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Geology: Reading Geological Maps
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Geology: Reading Geological Maps

Geology: Reading Geological Maps

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson introduces geological maps and explains how to use a key to read the maps.

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Maps are reference tools used to visualize large areas of land from an aerial perspective.  The lines on a geological map identify different geological strata that are exposed to the surface.  To illustrate the terrain of a location, contour intervals are used.  Contour intervals are the amount of vertical distance represented by the presence of each line as the map approaches the summit of a land feature.


The map key identifies both the scale of the map and the meaning of the symbols found on the map.  For this map, the color green is used to identify grassland, while a grey line is a road, and a checked line is a railroad.

Geology: Reading Geological Maps