V3: Oral Presentation C Friday, 11:30 am 12:00 pm C French River Room

Geographic Information Systems Tools Useful for Inventorying and Displaying Aggregate Resource Information

Renee L. Johnson
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Lands and Minerals Division
500 Lafayette Road
PO Box 45
St. Paul, MN  55155-4045

Jonathan B. Ellingson
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Lands and Minerals Division
2300 Silver Creek Road Northeast
Rochester, MN  55906

The aggregate industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the nation. Aggregate is produced in all 50 states and within all 87 counties of Minnesota. It is used in concrete and asphalt to make such things as roads, bridges, houses, airport runways. However, due to land-use conflicts between mining and other uses, it is becoming increasingly difficult to develop these resources. The MN/DNR's County Aggregate Mapping Program was created as a result. The purpose of this program is to identify and classify potentially valuable aggregate bearing lands around urban areas and to give this information to the county. The information is provided in a digital format so that county staff can use it to consider aggregate resource protection in their local comprehensive and land-use planning.

Due to the availability of USGS topographic maps, USGS digital orthophoto quads, well log data, soils information, geologic maps, and other data in a digital format, it is now possible to digitize the aggregate resource information interactively, in conjunction with air photo interpretation and field work. Additional information about field sites, existing gravel pits, and drill holes, are entered into a database and then combined with the spatial location of these sites.

The products of this Mapping Program focus on the ease of use for local units of government, land owners, highway departments, industry representatives, and other interested parties, and include a CD-ROM of the data and printed maps. The hope is that the resource data and associated data sets can be used directly, or with minimal modification, with their existing data. To help explain the terminology used in the resource data, metadata is included. Digital copies of the maps, in a number of different formats, are also included so that users can print additional copies.