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Abstract

The idea that the Decade of North American Geology (DNAG) project should include preparation of a new geologic map of the continent was conceived early in the DNAG planning process. The minutes of a meeting of the Steering Committee chaired by L.T. Silver on January 29–30, 1980, record that:

It was generally agreed that the geographic scope [of the DNAG project] would extend from the Arctic Ocean on the north to the southern limits of the Caribbean plate; from the Mid-Atlantic ridge on the east to the Pacifi c plate in the approximate vicinity of Hawaii. The emphasis would be placed on the geology of the continent; the adjacent sea fl oor would be carried as it is related to the continental story.…

At the same meeting “the need for a new geologic map was discussed extensively with some disagreement.” However, at a meeting in May of the same year, a subcommittee appointed to examine the need for a new geologic map unanimously supported the proposal. It estimated that publication costs might be as much as $200,000, compilation costs might be $500,000, and the time required for compilation would be about 5 years. The Steering Committee agreed that a new geologic map covering the area of the DNAG project was needed, and placed compilation of the map on the list of official DNAG efforts.

By May 1981, the compilers and principal cartographers had been selected, the base map chosen, the essential features of the explanation agreed upon, and

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