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Geologic Mapping


The STATEMAP program is the State Geologic Survey Mapping Component to the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program in the USGS. The primary objective of STATEMAP is to establish the geologic framework of areas that are vital to the welfare of individual States. Each State Geologist determines the State's mapping priorities in consultation with a State Mapping Advisory Committee. These priorities are based on State requirements for geologic map information in areas of multiple-issue need or compelling single-issue need and in areas where mapping is required to solve critical Earth science problems. Currently mapping is being conducted near the Savannah River in Allendale and Hampton Counties, and near Winyah Bay area in Georgetown County.

Funding Sources: USGS and State of SC
Project Contact: Bill Clendenin

Broad River Project

Broad River Project
The primary goal of the Broad River Project is to generate new and useful sediment related data and assess how sediment associated issues impact aquatic resources and habitat in the Broad River Basin, South Carolina. The South Carolina Geological Survey and the Freshwater Fisheries divisions within the DNR have teamed up to develop information and technology that will lead to (1) improvement of physical aquatic habitat and diversity of associated aquatic biota, (2) identification of sediment sources and possible methods to reduce influx of excess sediment in select areas, and (3) development of policy guidelines for sediment management where feasible. Excess sediment in the Broad River watershed is a long-standing watershed quality problem and the health of the aquatic ecosystem is directly dependent on sediment movement through the watershed.  There is little to no sediment data available in the basin and this project presents an opportunity to learn more about one of the largest watersheds in the state. During the course of this project, near-field sediment transport dynamics in relation to sand-mining operations will be assessed when possible.  The project is funded by the Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund and work will continue over the next four years.

Funding Sources: Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund
Project Contact: Kerry Castle

Shoreline Change Project

NPS Image
The SCDNR – Geological Survey is currently working on a project supported by the Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance to create digital representations of historical shorelines. The Shoreline Project will create digital shoreline datasets primarily from historical aerial imagery, because they provide for a feature-based methodology and have a high enough resolution to capture detail. The datasets can then be used to analyze the physical changes taking place in the coastal and estuarine systems of South Carolina. Additionally, this project will look at the feasibility of developing shoreline vulnerability indices for use by planners.


Funding Sources: Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance
Project Contact: Scott Howard

National Park Service

NPS Image
The SCGS has been working with the NPS Geologic Resource Inventory (GRI) to produce geologic maps for parks in SC. So far, we have facilitated the creation of geologic maps of the Congaree National Park, Kings Mountain National Military Park, Fort Sumter National Monument. We are currently finishing up the Cowpens National Battlefield maps, which consist of the Chesnee and Cowpens quadrangles in Cherokee and Spartanburg Counties. We hope to begin work on the Ninety Six National Historic Site this year.


Funding Sources: NPS and State of SC
Project Contact: Scott Howard

Geologic Hazards Mapping

Hazards Map Image
The SC Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided us with a grant to study and map the potential risks of several geologic hazards. Specifically, the impact that sinkholes, landslides and liquifaction could have on the States infrastructure. Earthquakes are a known hazard in SC as demonstrated by the 1886 Charleston Earthquake that caused major damage in the low country and was felt as fara away as Chicago, IL. The Union County Earthquake in 1913 happened along what is know known as the Eastern Piedmont Fault System. Recent studies by the Survey have revealed a possible reactivation of that fault system. Earthquakes are not the only geologic hazard worth studying in SC. Landslides have also proven to be a major hazard. Evidence of the mass-wasting in the Jones Gap Landslide can be seen in these photos. In the Upper and Middle Coastal Plain there is a potential for sinkholes because of the large areas of loose sand overlieing the Santee Limestone. We are currently conducting research on the Union County 1913 Earthquake and compiling observations of liquifaction sites associated with the Charleston 1886 Earthquake. The latest publication focused on the hazards in the Coastal Plain.

Funding Sources: SCEMD and FEMA
Project Contact:Bill Clendenin

Outsourced Mapping

Outsourced Maps Image
SC Geological Survey supports professional geologists and academics to produce a variety of geologic maps for SC. A State Survey is often times the only opportunity for these highly knowledgeable individuals to have their maps published and into the hands of decision makers. To date we have published 14 maps authored by non-staff geologists. Occasionally, a small financial grant maybe given to help offset the costs of field materials and transportation. Past contributors to the outsourced mapping project have been Dr. Donald Secor, a retired USC professor of Geology, Dr. Robert Hatcher, Univ. of Tennessee professor of Geology, and Dr. John Garihan current Furman professor of Geology.


Funding Sources: State of SC
Project Contact: Scott Howard

Other Projects
 Geologic Carbon Sequestration
 Data Preservation
 Geothermal Studies
 Union County Earthquake Studies
Digital Product Refinement
 Geologic Map of the Lake Marion and Lake Mountrie Area (Compilation)
 New Map Digitization
 Historic Map Conversion
Outreach and Education
 Web Site
 Education Materials Development
 South Carolina Geology Journal
 Core Repository
 Minerals and Rocks of SC Study Kits
 Economic Development


South Carolina Geological Survey
5 Geology Road
Columbia, SC 29212
phone 803.896.7931 -or- fax 803.896.7695