usgsA federal grant will fund geologic mapping in Oatman and other areas in La Paz and Graham Counties. the $170,000 grant has been provided to the Arizona Geological Survey (ASGS) by the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program.

“Geological mapping is one of the primary functions of the ASGS,” said agency director Lee Allison. “For the past 23 years, we have been aggressive participants in the USGS-run National Cooperative Geological Mapping Program, especially in the Statemap component that matches state and federal funds.

The grant-funded effort will involve identifying, describing and mapping out the distribution of the rock units, while placing them in context from oldest to youngest, according to ASGS Outreach Coordinator Michael Conway. He said this includes mapping geologic structures such as faults and folds.

Conway said geologists Charles Ferguson and Phil Pearthree would conduct the Oatman study.  Work will begin late this year, be completed by mid-2016 and the mapping will be published by mid-2017.

“Charles is mapping the bedrock geology, the rocks comprising the mountains there,” Conway said. “Phil will be mapping the young alluvium, the unconsolidated sediments making up the alluvial fans that skirt the mountain ranges.”

Other areas targeted for geological mapping include one location near Quartzite and another northwest of Safford.