The Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI): Mapping the Nation’s Critical Mineral Resources

Fact Sheet 2019-3007
Prepared in cooperation with the Association of American State Geologists



The Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI; formerly known as 3DEEP) is planned as a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), and other Federal, State, and private-sector organizations. The goal of the effort is to improve our knowledge of the geologic framework in the United States and to identify areas that have the potential to contain undiscovered critical mineral resources. Enhancement of our domestic mineral supply will decrease our reliance on foreign sources of minerals that are fundamental to the Nation’s security and economy.

The intent of Earth MRI is to leverage the USGS’s existing relationships with States and the private sector to conduct state-of-the-art geologic mapping and airborne geophysical and topographic (lidar) surveys. Analyses of these datasets could point to potential buried critical mineral deposits.

Suggested Citation

Day, W.C., 2019, The Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)—Mapping the Nation’s critical mineral resources (ver. 1.1, March 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3007, 2 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Table of Contents

  • What is Earth MRI?
  • Why is Earth MRI Needed?
  • First Steps in Implementing Earth MRI
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI): Mapping the nation’s critical mineral resources
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2019-3007
DOI 10.3133/fs20193007
Edition Version 1.1: March 2019; Version 1.0: February 2019
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 2 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y