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Characteristics of Prospecting Maps

by Tirumala Prasad

posted in Reference and Education

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Geological mapping, test pitting, trenching, aditing, augering, wash boring, and drilling are categorised as surface prospecting methods.
Prior to the commencement of the prospecting process, a mineralized region needs to be finalised. The next step should be to prepare its geological map on the required scale. The geological maps depict topography, rock outcrops, structural features, etc.
The following are some of the most significant characteristics of geological maps:
They show the contacts between several rock types. The relative ages of strata are shown by indexes. In the indexes, the rock beds are arranged in the order of decreasing age from the bottom upward. Thus, the oldest formation is placed at the bottom of the index column, and the youngest at the top. The thickness of beds can also be mentioned. The measured attitude, i.e., strike, dip of the rock beds should also be shown. The angles of dip should be mentioned above dip and strike symbols. The pattern of rock formations does reveal the nature of folds.
The topographic maps do show the configurations of land surface, drainage details of regions, many other features such as roads, railways, villages, urban areas, etc.
The lines on maps which have the same elevation above sea level are known as contour lines.
The outcrops shown by geologic maps indicate structural features and igneous intrusions. For instance, in the case of folding, repetition of outcrops of beds takes place. The relative position of older beds indicates about anticlines and synclines. If older beds occur in the core, the structural feature is anticline.
The periods of sedimentation, uplift, submergence, erosion, igneous intrusion, sequence of faulting, the relative ages of folds, faults, igneous bodies, etc depict the geological history of regions.
The introductory part should consist of details about the following: scale of the maps, topography of the location in terms of hills and valleys, indication of nature and number of various rock units, etc.
In case of inclined beds, the amount and direction of beds should be mentioned. The direction of axis of folds and nature of folding should also be mentioned.
In the case of igneous bodies, nature and geologic location need to be mentioned.
Unconformities do indicate the periods of non deposition. On the geological maps, the unconformities can be recognised by intersecting boundaries of sedimentary strata and by truncations of dykes, faults or any other structural features. Several geophysical methods are subsurface prospecting methods.
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