Geologic mapping is evolving from primarily a method of communication among earth scientists into a decision-making tool for multidisciplinary and multi programmatic activities. The natural philosophy for this change in geologic display is the desire for ecological harmony in an environment favorable for the survival of mankind. The pragmatic dictates for the change are public pressures for a cost-accounting approach to provide fiscal control over development strategies. Control is expected to provide more value to a wider range of benefits and satisfy the growing demand for improved quality of life as growth proceeds. Total land use planning, unfolding on a national scale, requires more than a local geologic data array; it must include area-wide approaches to land, water, air, people, wildlife, and amenity sheds as a total ecological logic. Short-term cleanup goals must integrate with responsibilities for natural amenities and resources conditions within the environments of future generations. Comprehensive planning processes are unfolding as a major means of reaching solutions for comprehensive problem analysis, understanding, and solution programming. Comprehensiveness raises special problems as to jurisdictional, organizational, budgetary, and disciplinary logic systems as guides to future planning and program activities. Geonatural planning, although important, must be integratable with other planning elements. These influences require reassessment of the suitability of traditional biological-chemical-geologic data criteria, banks, and displays to assist decisions about logic systems for planning, priority setting, programming, and project activities. The geologic profession has not yet established the best relativity of its traditions to the requirements of social and economic expansion.
Figures & Tables
The rapid increase in the development of land, the exploitation of minerals, and the related accelerated environmental impacts have caused an explosion of demand for information that can be used as a guide to land use decision-making. “Environmental Geology Mapping” was the topic of an engineering geology symposium at the 1972 annual meeting of The Geological Society of America; natural resources planning and the roles and interrelations of geology and geologists, planning and planners were discussed. This book presents the coverage of those subjects because of their continuing timeliness and the need for a reminder that we must provide data that are relevant and usable for interdisciplinary considerations in natural resources planning. The authors express their ideas on how to translate professionally the traditional, basic earth-science data into forms that are adaptable to interdisciplinary solutions of environmental problems. They unanimously state that this conversion of data has to result in a viable input for decision-making, and it must also stand the scrutiny of the real world; that is, it must receive public endorsement and support.