine Subsidence


Publications in the Preparation Queue:Lands Creek Debris Flow Occoneechee Mountain RockslideNorth State Mine Report of InvestigationPhoenix Mine Subsidence Report of InvestigationHayesville-Hiawassee Quad. Geologic MapBlock Slides in Weathered Triassic RockDebris Flow Hazards in Western North Carolina: A Preliminary Overview (poster – geologic note)


Dr. Kathleen M. Farrell, P.G.

Senior Geologist for Stratigraphy and Geomorphology

Current Geomorphic

and Stratigraphic Investigations


Little Contentnea Watershed

Coastal Plain Coalition

STATEMAP Compilation

geomorphic stratigraphic investigations goals for coastal plain
Geomorphic/Stratigraphic Investigations: Goals for Coastal Plain
  • Produce geologic map that is based on geomorphic mapping, subsurface analysis (cores, borehole geophysics, continuous subsurface imaging) and age dates.
  • Apply new concepts in sequence stratigraphy, and ensure that the Code is appropriately applied to accommodate modern concepts in landscape evolution.
  • Produce paleogeographic reconstructions from geomorphology.
current funded projects
Current funded projects
  • Lizzie project: $25,000 from DWQ to characterize 3D geology at Lizzie Research site; complete by Sept. 30, 2001.
  • 319A project: pending 16 month, $96,000 grant from EPA through DWQ to characterize geology of Little Contentnea Creek Watershed of Neuse River Basin.

NCGS collaboration with DWQ-

Ground Water Section and USGS-WRD:

Neuse River Basin modeling efforts


Pliocene-Quaternary terrain

ncgs role collaboration
NCGS Role: Collaboration
  • To provide a conceptual model for the geomorphic and stratigraphic evolution of the Little Contentnea Creek Watershed (10 digit code) of the Neuse River Basin.
  • To understand and model the distribution of shallow aquifer-related facies in a complex assemblage of predominantly Pliocene and younger surficial deposits in a low relief area with few outcrops.
  • To provide a template for planning the pending subsurface field investigation (319A) to confirm, revise, or reject the proposed conceptual model.

Daniels & Gamble 1974

Daniels et al 1966



Paleoshorelines: Falling Stage Systems Tract

DEM + R.B. Daniels scarps

  • stairsteps
  • marine-estuarine terraces
  • nested dendritic drainages
  • bay heads

Complex fluvial-estuarine terraces

From Arc Info soils coverages:

terraces along drainages


Little Contentnea

Creek Watershed

319A Investigation


Site – Specific Study

Lizzie Research



Little Contentnea Creek Watershed




20 m


12 m

Nestedvalley fills

Wicomico Plain = interfluve

1 km

conceptual model
Conceptual Model
  • Modern drainages follow paleovalleys that existed prior to the mid-late ? Pliocene Yorktown transgression.
  • Interfluves have been relatively fixed in position for this same period.
  • Paleovalleys and interfluves have distinctly different stratigraphic signatures.
iterative process
Iterative Process
  • Provide overview of Neuse R. Basin geomorphology from existing data sets.
  • Map geomorphology at site specific scale (100 km2 at the Lizzie Research Station.
  • Analyze the 3D sequence stratigraphic framework at site specific scale (100 km2).
  • Produce regional (scale = 102 km2), GIS-based, maps of geomorphic features using concepts from site specific studies.
  • Extrapolate stratigraphic concepts regionally and plan subsurface analysis for model confirmation (319A).

Surry Paleoshoreline

at 30 m

Wicomico Plain





Contentea Creek


other projects
Other Projects
  • State Map 9 and 10: work with J. Nickerson, K. Gay to compile Raleigh 100K Coastal Plain quads. (Hoffman)
  • NPS: collaborate with B. Hoffman to construct geomorphic maps of National Parks on coast. (Hoffman)
  • Finalize coastal atlas project – “Geologic Environments of the Lower Cape Fear River”
proposed projects
Proposed Projects
  • Continue mapping Coastal Plain sector of Neuse River Basin: 319 B Project - $300,000 3-year project. Probable funding source = EPA. Deadline for submittal is Spring, 2002.
  • Continue geomorphic and geologic mapping of Cape Fear River Basin beginning with heavily populated New Hanover and Brunswick Counties, includes sinkholes studies. Funding sources sought (possibly FEMA).

Dr. Jeffrey Reid, P.G., C.P.G.

Senior Geologist for Minerals and Geographic Information Systems

Mineral Investigations

Mining Permit Review

Public Inquiries

Selected GIS Activities

Internet Site

mineral investigations
Mineral investigations
  • Abandoned mines (Open-file reports 2000-2 – 2000-7) CD-ROM publication
  • Glass sand – Richmond Co. (SEGSA Abs.)
  • Garnet resource – Bakersville area – bench scale beneficiation testing underway at MRL
  • Building stones of NC – Internet based
  • Co-author annual State Minerals Chapter with USGS
mining permit review
Mining permit review
  • Assist LQ section with mine permit review
  • ~90 reviews per year
  • Focus is hazards and geochemistry
public inquiries
Public Inquiries


~ 500 per year


  • Uranium in groundwater
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • Selenium in groundwater/osteoporosis –UNC Medical School
  • “Background geochemistry” information requests
  • Other collaborative opportunities and assist Land Quality with GIS needs
selected gis activities
Selected GIS activities
  • State digital geologic map and hyperlinked reference localities and digital sample photos
  • Digital aeromagnetic map of N.C.
  • Digital aerogravity map of N.C.
  • National Geologic Map database inventory of non-federal geologic maps
selected gis continued
Selected GIS (continued)
  • Metallogenic map of NC
  • Sand and gravel, and aggregate resource assessment (inc. National Academy of Engineering)
  • Cartographic support to STATEMAP and other staff
  • Topographic index map revised, status of mapping report in progress
internet site www geology enr state nc us
Internet site“”
  • Maintain and update
  • Ave. 113,000 total accesses per month

Total Website Accesses



1999 2000 2001


Mary Watson

Project Geologist – Education and Outreach Coordinator

  • Project Earth Science
  • Where have we been?
  • Current Focus
  • Vision for the Future
education project earth science
EducationProject Earth Science

Project Earth Science is the NCGS program designed to provide relevant and accurate earth science information for the state's high school students and Earth/Environmental science teachers.

Project Earth Science consists of curriculum and professional development programs that meet the Department of Public Instruction's competency-based curriculum objectives.

where have we been
Where have we been?
  • Collaborative Projects
    • DENR, Mining Commission, Industry
      • Talking Rocks Trail
    • Mining Commission, DENR, NC DPI, UNC system
      • North Carolina Rock Kit Project (850,000 reached)
    • NC DPI
      • Earth/Environmental ScienceCurriculum for grades 9-12, N. C. Standard Course of Study.
      • Earth/Environmental Science Reference Tables and Support Documents for grades 9-12, N. C. Standard Course of Study
    • School Programs, Public Programs, Workshops and Field Trips (113,358 teachers, students and citizens reached)
  • Service
    • Member of the N. C. Leadership Network for Earth Science Teachers advisory board.
    • Member of the EarthView advisory board.
    • Designate for Department of Environment & Natural Resources Strategic Planning Environmental Awareness/Outreach Team
    • Board member of Education and Industry Committee for Earth Science in N. C.
current focus
Current Focus
  • Shift to education curriculum development
    • Since Spring 2000 semester, NSF Graduate Research Trainee fellow in earth science education and instructional technology
    • Inquiry Teaching and Learning of Earth/Environmental Science Concepts using Mapping and New Technologies
      • A new inquiry-based curriculum about maps, for grades 9-12. The curriculum will support the Earth/Environmental Science course and feature the state's physiography and geology. A digital version will be developed to be served on-line.
Rock Kits for grades 9-12
    • Redesign our popular Rock Kit project for grades 9-12. This version is a full kit of mineral and rock specimens plus a inquiry based curriculum activities, data sheets and background materials keyed to the standard course of study.
  • Service
    • Maintain the listserv that serves the state's earth science teachers by informing them of workshops, current events, currents ideas and practices in education.
    • Coordinate the National Association of Geology Teachers Outstanding Earth Science Teachers' Award.
    • Compiled Resources That Support The Earth/ Environmental Science Requirement For North Carolina Schools
    • Handle inquiries about education (~30/month)
vision for the future
Vision for the future
  • Research our clients
    • Develop NCGS Education GIS project that allows us to track needs and developments over time and to identify those teachers needing but not yet receiving materials and assistance.
  • Expansion
    • Obtain funding for this position for travel, professional development and intern.
Write grants to obtain funding to provide our current and future clients with the resources and training they need to successfully implement the Earth /Environmental science curriculum.
  • Collaboration
    • Integrate education function with other key functions of NCGS.
      • Map/Pub Sales
        • Added items to our stock especially for the teachers: This Dynamic Planet poster, Dynamic Planet booklet, Time and Terrain map, Geology of the Solar System map. Looking at AGI curricula.  
        • Fund "scholarship" program for the teachers where we issue coupons good for any of the items we sell.
Geology and Mapping
    • We need to help our earth science teachers understand better how to interpret a geologic map. I propose to develop a series of inquiry investigations aligned with new and published mapping and write grants to conduct workshops to train teachers about their use and value in teaching community geology.
  • Geohazards
    • Develop Rick's debris flow hazards poster into a Web resource for educators
  • GIS/data
    • Create coverages based on our three years of teacher surveys. This data will uncover how we can better serve the teachers based on what they tell us they want from our agency.
  • Resource Evaluation
    • Assist Jeff with Mineral Atlas Web resource for teachers.

Carl Merschat, P.G.

Geologist in Charge – Mountain Province

MAJOR ACTIVITIES OF THE ASHEVILLE OFFICEGeologic InvestigationsGeologic Mapping and Mineral Resources InvestigationsBent Creek - US Forest ServiceGorges State Park - Division of Parks and RecreationSTATEMAP - US Geological SurveyBlue Ridge Parkway - National Park Service


Service and InformationTechnical assistance to State and Federal AgenciesDivision of Parks and Recreation - Mount Mitchell, South Mountains, Crowders Mountain, Hanging Rock, Mount Jefferson, and New River.US Forest Service - Selected areas of Nantahala and Pisgah National ForestsN.C. State's Mineral Research Laboratory - sampling, identification, and joint projects


Primary source of geologic information for the citizens of western North Carolina - average about 500 requests per year: (most common inquiries are)Rock and mineral identification, mining activities and mineral resource potential, site assessment for geologic hazards, and potential for potable water.Public educationPublications - Bulletin 98 (BRP), Geologic Note (Geology of Yancey County)Activities - classroom visits, teacher institutes, fieldtripsAffiliate office of the Earth Science Information Center


Bill Hoffman, P.G.

Geologist in Charge – Coastal Plain Province

Major Coastal Plain Activities/Partnerships

Offshore Sand Resource Studies

Outer Banks Task Force Offshore Sand Resource Study

U.S. Minerals Management Service Offshore Sand Resource Study


STATEMAP Geologic Mapping

Coastal Geology Co-op with USGS and ECU

National Park Service

Lizzie/Neuse Basin

Framework study Coastal Plain Drilling Coalition

Future Partnerships

Sample Repository


Outer Banks Task Force (completed MOA)

  • Investigate geologic framework and report on potential availability of offshore sand resources with potential for use as beach nourishment material for short to intermediate term protection of NC-12 in areas of vulnerability from Oregon Inlet to Ocracoke,
  • Identified potential deposits nearest to each of the areas where NC-12 was considered to be vulnerable.
  • Buxton potential borrow site was investigated in detail following Hurricane Dennis.
  • Vibracore image and textural database slated for release as an NCGS open-file report on CD-ROM is in review.
  • Major data collected/used: Seismic reflection, side-scan, vibracores.

U. S. Minerals Management Service

  • (current agreement through January 2002)
  • Investigate geologic framework and report on sand resources of OCS areas off Dare County from Oregon Inlet to Duck.
  • Final report on this phase to be delivered summer of 2001.
  • Vibracore database for release as open-file report on CD-ROM is in review.
  • Major data collected/used: Seismic reflection, side-scan, vibracores.

STATEMAP Geologic Mapping

  • Mapping of the up-dip Coastal Plain sedimentary section within the Raleigh 30’ x 60’ quadrangle.
  • Two geologists from working on coastal portion of project for past 4-5 years.
  • Compilation will be proposed for completion with Year 10 of the program (FFY02).
  • Major data collected/used: Field traverses, coring, geomorphology. 

Coastal Geology Co-op with USGS and ECU Multi-year project (FFY01 -- 1st full year)

  • Project area is northeastern NC -- Bogue Banks to Virginia line and generally east of Suffolk Scarp to about 5 nautical miles offshore
  • 3-D Quaternary framework is fundamental objective which will provide basic data layer for other disciplines/agencies (eg. fisheries, groundwater, water resources, sand and other mineral resources, emergency management, coastal management).
  • Major data collected/used: Seismic reflection, CHIRP Sonar, swath bathymetry, side-scan, vibracores, conventional cores, GPR.

National Park Service

  • (1 year contract for FFY02)
  • Geomorphic mapping of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers Memorial, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
  • Major data collected/used: Digital aerial photography, digital elevation data, LIDAR

Lizzie/Neuse Basin Framework study

  • • Geologic Framework in support of groundwater modeling for DWQ, USGS-WRD, and EPA
  • • Model for how geologic framework studies can support groundwater research and management.
  • Major data collected/used: Geomorphological analysis, coring, vibracoring, stratigraphic analysis. 

Coastal Plain Drilling Coalition

  • (multi-year project – FFY01 first year)
  • Cooperative program with USGS to drill deep core holes in N.C. Coastal Plain
  • Will establish comprehensive regional geologic and hydrologic framework throughout N.C. Coastal Plain
  • Cooperative with USGS, DWR, DWQ, Duke, UNC-CH, UNC-W, ECU
  • Significant data layer on which to build more detailed framework and integrate surface and subsurface geology
  • Major data collected/used: Cores, biostratigraphy, hydrology, seismology.

Future Partnerships

Comprehensive Coastal Geologic Framework:

expansion of USGS co-op through “buy-in” of new

partners –

U.S. Army COE,


Outer Banks Task Force,

US F&W Service, and

other state and local governments


Sample Repository

  • Approximately 3000 square feet of warehouse for shelving cores and cuttings.
  • Several unconditioned work areas off of lab and office space.
  • Have capacity remaining but current projects will generate cores at an unprecedented rate and may push us to full as soon as 5 years.

Tyler Clark

Geologist in Charge – Piedmont Province

STATEMAP Coordinator

Piedmont Inquires


Map and Publication Sales Office


STATEMAP Coordinator

  • Project administrator for geologic mapping funded through the National Cooperative Geological Mapping Program. 
  • Continued Top-10 funding status.
  • Coordination of Raleigh 100K Geologic Compilation
  • Expansions of Piedmont mapping program in 01-02:

Piedmont Inquires

  • Phoenix and North State gold mines
  • Occoneechee Mountain rockslide
  • General Piedmont inquiries
  • (20-30 per month)

Manager –

  • Map and Publication Sales Office
  • Total receipts FY 00-01 over $63,000.
  • New sales office web presence:
  • Future plans to upgrade and modernize inventory-tracking system.





Total %Total Sales Sales


B-98: A Geologic Adventure Along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, by Carter, Merschat, and Wilson (1999)



8 %


Geologic Map of North Carolina (1985)



6 %


B-89: Fossil Collecting in North Carolina, by Carter and others (1988)



2 %


B-91: A Geologic Guide to North Carolina’s State Parks, edited by Carpenter (1989)



1 %


B-3: Gold Deposits of North Carolina, by Nitze and Hanna (1896)



1 %


STATEMAP 10 Proposal

October 1, 2002 – September 30, 2003

Subproject A – Raleigh 30’ x 60’ sheet --- $126,115

Compilation of bedrock and Coastal Plain portions all 32 quadrangles.

Subproject B – Asheville 30’ x 60’ sheet --- $81,817

1.5 quadrangles: Spring Creek and Marshall (north half)

Subproject C – Northeastern Piedmont Project --- $46,643

2.75 quadrangles: Merry Oaks, Farrington, Henderson (northwest quarter), Wilton (western half)

PROJECT TOTAL Requested Funds: $254,575

Complete compilation of Raleigh 30’ x 60’ sheet

and new mapping 4.25 quadrangles






from the Committee


Tyler Clark

North Carolina STATEMAP Coordinator

STATEMAP Follow-up


STATEMAP 10 Proposal Schedule

Today - Present proposal outline to Geological Advisory Committee

Late Sept.-early Oct. - Prepare proposal.

Incorporate GAC comments.

October 8 - Distribute draft proposal to GAC members for review.


Vote on the final STATEMAP 10 proposal

GAC prepares letter of endorsement

Incorporate GAC comments into final draft.

October 26 - Submit proposal to USGS.



Further Business


Next Meeting