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2015 News

SCGS 190 Years

190 Years!
The South Carolina Geological Survey is celebrating its 190th year of service to the State in 2015.


seismographImage credit: Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

What do the NFL playoffs and Earthquakes have in common?
Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) will monitor the energy created by football fans during the Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers playoff game. You can watch the motions that the instruments detect online.


2014 News

Earth Science Week

Earth Science Week October 12-18
Earth Science Week promotes understanding and appreciation of the value of Earth Science research and its applications and relevance to our daily lives! Free Earth Science Week kits are available. You can get one by emailing with "Please Send Me an Earth Science Week Toolkit" in the subject line. Be sure to include you name and shipping address.


toolkit button

Geologic Map Day October 17, 2014
Geologic Map Day helps to bring awareness to leaders in education, science, business, and public policy. It informs the public on the study, use and significance of geologic maps by providing educational activities, print materials, online resources and public outreach. In celebration of Geologic Map Day, we created two new online maps:
Geology of South Carolina Online Map
Explore a geologic quadrangle


2013 News

Shake Out

Palmetto Sportsman Classic Giveaway was held March 28, 2013
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at the PSC and entered to win. Each drawing winner will receive (1) Minerals and Rocks of South Carolina Study Kit and Book. The kit contains (24) samples of common rocks and minerals all found right here in SC.
....And the Winners Are...

Thursday - Shelton B. from Newberry, SC
Friday - Jevin L. from Kinards, SC
Saturday - Annette H. from Gilbert, SC
Sunday - John L. from Lexington, SC


2012 News

Shake Out

Get Ready to ShakeOut on October 18, 2012 at 10:15 a.m. Be part of the Largest Earthquake Drill in Central U.S. History. Practice how to protect yourself in the event of a major earthquake. Register your family, school, company or other group for the drill here.
Read more about the efforts of the SC Emergency Management Division here.


2011 News

Your Day

November 2, 2011 SC Geological Survey on Your Day Program Your Day hosted the SC DNR, Geological Survey for a live call-in edition about the geology and mineral resources in SC. Host Mike Willis is joined by Dr. Scott Howard, Chief Geologist with the SC Department of Natural Resources and Dr. Bill Clendenin, State Geologist also with DNR, for a call-in discussion of geological and mineral resources in South Carolina.
Listen to the Show

USGS August 23, 2011 Major Earthquake in Central Virginia Felt in South Carolina The earthquake occurred at 1:51pm EST with a measured magnitude of 5.8. This is a major earthquake by East Coast standards and was felt in all parts of South Carolina. Read More

Latest Earthquakes in the USA -Last 7 Days (USGS)
June 24, 2011

June 24, 2011 Shallow Earthquake North of Camden, SC A magnitude 2.3 earthquake was recorded on Friday, June 24, 2011 at 1:15 PM by the USGS. The epicenter was located 6 miles north of Camden. Details

Latest Earthquakes in the USA -Last 7 Days (USGS)

March 21, 2011 Earthquake

March 21, 2011 Moderate Earthquake near Chesterfield, SC A magnitude 2.9 earthquake was recorded on Monday, March 21, 2010 at 6:02 PM Details

Latest Earthquakes in the USA -Last 7 Days (USGS)


Mining Resumes At Old South Carolina Gold Mine, February 16, 2011 from WFAE Gold was first discovered in South Carolina in 1827. By 1990, the gold that was left at the Haile Gold Mine was too deep and expensive to get because the right technology didn't exist. That's changed now, and a Canadian company is in the process of reopening the mine. Listen to the Story
Archived Media

Shake Out

Get Ready to ShakeOut on April 28, 2011 at 10:15 a.m. Be part of the Largest Earthquake Drill in Central U.S. History. Practice how to protect yourself in the event of a major earthquake. Register your family, school, company or other group for the drill here.
Read more about the efforts of the SC Emergency Management Division here.


2010 News

SCO2 Logo CO2 Sequestration Web-site, August 16, 2010 The web-site for the South Carolina Carbon Sequestration Project is now available to the public. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory Visit the web-site here: SCO2

New Owners Strike Gold at Haile, July 22, 2010 KERSHAW, SC (WBTV) - For the third time in four months, gold has been found at what was once a nearly-defunct gold mine in Kershaw. Romarco Minerals, the company which purchased the Haile Gold Mine in 2007, says nearly 40 additional meters of gold where found at the mine. Jim Arnold, Senior Vice-President and COO of Romarco Minerals, said the gold discovery was in a different location than the first two discoveries...Read the Story

Survey Cooperating CO2 Sequestration Study, May 28, 2010 You can read the details of the Research Award "Geologic Characterization of the South Georgia Rift Basin for Source Proximal CO2 Storage, U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory" here: USC ESRI

Earthquake in Summerville, SC, May 12, 2010 A magnitude 2.8 earthquake was recorded on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:03 AM approximately 5 miles SSE from Summerville, SC Recent Earthquake Details

USC Professor Interviewed on WIS TV Newswatch Program, April 11, 2010 Dr. James Knapp from University of South Carolina, Department of Earth and Ocean Science discussess offshore drilling and it's potential impacts on the South Carolina Coast.

Deep Earthquake near the SC border with GA, March 25, 2010 A magnitude 2.5 earthquake was recorded on Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM approximately 10 miles from Plum Branch, SC. The depth of this quake was recorded at 9.8 miles. Details.

Survey Phone Number has Changed, March 22, 2010 In an effort order to save money and better serve our customers, we have changed the primary Survey phone number. You can now reach us at (803) 896-7714.

Four new Open-File Reports (OFR) Released, March 15 , 2010 Bedrock Geology Maps of the Rainy Mountain (OFR-154), Whetstone (OFR-155), Tugaloo Lake (OFR-156), and Holly Springs (OFR-157) Quadrangles in Northwest South Carolina have been released. These quadrangles were mapped by Robert D. Hatcher, Jr, of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
More Info on these Publications

2009 News

Seismic Study conducted the week of June 15, 2009 The S.C. Geological Survey, USC Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, and USC Earth Science Research Institute conducted a two-mile seismic reflectivity study along Highway 27 north of Pringletown, in Berkeley County. The seismic work was to verify drilling results that showed evidence of faulting in the shallow subsurface. The shallow faulting was initially interpreted from regional geophysical data as marking the northern edge of the buried Jedburg basin.
Photo Gallery
DNR News Release

Pringletown Fault
Read Article from Post and Courier.pdf

GIS Geology Layers Available for Aiken County   1:24,000 scale geology data layers are available for Aiken County, South Carolina.
Download GIS Data


2008 News

Earthquake Location MapMagnitude 3.6 Earthquake Felt in Lowcountry COLUMBIA, S.C. (Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, 10:00 a.m.) – The U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed that a 3.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in Dorchester County at 7:42 a.m. today. The epicenter of the earthquake was four miles south-southwest of Summerville, and was felt throughout the Tri-county area of Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston Counties.
Read the Full SC Emergency Management Division News Release

"Did you feel it?" Register your observations with the USGS


Three new Geologic Quadrangle Maps (GQM) Released July 7, 2008  The Geologic Maps of the Zirconia, Pickens, and Dacusville 7.5-minute quadrangles in Greenville and Pickens Counties, South Carolina are completed and available for purchase at the Survey.  These new geologic quadrangles have detailed descriptions of map units, cross sections and photos of geologic formations in the Piedmont of the state. Each map has more than 1000 station observations and a topographic basemap. These publications are identified by GQM-39, GQM-41, GQM-42. To purchase a printed copy of any of our map publications please contact the SCGS
See Publication List


2007 News

Survey to host Digital Mapping Techniques Workshop in Columbia  The Workshop on Digital Mapping Techniques 2007 (DMT '07) is an invitation-only event designed to bring together scientists, cartographers, and GIS specialists, mostly at State and Federal agencies, who are using digital techniques to create and manage geologic maps.
DMT '07Announcement

US Geological Survey DMT Workshop Web-site

2006 News

See the Geological Survey's drilling program in action as featured on SC ETV  Members of the Geological Survey were featured in a recent segment of SC Wildlife TV.  Filmed on location in Aiken County in late August and originally aired in September on the ETV South Carolina Channel, the show highlights the Survey's Geologic Mapping Program in the Coastal Plain.  South Carolina Wildlife airs at 6:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month on ETV.
Link to the Video

Other DNR Videos

Digital GIS Geology Layers Available  1:24,000 Quadrangle geology data layers and Statewide general geology layers can be downloaded from our website.
Digital GIS Data

Statewide DEM Available  The SC Geological Survey has produced a Statewide 30-meter grid DEM (Digital Elevation Model). The DEM is in GRD (ESRI Grid file) format and is available for download on the web site.
Link to Statewide DEM Grid

Jones Gap Landslide  Heavy rains in the upstate produced a mass-wasting landslide at Jones Gap State Park in Greenville County the week of July 9th.  The landslide occurred west of the park office along the Middle Saluda River. Trees, rocks, boulders, and soil moved from the mountain top and closed one hiking trail. Individuals should be aware that landslides also might occur during flash flood warnings resulting from heavy rain events.
Pictures of the Damage
Jones Gap State Park link
Landslides in NC after Hurricane Ivan

The New Geology Postcard is Here The revised General Geologic Map of South Carolina is now available as a postcard. The price is $1.00 each, 5 for $3.00, 10 for $5.00. Instructions for ordering the new Postcard are on the Publication page

Bag-of-Rocks Available  The Geological Survey is now offering a "Bag-of-Rocks" to aid in the identification of rocks and minerals common to SC.  The bag will contain 10 common samples including; limestone, granite, and gneiss collected throughout the state.  An identification key accompanies the "Bag-of-Rocks". The price is $10.00.  The Rock and Mineral Kit, a more comprehensive box of 24 samples, is still available.
Purchase a "Bag-of-Rocks"

Ordering Information


2005 News

South Carolina Wildlife May-June 2005  The South Carolina Geological Survey was featured in the May-June 2005 issue of South Carolina Wildlife magazine.  The article, "Sailing With The Bad Creek Navy", describes recent geologic mapping in the Jocassee Gorges area.  The mapping project shows how cooperative efforts inside the DNR are advancing our knowledge of the state's natural resources.

Two new Geologic Quadrangle Maps (GQM) Released April 13, 2005  The Geologic Map of the Sunset 7.5-minute quadrangle in Pickens County and the Geologic Map of the Eastatoe Gap 7.5-minute quadrangle in Greenville and Pickens Counties, South Carolina are completed and available for purchase at the Survey.  These new geologic quadrangles have detailed descriptions of map units, cross sections and photos of geologic formations in the Piedmont of the state. Each map has more than 1000 station observations.  Eastatoe Gap is adjacent to the Table Rock quadrangle, which is available for purchase as GQM-9.
See Publication List

A Nor'easter on February 27, 2005 damaged many beachfront houses on Edisto Beach, S.C.  The damage is a result of an active beach system interacting with stationary man-made structures.  Beaches move.  They can grow out into the ocean, retreat landward, and also move left and right at their inlets. With the construction of headwalls and groins in front of houses, the beach is not allowed to move as it needs to. The result is a steeper beach, with possible damage to man-made structures every time a storm comes in.  If the headwalls and the beachfront dunes had not been there, the storm would have taken much of the sand from the beach and washed it onto the middle of the island.  This sand movement would have raised the elevation of the center portion of the island, limiting flooding events there in the future.
See photos
Learn more about Nor'easter storms

Magnitude 2.9 Earthquake was felt in the Midlands of South Carolina on Feb. 18, 2005. 
On February 18, 2005, a magnitude 2.9 earthquake occurred near Columbia, S.C. At approximately 9:21am several people in the South Carolina Geological Survey, located at 5 Geology Road, Columbia, SC 29212, felt this event. Most of the people here felt shaking lasting two to three seconds with some computer monitors noticeably shaking along with a loud boom. Originally thought to be a blast from a local quarry or the Lake Murray dam, after a few minutes, seismographs of the event were found via the web, and the event was identified as an earthquake and not a blast.
Read the Entire Report

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