The geological map is one that represents the topography of a space and also determines the geometric principles of the materials existing on the earth’s surface.
The information that a geological map provides is related to the rock types and tectonic structures of the terrain.
Applications of a geological map
The applications of a geological map are diverse: they serve for the study of mineral resources or underground hydrological resources; for the design and execution of communication routes (eg railways or highways); as well as for the construction of reservoirs. On the other hand, the geological map is a basic tool for the study of natural resources , to know the risks of flooding or the permeability of the terrain. These applications highlight a fundamental idea: theoretical information from a geological map has a first-level utility.
Elements of a geological map
This cartographic document presents data that are relevant: the institution that edits the map, the scale used, the identification of each map sheet, as well as a series of cartographic data (especially the geodetic coordinates). Although this data is necessary to contextualize the consultation of a map, the most important thing is its content. Within this content, topographic information can be appreciated through contour lines or isolated points. There is also hydrological information and the distribution of human geography. On the other hand, a properly geological information appears, for this, linear symbols and colors are used.
In every geological map there is an item known as a legend, which is the chronologically organized sequence of the classes that make up a territory (the base of the legend shows the oldest classes and the top part specifies the newest classes). The references that appear in the legend also inform other aspects: the different classes, the errors, the folding axes and the presence of fossils (all this information is expressed through specific symbols).
Other related aspects
As mentioned earlier, the usefulness of a geological map is indisputable. For its elaboration, it is essential to know a series of theoretical aspects of certain complexity: the recognition of faults, the identification of geological times, soil problems, the fundamentals of climatology and environmental contamination. It is necessary to remember that these aspects affect the Earth and geology is part of the knowledge of terrestrial structures.