Geologic maps are a fundamental data source used to define mineral-resource potential tracts for the first step of a mineral resource assessment. Further, it is generally believed that the scale of the geologic map is a critical consideration. Previously published research has demonstrated that the U.S. Geological Survey porphyry tracts identified for the United States, which are based on 1:500,000-scale geology and larger scale data and published at 1:1,000,000 scale, can be approximated using a more generalized 1:2,500,000-scale geologic map. Comparison of the USGS porphyry tracts for the United States with weights-of-evidence models made using a 1:10,000,000-scale geologic map, which was made for petroleum applications, and a 1:35,000,000-scale geologic map, which was created as context for the distribution of porphyry deposits, demonstrates that, again, the USGS US porphyry tracts identified are similar to tracts defined on features from these small scale maps. In fact, the results using the 1:35,000,000-scale map show a slightly higher correlation with the USGS US tract definition, probably because the conceptual context for this small-scale map is more appropriate for porphyry tract definition than either of the other maps. This finding demonstrates that geologic maps are conceptual maps. The map information shown in each map is selected and generalized for the map to display the concepts deemed important for the map maker's purpose. Some geologic maps of small scale prove to be useful for regional mineral-resource tract definition, despite the decrease in spatial accuracy with decreasing scale. The utility of a particular geologic map for a particular application is critically dependent on the alignment of the intention of the map maker with the application. ?? International Association for Mathematical Geology 2007.
Additional Publication Details
Porphyry copper deposit tract definition - A global analysis comparing geologic map scales