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Shale plays

Recent exploitation of shale to extract gas and oil has resulted in a boom of drilling and hydraulic fracturing across the United States. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has mapped the primary shale gas basins in the United States as shown in the accompanying figure. None are in Arizona.

Over the past decade, vast new territories of digital map data and services have emerged. The landscape of digital products now includes digital topographic maps – current and historical, atlases, geologic and physical geography maps, weather maps, political maps, soil maps, biome maps, and more.

In this article, we shine a spotlight on some of the richer digital map and map service providers, with an emphasis on those that serve Arizona map products. Note: This is not an exhaustive list; our goal was to finger major map products and service providers for Arizona.

Picture of hard travertine

Arizona’s Grand Canyon reveals an enormous sequence of rocks that represent more than a third of the 4.5-billion-year age of the Earth. The canyon itself, however, is quite young in comparison, with most or all canyon incision occurring over the past 5 million years according to most interpretations.

Photo of Phillips A1 exploration well south of Florence, Arizona

Drilling Permits

Seventy five drilling permits were issued, 67 wells were drilled, and one well was plugged through mid-December. All but two permits and all wells drilled were stratigraphic tests for potash. Two permits were for obligation wells at the St Johns Gas Unit.

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AZGS Sunset Review – From Director Lee Allison’s blog of 24 August 2011, “The statutory authorization for the Arizona Geological Survey ends June 30, 2012. The Arizona Legislature is beginning a Sunset Review of AZGS to determine if the agency should be continued, revised, consolidated, or terminated at that time. This is standard procedure for all state agencies, commissions, and boards.”

Lake Mary Earthquake Swarm

In June 2011, the Arizona Integrated Seismic Network (AISN) detected notable earthquakes in three areas: near Parks, near Tusayan, and just south of Flagstaff adjacent to the Lake Mary fault, AZ. There were two notable events near Parks this June and two similar events in April. The June events were M 2.37 and 2.4 in size.

Resolution Copper #10 Shaft, Hoist, Headframe

The value of Arizona's non-fuel mineral production totaled $6.7 billion in 2010 according to preliminary USGS figures. This was 10.5% of the United States' total, making Arizona the number two producer in the nation. Principal commodities mined were copper, molybdenum, sand and gravel, cement and crushed stone. In addition, Arizona coal production added another $273 million bringing the total mined value to nearly $7 billion.

Studying core

Drilling Permits
Sixty five drilling permits were issued and 44 wells have been drilled through July. All are stratigraphic wells for potash.

GEA meeting display in Reno

Over the summer AZGS has participated in select outreach activities and events to demonstrate the capabilities of the AASG State Geological Survey Contributions to the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS).  Each opportunity rewarded us with valuable feedback and excitement over the potential of the system.

Beatty's Guest Ranch - View looking up Marshall Canyon, July 11th.

The summer of 2011 saw huge wildfires burning across Arizona. The Wallow Fire (538,049 acres) set a new state record, burning a larger area than the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire (468,638 acres). The Horseshoe 2 Fire (222,954 acres) burned approximately 70% of the Chiricahua Mountains and became the 4th largest fire in Arizona history.