About Us

The purpose of the South Carolina Geological Survey is to encourage economic development through the dissemination of geologic information.

About

The mission of the Land, Water, and Conservation Division (of whom we are a part) is to provide scientific and reliable information to policy and decision makers and to the public in order to understand, sustain, and protect the State's natural resources for the benefit of all generations.

The mission of the South Carolina Geological Survey is to provide reliable, unbiased scientific information to public and private decision-makers involved with land-use planning, environment, and economic development.

We are the second oldest geological survey in the United States.

Staff

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Current Employees

C. Scott Howard, State Geologist

Degree: B.S. Washington and Lee University
              M.S. University of Delaware
              Ph.D. University of Delaware

Expertise and Interest: Structural Geology, Appalachian Piedmont Framework, GIS

State of South Carolina Service: 2000 to present

Office: 803.896.7712
Email: howards@dnr.sc.gov

William R. Doar III, Senior Geologist - Coastal Plain

Degree: B.S. East Carolina University
              M.S. East Carolina University
              Ph.D. University of South Carolina

Expertise and Interest: Coastal Stratigraphy

State of South Carolina Service: 1996 to present

Office: 843.953.0667
Email: doarw@dnr.sc.gov

Katherine E. Luciano, Geologist II

Degree: B.S. College of William and Mary
              M.S. College of Charleston

Expertise and Interest: Coastal Geomorphology, Seafloor Mapping

State of South Carolina Service: 2012 to present

Office: 843.953.6843
Email: lucianok@dnr.sc.gov

Robert H. Morrow IV, Geologist II

Degree: B.S. University of North Carolina Wilmington
              M.S. University of North Carolina Wilmington

Expertise and Interest: Structural Geology, Piedmont Geology

State of South Carolina Service: 2015 to present

Office: 803.896.1214
Email: morrowr@dnr.sc.gov

Andy Wykel, Geologist II - Coastal Plain

Degree: B.S. University of South Carolina

Expertise and Interest: Coastal Stratigraphy

State of South Carolina Service: 2017 to present

Office: 803.896.7703
Email: wykelc@dnr.sc.gov

Taylor Turbyfill, Geologist I

Degree: B.S. University of South Carolina

Expertise and Interest: Geologic Mapping, GIS

State of South Carolina Service: 2020 to present

Office: 803-896-7931
Email: turbyfillt@dnr.sc.gov

Zach Zelaya, Geologist I

Degree: B.S. University of South Carolina

Expertise and Interest: Coastal Plain Statigraphy, Structural Geology, Piedmont and Upper Coastal Plain Mapping, Blue Ridge Enthusiast

State of South Carolina Service: 2020 to present

Email: zelayar@dnr.sc.gov

Darby DeBruhl, Geologist I

Degree: B.S. University of South Carolina

Expertise and Interest: Geologic Map Schema (GeMS), GIS, Python

State of South Carolina Service: 2021 to present

Email: debruhld@dnr.sc.gov

Jacky Steen, Director of Drilling Operations

Expertise and Interest: STATEMAP and Other Drilling Projects, Maintaining the State Geologic Repository, Mechanical and Heavy Equipment Operations

State of South Carolina Service: 2018 to present

Office: 803.896.5554
Email: steenj@dnr.sc.gov

Jordan Suttles, Drill Technician

Degree: B.S. University of South Carolina

Expertise and Interest: STATEMAP and Other Drilling Projects

State of South Carolina Service: 2021 to present

Email: suttlesj@dnr.sc.gov

Michael Georgopulos, Drill Technician

Degree: B.S. University of South Carolina

Expertise and Interest: Drilling Projects

State of South Carolina Service: 2021 to present

Email: georgopulosm@dnr.sc.gov

Interns

Hana Donnelly, Geologic Intern

State of South Carolina Service: 2021 to present

Email: donnellyh@dnr.sc.gov

Gerald Krieger, Geologic Intern

State of South Carolina Service: 2021 to present

Email: kriegerg@dnr.sc.gov

Former Employees

Staff

Brian Lockerbie, Drill Technician (STATEMAP and Other Drilling Projects)
Megan James, Geologist I (Data Preservation, GeMS, Web Development)
Kyle Gawinski, Geologist II (Stratigraphy, Geologic Mapping, Structural Geology)
Blake Stubbins, Drill Technician (STATEMAP and Other Drilling Projects)
Eli Covell, Drill Technician (STATEMAP and Other Drilling Projects)
Charles William (Bill) Clendenin, Jr., State Geologist (Structural styles of Faulting and Reactivation, Depositional Systems and Sequence Stratigraphy, Regional Basin Analysis and Studies of Syndepositional Tectonics with emphasis on Rifting and Basin Inversion, Movement of Fluids in Sedimentary Basins)
Alec Stover, Geologist I (Digital Cartography, Spatial Data Management)
Steven Workman, Cartographer (Digital Information Program)
Phillip Boan, Geologist I (BOEM and STATEMAP Programs)
Matt Henderson, Cartographer (Digital Information Program)
Tanner Arrington, GIS Manager (Land and Water Conservation)
Jack Garihan, Volunteer Geologist (Mapping of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Regions)
Don Secor, Volunteer Geologist (Mapping of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Regions)
Scotty Brown, Drill Crew (STATEMAP and Other Drilling Projects)
Joe Koch, Program Coordinator - Drilling Services (STATEMAP and Other Drilling Projects)
Kaylin Riney, Geologist
Kerry McCarney-Castle, Senior Research Geologist (Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund Project)
Renaldo Jones, Lead Driller
Jacquelle Robinson, Drill Crew
Gered Lennon, Field Geologist (BOEM Program)
Joshua Williams, Geologist I (Digital Information Program)
Tristan Childress, Geologist I (Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund Project)
Todd Elder, Geologist I (Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund Project)
Reid Heaton, Research Assistant (Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund Project)

Interns

Mason Joiner
Denise Bachman King
Melissa Clare Beatly
Robin Banner
Maggie Bridges
Josh Calloway
Garrett Coates
Courtney Douglas
Sedona Edgar
Keyonia M. Gallman
Reid Heaton
Ian Johnson
Mallory Jordan
Courtney Kemmer
Sara King
Jason Medlin
Brian Mixon
Kate Moore
Dave Roth
Mareli Sanchez
Shane Shull
Jordan Sommer
Parker Whitley
Kayla Young

Office Location

Click on the pop-up to get directions in Google Maps.

South Carolina Geological Survey
5 Geology Road
Columbia, SC 29212

From Downtown Columbia:
   Take I -126 west to I-26
   Take Exit 104, Piney Grove Rd.
   Turn right and travel 1.4 miles to Broad River Rd.
   Turn left onto Broad River Rd. and travel 0.4 mile
   Turn right onto Geology Rd.
   Our office is 0.25 mile on the left (see sign)
From Greenville/Spartanburg:
   Take I-26 east toward Columbia (85 miles)
   Take Exit 104, Piney Grove Rd.
   Turn left and travel 1.5 miles to Broad River Rd.
   Turn left onto Broad River Rd. and travel 0.4 mile
   Turn right onto Geology Rd.
   Our office is 0.25 mile on the left (see sign)
From Charleston:
   Take I-26 west toward Columbia (125 miles)
   Take Exit 104, Piney Grove Rd.
   Turn left and travel 1.5 miles to Broad River Rd.
   Turn left onto Broad River Rd. and travel 0.4 mile
   Turn right onto Geology Rd.
   Our office is 0.25 mile on the left (see sign)
From Augusta, GA:
   Take I-20 east toward Columbia (65 miles)
   Take I-26 west toward Greenville/Spartanburg
   Take Exit 104, Piney Grove Rd.
   Turn right and travel 1.4 miles to Broad River Rd.
   Turn left onto Broad River Rd. and travel 0.4 mile
   Turn right onto Geology Rd.
   Our office is 0.25 mile on the left (see sign)

Our History

Historical Sequence of the South Carolina Geological Survey:
1825-1826: Geological and Mineral Survey of South Carolina
1842-1843: Agricultural Survey of South Carolina
1843-1860: Geological and Agricultural Survey of the State of South Carolina
1901-1961: South Carolina Geological Survey
1974-1979: South Carolina State Development Board, Division of Geology
1979-1995: South Carolina State Budget and Control Board, South Carolina Geological Survey
1995-1997: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey
1997-present: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; Land, Water, and Conservation Division, Geological Survey

State Geologist:
1825-1826: Lardner Vanuxem, Professor, Geology and Mineralogy, USC
1842-1843: Edmund Ruffin, Agricultural Surveyor of the State
1843-1846: Michael Tuomey, State Geological Surveyor
1856-1860: Oscar M. Lieber, Mineralogical, Geological and Agricultural Surveyor
1902-1910: Earle Sloan, State Geologist
1911-1912: M.W. Twitchell, State Geologist
1912-1947: Stephen Taber, State Geologist
1947-1961: Laurence L. Smith, State Geologist
1961-1969: Henry S. Johnson, Jr., State Geologist
1969-1995: Norman K. Olson, State Geologist
1995-2020: Charles William "Bill" Clendenin, Jr., State Geologist
2020-present: C. Scott Howard, State Geologist

History of the South Carolina Geological Survey

by N. K. Olson and H. S. Johnson, Jr.

The earliest State-sponsored work of a geologic nature in South Carolina was a 1-year "Geological and Mineralogical Survey of South Carolina" made in 1825-26 by Lardner Vanuxem by order of the Legislature. Vanuxem apparently spent much of his time collecting and cataloging specimens of the rocks and minerals found in the State. Heavy emphasis was placed on the Piedmont section of the State to practical exclusion of the Coastal Plain areas, and a collection of more than 500 specimens was made.

In his report to the Legislature, Vanuxem discussed the limestones of the Piedmont, which were at the time being mined and burned in many small operations to make lime. He also reported on pyrite (as a source of sulfur) and gold in what was then called the Spartanburg and Abbeville districts and further mentions the possibility of using marl to increase production on poor soils as had already been done in New Jersey.

With the submission of Vanuxem's report in 1826, State-sponsored geologic investigations ceased in South Carolina until 1842, when the Legislature ordered an "Agricultural Survey of the State" and Edmund Ruffin, Esquire, of Virginia, was appointed "Agricultural Surveyor of the State" by Governor Hammond. After 1 year, Ruffin submitted a report on the Commencement and Progress of the Agricultural Survey of South Carolina and then resigned. Much of Ruffin's efforts were concentrated on geological investigations of the marls of the Coastal Plain and on educating farmers to use the marl on poor soils to increase agricultural yields.

When Ruffin resigned in 1843, Mr. Michael Toumey was commissioned by Governor James H. Hammond to continue Ruffin's work and to make a "Geological and Agricultural Survey of the State." In 1846 Toumey submitted a Report of the Geology of South Carolina. This report, published in 1848, presented the results of the first real study of the geology of the State.

Apparently, from the publication of Toumey's report until 1856 no geologic work was done in South Carolina. In 1856, however, Oscar M. Lieber was appointed "Mineralogical, Geological, and Agricultural Surveyor." He published an annual report on the geological survey of South Carolina in 1856 and for each of the three following years. With the exception of minor investigations in Beaufort and Colleton Counties, Lieber's work was almost exclusively in the Piedmont. His reports are highly generalized and contain long discourses on types and origins of ore deposits in the light of the knowledge of his day. Lieber's investigations ceased in 1859 and from then until 1904 no geologic investigations were carried on in South Carolina under State sponsorship.

From 1904 until 1910, Earle Sloan served as State Geologist of South Carolina. During this period four of Sloan's reports were published by the State. The most complete of these was the Catalogue of Mineral Localities of South Carolina, published in 1908.

In 1911, M. W. Twitchell succeeded Earle Sloan as State Geologist and held this position for 1 year. He was also head of the Department of Geology at the University of South Carolina during this period.

Dr. Stephen Taber became head of the Department of Geology at the University of South Carolina in 1912 and also served as State Geologist. Dr. Taber served in this capacity until his retirement in 1947.

Dr. L. L. Smith followed Taber as head of the Geology Department at the University and also acted as State Geologist.

From 1912 until 1945, there were no funds appropriated for geologic field investigations, and the State Geologist served principally in an advisory capacity on a part-time basis. When the State Development Board began work in 1945, it soon recognized a need for geologic investigations, particularly those of an economic nature, in South Carolina. Arrangements were made with Dr. B. F. Buie of the Department of Geology, University of South Carolina, and a series of summer investigations were begun.

In June 1957 the State Development Board hired Henry S. Johnson, Jr., formerly with the U. S. Geological Survey, to head the new Division of Geology. The modern South Carolina Geological Survey began with Johnson's geologic field reconnaissance, mapping, drilling, and descriptions of stratigraphic localities. He developed a working network of "project geologists"--mostly professors who worked summers and vacations periods--and together they produced an impressive number of publications, drill logs and related data on a meager budget. In 1961 Governor Ernest Hollings agreed to a letter request from Dr. L. L. Smith to transfer the title of State Geologist to Mr. Johnson.

In November 1969, Mr. Johnson resigned to become an independent geological consultant. He was succeeded by Norman K. Olson, formerly General Industrial Geologist with Southern Railway System. Mr. Olson inherited two permanent, full-time staff members - one geologist and one secretary. In 1974 the enabling legislation (Act 1053) for the South Carolina Geological Survey was signed into law by Governor John West. The State Geologist was key advisor to legislative committees during the formation of the South Carolina mining Act (1974) and the South Oil and Gas Act (1977). Since 1970 South Carolina Geological Survey geologists have had important advisory roles to the Governor's Office and the General Assembly on repository siting issues for radioactive waste (high level and low level) and toxic chemical waste. Since the early 1970's, most of the field investigations and reports have been accomplished by the Survey's Geologic Mapping and Mineral Resources sections.

Currently the South Carolina Geological Survey has nine staff geologists and two geologic technicians.

South Carolina Code of Laws - Title 48 Environmental Protection and Conservation

Chapter 22. The South Carolina Geological Survey Unit of the Department of Natural Resources

Section 48-22-10. Creation of State Geological Survey Unit; hiring of State Geologist; qualifications.

The South Carolina Geological Survey Unit is established under the Department of Natural Resources. The State Geologist must be hired by the Director of the Department of Natural Resources. He must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a full curriculum in geology and had at least eight years of practical work experience, academic, governmental, or industrial, in geology.

Section 48-22-30. Powers and duties of State Geologist.

  1. The State Geologist shall:
    1. travel throughout the State so as to make himself familiar with the geology, geologic hazards, and mineral resources of each section;
    2. undertake field and laboratory work his time permits;
    3. perform other duties that properly pertain to his office.
  2. The department may employ geologists, technicians, and other personnel necessary to conduct the objectives of the unit.

Section 48-22-40. Duties of unit.

In addition to other duties assigned to it, the unit:

  1. shall conduct field and laboratory studies in geologic reconnaissance, mapping, evaluating mineral resources, and related gathering of surface and subsurface data. Investigative areas include offshore and onshore lands in this State;
  2. shall make surface and subsurface data available to governmental agencies, private business, and the public by disseminating published geologic information as bulletins, maps, economic reports, and related series and open-file reports;
  3. shall provide geologic advice and assistance to other state and local governmental agencies engaged in environmental protection or in industrial or economic development projects. In addition, the unit must be involved actively in geologic aspects of regional planning and effective land use in the State;
  4. shall encourage economic development in the State by disseminating published geologic information as bulletins, maps, economic reports, and related series and open-file reports to appropriate governmental agencies and private industry. The unit is encouraged further to initiate and maintain appropriate industrial contacts to promote the extraction and conservation of South Carolina's earth raw materials and their manufacture to the economic improvement of the State;
  5. shall provide unsolicited advice, when appropriate, to the Mining Council and its associated state regulatory agency, on geologic and related mining matters in keeping with the intent of the South Carolina Mining Act;
  6. shall operate and maintain a central, statewide repository for rock cores, well cuttings and related subsurface samples, and all associated supplemental data. Private firms and public agencies are encouraged to notify the unit before exploratory or developmental drilling and coring;
  7. may conduct cooperative work with appropriate agencies of the United States Government in its geologic activities and investigations;
  8. shall provide a minerals research laboratory related to the identification, extraction, and processing of industrial minerals and minerals of economic potential wherever found throughout the onshore and offshore areas of the State. The minerals research laboratory is encouraged to accept mineral research projects from South Carolina businesses or citizens on a per cost, per unit basis and to encourage expended use of the raw materials of the State. The minerals research laboratory may accept public and private gifts or funds and may enter into cooperative agreements for the purpose of applied research in the metallic and nonmetallic minerals of this State;
  9. when appropriate, shall provide unsolicited advice to other state and governmental agencies concerning geologic hazards including, but not limited to, earthquakes, ground liquefaction, sinkhole development and collapse, landslide development, and coastal vulnerability.